As work increasingly becomes a remote operation, more and more companies are relying on phone interviews in their recruiting process. Generally, this is the first step in a chain of interviews, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important – and unfortunately, phone interviews are notoriously fickle and require a slightly different skill set from in person interviews.
Don’t worry, though, there’s plenty you can do to prepare. Here are five great ways to boost your performance and nail your phone interview.
1. Do Your Research
Before the company calls you, find out everything you can about them. Use a search engine and business sites. Know what they do and get familiar with any content they published on their site or blog. It doesn’t hurt to become familiar with their management and owners. Definitely make sure you research the person who will be interviewing you – if you know in advance who that will be.
If you really want to increase your chances, you can use the tools explained in Top Three Competitive Analysis Tools to research their competitors to learn even more about their industry and how they compare. (Save this research and use it to find other similar places to apply.
This is huge. When you see that your employer is calling you, stop, smile for a few seconds, then pick up the phone. It’s a small, easy to use trick, but it changes the tone of your voice – and the tone of the conversation – for the better.
3. Location, Location, Location
When you answer, you want to be in a quiet setting where you can concentrate and talk without distraction – not in the middle of a busy supermarket, trying to figure out where they keep the turmeric. Don’t be afraid of letting the call go to voicemail and answering when you’re good and ready.
4. Re-record Your Voicemail Greeting
On that note, it’s critical to have a professional sounding voice message greeting. After all, would you hire someone if the first thing you heard when their phone went to voicemail was something they’d recorded in high school?
5. Ask the Right Questions
Asking questions at the end of the interview is a great way to find out more about the company, but it’s also a way to communicate something about yourself. Towards the end of the call, ask questions like “what separates your top performers from your average performers?”
Questions like this let the interviewer know that you intend to succeed at their company.
6. Follow Up
Be sure to follow the phone call with an immediate email thanking the interviewer for their time. Follow up again a week or two later if you haven’t heard anything. While you’re at it, a handwritten thank you card can set you apart from other applicants.
Find A Career Coach
These points are important to keep in mind when preparing for your next interview, but even with the best tips, the job search process can be grueling. If you’re having trouble finding a job and points like these don’t seem to help, you might want to try investing in a career coach. The Five O’Clock Club can assist you in finding the perfect coach and provides additional resources on career development.
While it’s important to find the right fit, a good career coach can do wonders by helping you solidify your strengths and weaknesses, target your search to the most effective outlets, and think strategically about how to move your career forward.
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