December 23rd, 2009
If you are about to graduate and have started looking for jobs, you will probably be asked to do a phone interview at some point. Phone interviews often are conducted as a way to screen out candidates by determining if they are worth an in-person interview. This can be a scary thought for someone who doesn't have a lot of interview experience, especially over the phone. When it comes to surviving the phone interview, remember preparation and location.
In a phone interview, you will probably be asked basic questions about your educational background, work experience, and career goals. Make sure you know how you are going to answer these questions by preparing for them ahead of time. Think about the type of questions you may be asked, do a little self reflection, and then write down your answers to them. The advantage of phone interviews is that you don't necessarily have to stress out about being able to memorize your responses. Make a list of the specific points you want to incorporate into your answers and have it ready to look at when you are asked tough questions. Chances are, the interviewer is looking at your resume while they are talking to you and since you are on the other side of the line, so can you. You will probably be asked to provide examples of contributions you made or skills you gained in the experiences listed on your resume. Keep a copy of it nearby for reference, and write notes on it that will help you recall specific examples to incorporate into your responses.
If you are asked to do a phone interview, it is important that you treat it the same way you would a face-to-face interview. This meanscreating an atmosphere similar to that of an in-person interview. Make sure you are in a quiet space that is devoid of any distractions. If there is anyone else in your house, you will want to make it clear to them that you can't be interrupted. An employer is not going to be impressed if the interview is disrupted because your sister decided to start yelling at you for borrowing her hair dryer. Also, make sure the area is clean and organized so that you can easily refer to any notes you have or that list of questions you wrote down. You don't want to be shuffling through a bunch of papers during the interview because you can't find the correct notes.