10 Tips To Ace A Phone Interview

So you’re going about your day like usual and out of the blue you receive a phone call from an unknown number, your mind starts scanning the many possibilities of who exactly could it be, Could it be an aunty from your hometown to ask you for a piece of your mind, could it be your dad’s office number to ask about how twitter works? Then you remember that internship you applied for, a couple days ago so you decide to cut the chase and pick up on the last ring and there’s a deep professional voice flowing from the other end “Thank you for applying to our company. We’re intrigued by your resume. Can you spare a few minutes for a lil chat?”

What should you do next? Here to help!

So let’s enlighten you a little about the corporate industry. Most of the times, every internship position receive a lot of applications everyday and the HR manager does not have the time to go through each one and have a face to face interview so he asks someone from the HR department to quickly filter out the resumes that are worth reviewing.  Next step is to call the selected resumes and make initial judgments about their personality. So if you’ve made it to the call? Kudos!

1. Be around the phone

Well, that’s pretty much where everything begins. Most companies usually give you a heads up call asking you for a suitable time when they can conduct a phone interview. So make sure you’re in a quiet place, grab a bottle of water and keep your CV handy.  However, some companies might take the interview then and there. It’s always good to be prepared in advance.

2. Your tone of speech

Remember, after all it’s a phone call. You don’t have a lot in your hands except your voice. No expensive office suits or anything. Flaunt your communication skills and give out your personality through your voice. When you speak, let them know that you understand what they’re saying. Use sounds like ‘uhmhm’ or ‘okay’ to let them know you’re still alive on the other end.  And avoid ‘umms’ while you speak, your answers should be indisputable.

3. Be prepared for the basic questions

The questions in a face to face interview won’t be too different than a phone interview. So be prepared for the usual interview questions like why you are so keen to get this internship or what made you lean towards our company.  Keep the answers ready. The best thing about phone interviews is that you can have cheat notes with you and can refer to them from time to time.

4. Smile

As mentioned before there’ll be no benefits of your looks or your mannerisms here but smiling works wonders. Pick up the call with a smile and maintain it throughout the call. The interviewer won’t be able to see your smile but he’ll definitely feel it. So smile and send out your happy thoughts to them.

5. Acquire complete information about your responsibilities

Before the phone interview make sure you back yourself up about the company.  There may be some awkward questions like tell me about yourself or what’s your biggest weakness or why did you leave the previous company, be ready for such questions and you can always refer to your cheat notes.

6. Do not ask for financial benefits

Money can wait. Asking for the salary or the incentives on the very first call is not considered polite. And if the employer is generous enough he’ll start discussing the topic from his end. Mostly, he will.

7. Do not interrupt while their talking

When the person is saying something let him complete the sentence do not add your own view points in between, you can do that after he finishes what he has to say. Be polite throughout even if you don’t agree to what he’s saying. Disagree courteously. Elegance should reflect in every word you speak.

8. Take advantage of the call

Your interview is on a phone call; take the most out of it.  Grab a note pad, note down everything which you think is important, like dates or something he mentions about the company or even his personal likes and dislikes, it may help you after you manage to get into the company. Keep your resume by your side because the employer might ask you to explain certain things from there or question your field of work.

9. Hang up on a good note

Before you end the call make sure you say something nice. They’ll most probably remember the first and the last thing you say more than anything else. Also, by the end of the call reach to a bottom-line/ conclusion. That doesn’t mean you ask them if you’re selected, that’s just outright desperate. But do ask them about what you should be doing next if you have to wait for another call or something.

10. Final touch

Okay so you had a good conversation, and you think ‘Phew! It’s finally over.’ But wait, it’s not over yet. I’m sure you had a great interview and everything and you’re pretty confident that you’ll get the internship. But let’s not leave any stones unturned. After you hang up, make sure you send them a ‘thank you’ email telling them that it was nice talking to them and how you are looking forward to work with them and other nice stuff like that. Throw him a lil after party!

Now you’re ready to pick up that call and charm your way to the interview. So wear your favorite PJs, grab a glass of water and sit down on the couch waiting for that phone call. Happy talking!

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