Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tips for a Great Phone Interview

Your first phone call with a hiring practice is very important.  As the old saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."  Many of our client practices use a phone interview to decide which candidates they would like to take the time to meet with in person.  To help you put your best foot forward, here are a few tips:

Be Prepared to Interview 
  • Have your résumé or CV nearby so that it is easily accessible when a practice calls.
  • Make a short list of your accomplishments available to review. 
  • Have a pen and paper handy for note taking. 
  • Turn call-waiting off so that your call isn't interrupted. 
  • If the time isn't convenient, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives. 
  • Clear the room - evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door. 
  • Unless you're sure your cell phone service is going to be perfect, consider using a landline rather than your cell phone to avoid a dropped call or static on the line.

During the Phone Interview 
  • Don't smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink.
  • Do keep a glass of water handy, in case you need to wet your mouth. 
  • Smile. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice. 
  • Speak slowly and enunciate clearly. 
  • Refrain from using slang. 
  • Use the person's title (Dr., Mr., or Ms. and their last name.) Only use a first name if they ask you to. 
  • Don't interrupt the interviewer. 
  • Take your time - it's perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts. 
  • Give short answers. 
The goal of a phone interview is to set-up a face-to-face interview. At the end of the call, thank the interviewer, and ask if it would be possible to meet in person. 

Contributed by Chante Smith.