9 Tips on Passing a Phone Interview

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Interviews can be stressful affairs. In fact, studies have found that 92% of Americans stress out about at least one aspect of the interview process. Often, a company will want to have one or more phone conversations with a candidate before compiling the resources need for an on-site visit. This article aims to put your mind at ease, by providing useful phone interviews tips that both improves your phone interview game and allows you to approach them more confidently and systematically. By putting these best practices into action, you’ll be sure to nail your next phone interview.

1. Prepare for your Phone Interview

Practice answering common interview questions that you will most likely face.  This practice gives you the opportunity to fine tune your answers and put you in the best possible position.   Additionally, you’ll want to research the company with which you are interviewing. This research includes finding out more about the company’s mission, its products and services, its CEO, culture, and recent news stories. Furthermore, if you know who you’ll be speaking with, try and find out more about them through your recruiter, LinkedIn, or company news. This will not only show that you’re interested in the position, but if you can also find information on the interviewer, you’ll hopefully be able to find some common interests that will make your candidacy stand out.

2. Create Phone Interview Notes

One of the great things about phone interviews is the interviewer can’t see you referring to interview notes, allowing you to refer back to your notes on the phone interview. The best phone interview notes should be confined to just one or two sheets of printed paper and have all the most pertinent information that you want to remember. Printing off just a couple of pages will prevent the interviewer from having to listen to you type in your searches on Google or rustling a lot of papers around. This information can include questions you want to ask, critical facts about the company, key details about yourself, and tough interview questions that you want to remember.

3. Dress for Success

Yes, even though the other person won’t see you, dress like you are going in for an on-site interview. Why dress up for phone interviews? The psychology behind dressing up is based on the critical factor of confidence. Looking well-polished will give an extra confidence boost and put you in the business mindset. It will also remind you to have your suit pressed before you meet with the company in person.

4. Remove Distractions

Don’t take your phone interview in a Starbucks or even worse, while going through a drive-thru. Find a private, quiet area where you’re sure not to be interrupted or distracted. Having your focus broken during the call could come off as unprofessional or show that you’re not serious about considering the job.

5. Stand up or Slowly Pace

Standing up during phone interviews is considered a body language hack and works magic on your voice. It all has to do with your diaphragm. When you sit down, your diaphragm and thorax changes position and affects your voice in ways that might make you seem less confident. Having good posture during your phone call also affects speech patterns, and so standing can be more advantageous than sitting.  Standing in a “power pose” creates a physical queue that helps increase your testosterone and decrease cortisol, and makes you feel more confident.  Try it…stand tall, feet shoulder width apart, hands on your hips, shoulders back, chin up, chest out.  Hold that for 1 full minute before the call and it may take you good places!

6. Smile

If you haven’t worked in an environment where you interact with customers over the phone, you may be unaware of the adage that “a customer can hear your smile,” but it’s 100% true. You can use this tactic that many customer service and sales associates are already aware of and that is your smile translates over the phone to your listener. Additionally, smiling helps place you in a positive frame of mind and has been shown in studies to affect your mood positively. The fact of the matter is that smiling affects how we speak and interviewers can identify as much. Smiling during your phone interview can be the difference between a “well we have 100 other candidates to interview” and “when can you come in to meet the team”?

7. Use Hand Gestures

Body language during interviews (and in life in general) can give the impression of many things, from confidence to nervousness. However, what about when they can’t see you? Just like smiling, positively using our body language can translate over the phone. In both telephone and in-person interviews, you don’t want to overdo hand gestures, but just as in standing during phone interviews, gestures can help you appear confident and may even help with memory recall.

8. Remember It’s Still an Interview

There’s a habit of interviewees getting too chummy with the person conducting the interview. While it’s a good idea to exchange an ice breaker or two during the start of the phone interview, try and focus on the information that’s going to get you hired. You can still inject your personality into your answers, but stay focused on the task at hand: getting an on-site interview.

9. Follow Up the Next Day

People are busy, and so you should expect some time to lapse so that the interviewer can organize their thoughts and notes.  On the other hand, failure to follow up could indicate a lack of interest on your part. Give the phone interviewer 24 hours and send a quick thank you email. This easy note will encourage feedback and keep you in their mind. If a semiconductor recruiter is representing you, send this email to them instead and have them forward it. You should follow up with your recruiter for ongoing feedback.

Power Semiconductor Recruiter

With adequate preparation and by following the steps mentioned above, you can easily ace your next phone interview. Working with a professional recruiter can improve your interviews by giving you tried and accurate advice along with additional information about the company. Engineers in the Power Management space can find the latest engineering jobs on our opportunities page.

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