As a confident would-be employee, you want to nail your job interview. But if you think all you need is a knockout resume, think again. Nowadays, companies take an extra step before the in-person interview: the phone interview.
Here are five tips to help you stand out through a phone call.
1. Answer the Phone Professionally
A simple tip to impress your interviewer is to answer the phone by saying, “This is (your name).” Starting the phone call by introducing yourself conveys professionalism. So if you are expecting a phone interview don’t settle for the casual “Hello?” Remember that first impressions have a big impact in this situation. It might not be totally fair because you may likely be nervous, but being confident from the start will help your chances.
2. Research and Prepare
Before picking up the phone be sure you have researched everything you need to know about the company. After you conduct your research write down a few questions for the interviewer. Asking intelligent questions will demonstrate your interest in the company and show your professionalism. The company wants to know you aren’t just taking phone interviews with anyone who calls you. Show that you care about this opportunity and make an investment by conducting some research about the business.
3. Have the Documentation You Need at Your Fingertips
In order to respond confidently to the interview questions, it’s ideal to have a copy of the job description and your resume right in front of you. Having these important documents at your fingertips will help you reply accordingly and without hesitation. Prior to the call, have the documents arranged in a manner that makes sense to you. During the call, you’ll know where everything is and you won’t be scrambling to include important information. (One bonus tip – don’t come across as if you are reading the information to the interviewer. That won’t make the awesome impression you want to leave.)
4. Direct the Interviewer to a LinkedIn Account or Web Portfolio
Imagine the interviewer asking you about a specific project or challenge you have dealt with. Suggest the interviewer visit your LinkedIn profile or web portfolio. Your online profile or portfolio will contain an outline of the key projects you have worked on. This enables the interviewer to see your value while you talk about it. The online portfolio also provides a perfect opportunity to follow up with the company. You can share the information during the phone interview, but a short follow-up email with the link and thanking them for the interview is an easy touch point.
5. Follow Up
If you want to make a lasting impression on your interviewer, take the extra step of sending a follow-up email after the phone interview. Better yet and if you know you have time before a decision is made, send a hand-written thank you note. Send the email within a day or two after the phone call. Start by thanking the interviewer for the opportunity and then reiterate anything specific from the interview that may need to be emphasized, such as why you are qualified for the job. Don’t forget to convey your interest and enthusiasm about the opportunity.
A considerate thank you email or note could potentially set you apart from other candidates or even give you an advantage in the consideration process.
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