News & Events

7 Ways to Succeed with a Phone Interview


Employment & Learning

It is very reasonable for the recruiter or human resource professional to call a potential candidate and do an initial phone interview. Phone interviews are your first impression and are the critical element in getting invited to the face to face interview.

Phone Etiquette: If you are in a job search, answer your cell phone even if you do not recognize the number. When you answer, speak with enthusiasm and clarity. When you are in a job search and don’t recognize who is calling you use this, “Hello, this is Sarah, how may I help you?”. Your conversation with the employer will get off to a great start. Employers want to hire enthusiastic people.

Knowing what employers have your application: During a job search, you have to know what jobs and companies you sent your application to. When an employer calls, it is beneficial if you can recall the company and position you applied to. Try to avoid asking, “what company are you calling from?” or “what job was that?”

Quiet Zone:  Interruptions can ruin the flow of the call. When you know you have a phone call scheduled, find a quiet spot with no distractions.

Give examples of your skills to demonstrate your qualifications: Phone interviews are done to see if you pass the “boulder” test. This means just making sure you have the skills, desire, and compensation range that would fit the employer’s job. You have to be able to demonstrate this quickly. Rather than saying you felt you did a great job, the real answer should paint a picture of  your greatness. “I feel I am an excellent account manager. For example, one of my accounts was in complete disarray and losing money when I took it over. One year later, it was one of the largest accounts in our agency.”

Speaking pattern: Since the interviewer can’t see your nonverbal communication style, all they have to rely on is what you are saying and how you are saying it. Enthusiasm in your voice is imperative. To do this, stand while talking and force yourself to smile. You will project much better, and smiling will put your body into the right frame of mind.

Salary question will be asked: The phone interview is conducted to make sure you fit the salary range. Be sure you have an idea of what the job pays. Most importantly, you know what compensation would make you happy. It is normal when employers ask you directly what you currently make or would like to make; answer that question with a salary range. “I am looking to make a move to a new position somewhere in the XX,000-XX,000 range.” If you know what the job pays and this is in the range, you are good to go.

Do you have any questions for me? Yes. Yes. Yes. A good question is to ask the interviewer, “Can you tell me about your top employees who have had this role and what characteristics they have that make them so successful?” The employer’s response will give you some great insight into what they are looking for in this next hire.

Remember, the employer will call you out of the blue to phone screen you. If you are always prepared, take the call and do the interview. However, if you are driving, tired, working, or just not ready, schedule a time and get prepared.

Information on our job search programs at the YWCA Employment and Learning Center can be found at:  Employment & Learning

You can view the full original article by Roger Lear / Orlando Jobs, at: