5 Tips to Nailing a Phone Interview

Published By: Christina Goodreds, Associate Pharmaceutical Recruiter

It’s 2017! We are living in an age in which things move quickly and people rely heavily on technology. We all have a lot of things to do and not enough hours to get them done. For this reason, many employers are conducting phone screen interviews before they invite a candidate on-site. There are several reasons for why this is the case, but the #1 reason is because they don’t want to waste their time. What do you think is easier: spending 20 minutes on the phone OR going through the trouble of setting up an interview, making a schedule, meeting with a candidate, interviewing them, and seeing them out?

Almost every single one of our clients uses the phone interview to figure out which candidates they’re interested in and want to bring out for a face-to-face interview. We have candidates doing phone interviews every single day and for that reason, we have a lot of tips on how to nail your phone interview!

Tip #1: Be comfortable

Take the call on a line that won’t drop, and make sure you’re in a place that you feel comfortable. As much as you love coffee, Starbucks may not be the best environment for a private conversation. Once you’re comfortable, put a mirror in front of you so that you can see yourself. Make sure you smile because it will come across in your voice.

Tip #2: Stand up if you can

When you’re standing, there is automatically more energy in your voice. Many people try very hard to sound reserved and professional, but sometimes it can come across that they have low energy or that they are not interested in the position. If you’re interested, let them know!

Tip #3: Practice

Record yourself on your cell phone recorder or a tape recorder and listen to the sound and tone of your voice. We recommend using an iPhone app that detects all of your fillers (find it at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ummo/id1102924965?mt=8) Do you need to pronounce your words more clearly? Do you need to speak more slowly or faster? Do you use fillers such as “um” or “uh”? Recording just a short conversation will help you perfect your voice.

Tip #4: Take notes

Even if you think you’re going to remember everything the interviewer says, take notes! It will help you stay focused and will keep you engaged in the conversation, which will make you sound more interested. If there comes a point in which you’re writing and can’t answer right away, let them know that you’re writing it down. Don’t be afraid of silence—if they don’t answer you right away, chances are they’re writing too!

Tip #5: Make a list

What’s the best thing about phone interviews? The fact that you can cheat prepare! Make a list of things you have accomplished throughout your career (i.e. special projects, awards, responsibilities, etc.) so that you can refer to it throughout your conversation. You can also jot down facts about the company and position to refer to throughout the interview to prove that you really did your research.

Have you completed these 5 tasks? If so, you are ready to NAIL your phone interview. GOOD LUCK!