When having an interview over the phone, the process can seem dramatically different than an in-person interview. In reality, though, you should approach both the same. Preparing, dressing professionally, and making sure you close are guidelines for any time you speak to a hiring manager. Below are four steps to follow when prepping for an interview over the phone to make sure you move forward in the interview process.
Get more interview advice in the Betts Recruiting Interview Handbook.
Step One: Know the company
Before any interview, whether on the phone or in-person, your first step should always be to research the company. Make sure you check local news for any new updates and the company’s website for press releases. Also, make sure you can speak to the industry in general. Understanding how the company you are interviewing at fits into the larger space can help you better understand their product and mission. Being able to speak to the hiring manager about specifics of their processes and company practices can demonstrate your interest in the position and your readiness to start immediately and dive into your new position.
Step Two: Have questions prepared
With your knowledge about the company, coming up with interesting questions shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. Ask questions about actual projects or initiatives. Speak to the company’s future plans. Being able to delve into where the company is headed can help you determine where the new role will direct your career. Make sure you write out your questions ahead of time and have them easily available for the call. But don’t ask a question just because you have it written down. If a question has already been answered in the conversation, pay attention enough to know you can skip it. And don’t waste your time or the hiring manager’s time with questions that can easily be answered on Google.
Step Three: Be in a good space
Just because you aren’t going into the office doesn’t mean you don’t need to act professional. Dressing in business casual can help make sure you act the part. Also avoid any locations that can disturb your call. Whether it’s cell service or distractions, account for these potential interruptions ahead of time when picking the right space to take your interview call. Lastly, give yourself plenty of time for your call. The last thing you want is to feel rushed because you can no longer stay on the phone where you are, or you have other calls ringing in at the same time. Have a good time buffer and be in a controlled space so you can focus solely on what the hiring manager is saying on the call.
Step Four: Prep your close
Lastly, don’t forget that your call is an interview. You still need to impress on the hiring manager to move you forward in the process. Think about how you plan to end your call ahead of time. Ask for any hesitations the hiring manager may have. Hit on concrete next steps. Thinking of the call as a place to schedule an interview should help you remember to close the call.