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How to Prepare for A Phone Interview

May 12, 2020 | Career Blog

Congrats, you landed yourself an interview! That’s very exciting. If they want to start out with a phone interview, that is completely normal. In fact, many companies start that way to discuss the job opportunity and learn a little bit about their candidates in order to make sure the fit is right. Some people like that the first time is on the phone, and others get a little anxious thinking about the call.

Take These Steps Before Your Phone Interview

That anxiety can be eased, all you have to know is how to prepare for a phone interview. If you are properly prepared, you can relax knowing you set yourself up for success. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

1. Do Your Research

Of course, you already know a little bit about this company, that’s why you decided to apply. But it’s important to show that you have learned enough to get excited about working there. Your interviewer will be looking for someone that really wants to work for them, so knowing what makes them special will put you in a good light. Ways to research include:

  • Looking through their website: reading their mission statement, their about page, and learning about the owner of the company.
  • Writing down questions that come up as you learn about them. Your curiosity shows what you know about them and are interested enough to learn more.
  • Talking to anyone you know who has worked for the company or used their services.
  • Looking up reviews made by customers and former employees.
  • If you have their name, look up your interviewer on LinkedIn before you have your call so you know their role within the company.

2. Make a Cheat Sheet

One upside to being on the phone during an interview is that you can write everything you want to say down and have it in front of you. Some examples of what you might include on this cheat sheet are:

  • Important details that will display your knowledge of the company and the industry it’s in.
  • Examples of why you want to work for the company.
  • Strengths you have that would fit well with the job.
  • Past jobs or experiences you have had that align with the job you’re interviewing for.
  • Examples of your ‘weaknesses’, but make sure they still make you sound good.
  • Any company values you can pick up from their website so you can incorporate them into your conversation.
  • Any questions you have for your interviewer. You should at least have one or two.

3. Make Sure You’re in the Right Environment

Is your home the right place to take an important phone call? Make sure to not be in a place where an interruption could occur. If there is loud construction going on outside your house, maybe you will want to set yourself up in the basement where the loud banging can’t pull your focus. Just make sure wherever you decide to be, that:

  • You have good service/a good connection.
  • Your battery is fully charged.
  • You feel comfortable and confident in your surroundings.

4. Block Off Plenty of Time

Phone interviews don’t tend to last longer than about an hour. However, it’s important to set aside enough time for the possibility that the call might go long. If the call does go longer than an hour, that’s a good thing! That means your interviewer is liking what they are hearing and wants to hear more. It also doesn’t look good if you have to be the one to cut the call short. Doing so risks sending the impression that the call wasn’t very important to you.

5. Make Sure You Eat First

To truly be ready and focused for an interview, you need to provide yourself with proper fuel. If you are a coffee drinker, make sure you have had your regular cup before the interview. Eating a nutritional meal in advance will ensure that your head will be clear and present. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by telling yourself you don’t need it. Take every opportunity to ensure that you are bringing your best self to the interview.

6. Be an Active Listener

Your interviewer will definitely be looking for information from you, but they will also be sharing important details about the position and the company. Ask questions about the things they tell you. This shows them that you are engaged and genuinely interested in what they have to say. The more they can tell that you’re paying attention, the easier the conservation flow will be.

Ask for Help From Professionals

Need more help with your prep? Staffing agencies like Allegiance Staffing specialize in finding employees for companies and getting people like you jobs. So, we know how to prepare for a phone interview. Give us a call today to learn more!