I don’t know about you, but I think interviews are so intimidating. It’s a little ironic, because I actually love talking to people – but when it comes to selling myself to a potential employer, I just get super nervous! And the only thing worse than an in-person interview is a phone interview (maybe it’s just me, but I get so anxious about any sort of professional phone calls!). The other day, I was lucky enough to score a phone interview for an internship I’ll hopefully have in the coming fall semester. I was so nervous in the days and hours leading up to the call, but guess what? It was all for nothing! I picked up the phone, took a deep breath, and did it. And it was totally fine!
I decided to write this post to share some tips for your next phone interview, because I sure could have used some before I picked up the phone for mine! I split my tips up into two sections: preparing for the phone interview and the call itself. Read on to find out how you can rock a phone interview too!
Preparing for the interview
So you applied for the position and got a phone interview – first of all, congrats! You did it! Whoever read your application thinks you’re worth speaking to, and that counts for something! You’re probably a little nervous, but if you’re like me, preparing can help alleviate those nerves. Here’s my tips for how to prepare for your phone interview:
1. Research the company
You’ve probably done this already, but if you haven’t, make sure you know all about the company that you’re applying to work for. Take notes on their workplace culture, their values, and what they are likely looking for in an employee. For my interview, I knew that the company I wanted to work for had a start-up culture with an emphasis on collaboration and passion. When I was asked why I wanted to work for the company, I knew exactly what to say!
2. Do some reflection
Think about why you want a particular position at a company, and make sure you know exactly what you’re looking to gain from the experience. If you can’t come up with a good reason for wanting the position, maybe you should be applying for a different one! Know how to express your skills and experience effectively, because you’ll probably be asked about them. Think about your strengths and how you can mention them without being braggadocios. Examine your weaknesses and figure out how to present them with a positive spin.
3. Write some notes
Jot down what you previously researched and reflected on. Make bulleted lists of information about the company and about yourself and your experience. Keep your notes handy during your call so you can reference them if you end up blanking (it happens!). Don’t write down too much – just the basics to jog your memory if you need it!
Rocking your phone interview
I followed all of my tips to prepare for an interview (along with the usual ones: get a good night’s sleep, eat a good breakfast, take deep breaths), and I felt about as ready for my call as possible! Now that you’ve prepared to rock a phone interview, here’s some extra tips to help you during the call itself.
1. Smile while you’re talking
Even if you feel silly, try to keep a smile on your face during your call. It’ll help calm you down and your interviewer will definitely be able to hear the difference! Having a happy voice is way easier when you’re smiling, so just relax and smile about the fact that you earned this interview and you’re currently rocking it!
2. Slow down
A lot of people tend to talk quickly when they’re nervous, self included. Try to force yourself to talk at a normal pace – take a breath before you begin a sentence, and don’t be afraid to take a few seconds to think before you provide an answer to a question. Your interviewer will be thankful they can keep up with you, trust me!
3. Ask questions
Don’t interrupt your interviewer, but don’t be afraid to ask questions when it’s appropriate! It shows interest, and you’ll learn more about the position you’re applying for. Even if you don’t have questions, make up some good ones to ask at the end of your call. Make sure you don’t ask any questions that are too silly!
If you follow these tips, I’m sure you’ll do great when your next phone interview comes up! Just remember, it’s not nearly as scary as you think it is. Do you have any other tips for phone interviews (or in-person interviews!) that you use? I’d love to hear them – I could always use more tips to step my job-search game up!
Other exciting news: I think I’m finally getting the hang of this “photography and graphic design” thing, so that’s a huge relief! Also, I finally made a Twitter for my blog! Follow me and I’ll definitely follow you back, I’d love to get to know you guys! I’ll be sharing my posts there as well, because I think Twitter is a little more user-friendly for blog promotion than Facebook. We’ll see how it goes! Until the next post, I hope you have a magical week!