Many companies start the job interview process with a telephone interview to get to know a candidate before the in-person interview. This allows the interviewer to select the best potential employee for the next step in the interview process and save a lot of time. Some people don’t represent themselves best over the phone, so here are some tips to get you one step closer to being hired!
1. Know the industry
When you have a phone interview, research the company that might employ you and their industry. Every industry from construction, engineering to environmental has its own specific jargon and focus. Learn some of the phrases that will apply to your new position so that you can work them in during the conversation.
Many people on phone interviews think that they have to do all of the talking. It’s important to let the other person on the line talk. Even more important, you should take the time to listen to what the person has to say. The interviewer may even be testing your listening skills as part of the process. Consider repeating things back to the interviewer and always wait to speak until they have completely finished what they are saying.
3. “um… “
Be conscious of what you say. If you do find yourself needing a moment to think, avoid using the word “um”. Consider a moment of silence instead. Try to eliminate any other unprofessional words in your language, too, such as “like”.
4. Practice makes perfect
Before your interview, be sure to practice your answers to probable questions. Common interview questions include:
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- What would you consider your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Name a time at your last position where you had to work as a team.
Knowing popular questions can help you prepare, but you also want to be ready for anything that comes your way. You should also practice maintaining your composure by asking a friend or relative to ask obscure questions to see how you handle the pressure.
5. Avoid distractions during the interview
Interviews are difficult enough as it is. You don’t need distractions. When it is time for your job interview, find a comfortable and quiet place that gives you good reception. Make sure any children or pets are being watched by someone else. You also want to make sure that you have a clear head, so drink your morning cup of coffee first. Finally, close the windows to avoid any noise from outside grabbing your attention. You want the interviewer to focus on you- not the chaos around you.
Getting the first interview is half of the battle. There must have been something that they liked about you based on your resume or application, so be confident! Whether it’s a construction job, an environmental job, or an engineering job, use these tools to get from the phone interview to the in-person interview.