More often these days employers conduct preliminary phone interviews with candidates they are interested in hiring, narrowing the pool they will eventually meet with face to face. The advantage to the employer is that telephone interviews cost less, are faster and can be delegated to an assistant.
While you will not be across the table from your potential employer you should treat a phone interview with the same seriousness you would a face to face interview. Being prepared is key. Here are a few tips to help you breeze through the phone call and secure that all important face to face meeting.
*Before you expect to receive the call ensure that you have a pen and paper handy and a copy of your resume to refer to as needed, as well as all the details you have about the position you are applying for.
*Smile as you speak, believe it or not that is reflected in your voice.
*Speak directly into the phone and do not eat, chew gum or smoke while the phone interview is conducted. You may also want to take the call standing up, as it makes your voice clearer and stronger.
*Avoid using language you may be used to using in personal phone calls, and try to minimize the number of times you say something like “ah” or “um”. It takes some practice but is attainable.
*Let the interviewer do the majority of the talking and never interrupt while they are speaking. If you need a few minutes to think about your answer, say so.
*End the call by emphasizing how the prospective employer will be able to learn about you and your suitability for the position from a personal interview. Ask what the next steps are and follow up with a “thank you” email.