How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

August 8, 2019

Phone interviews can be tricky. You are selling yourself over the phone without the ability to gauge how the interview is going based off the interviewer’s body language or cues.

Phone interviews are a relatively common first stage of an interview process. But you may be thinking to yourself, what is the purpose of a phone interview? 

Typically, phone interviews are used to screen candidates to narrow the pool of candidates who will be invited for the in-person interviews.  These calls are done to either quickly assess the person’s experience and skillset.  Or, to see if what they are looking for, matches with what the firm can offer.  Or, to see if your personality matches with the personalities of the other members in the group or department.

When it comes to preparing for a phone interview, we suggest that you should prepare as you would for an in-person interview.  Know as much as you can about the role, the firm, who you will be speaking with.  Have your examples prepared, match your strengths to what the role requires and match your motivations for moving to what the company can offer. 

Before the call, confirm all the details, including the date, time, and who you will be talking to. Be sure you know whether the interviewer is calling you or if you need to make the call.

Have your resume out, so that you can follow along while on the call. Be ready 10 minutes early, so you don't sound rushed. Give yourself a quiet space, away from all distractions. 

When it comes to the call, make sure that you listen first - don't start speaking until the interviewer finishes the question. Do not interrupt them!   Ask for clarification if you're not sure what the interviewer is asking, and speak slowly, carefully, and clearly when you respond. It's fine to take a few seconds to compose your thoughts before you answer.

Keep a glass of water on hand just in case your mouth gets dry.  Be sure to smile as you speak so as to project a positive tone in your voice.  Standing while on the call can also help you have more confidence and enthusiasm. 

Finally, remember that your goal is to set up a face-to-face interview. At the end of your conversation, thank the interviewer and ask if it would be possible to meet in person and learn more about the firm and role.

Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions around this or any other job-related topics, be sure to call or email us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

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