You might understate the value of a phone interview by considering it as just a first step in a very long job search process. However, acing a phone interview actually ensures that the next steps do happen. Yes, they can be nerve-racking, but you have to get through them in order to get to the next level.
Keep in mind that since the interviewer cannot see you, they are judging you based on your voice. Not only that, they are also basing the entire interview on what your answers are and what other sounds come through during the conversation.
I remember my first interview. It was for the Quality Assurance Analyst at Amazon. The person who interviewed me actually just asked a simple question, “What is the Quality Assurance Analyst role in your opinion?”.
The sad thing was, I just didn’t know what to say. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really expecting the question, and was assuming he would ask me more about my professional experience. So, what I did was I started guessing. I tried to answer the question based on what I thought he wanted to hear. When I noticed that he wasn’t particularly thrilled with the answer I had given him, I told him that I wasn’t feeling well and asked if I could re-schedule the interview.
For my next interview, I was asked the same question, but this time I was more than prepared. This time around, I had Google to help me out. So, when the question was asked, I quickly Googled it and clicked on the first result. I was reading from the resource I chose, and I noticed the interviewer was very happy.
The next question I got was for why I left my previous job. I Googled the answer for this again, and gave the same answer as the resource I chose. I ended up with a perfect score from my interview.
Now, keep in mind that you should never lie in your resume and you should be able to answer any question asked about your skills or experience. You should also know that there are millions of general questions and numerous websites that can help you prepare for what you should answer. What you should do is go to these websites and list down the most common questions that would likely be asked in an interview.
However, there will always be a question or two that you will not be prepared for. This is the part where you forget about all the advice, but trust that you don’t get confused.
How To Ace A Phone Interview?
Here are three things you need in order to ace a phone interview:
1. Your story. When you are asked, “Tell me about yourself.” Read from a script that you prepared in advance. Make sure that you tweaked it to fit the particular job description you are applying for. Tell you interviewer about the last company or two that your worked for, what you did, and what you achieved. Make sure you tailor your response to the requirements they are asking for. Make sure you keep this response to 1 to 2 minutes. It will be short, but it will also contain all the points listed in the job description.
2. Make use of Google and a friend. Your friend will serve as the other person who hears your interview and Google’s a question to be answered. So, when you hear a question, take a few moments to think then read from the script that your friend Googled for you. Be confident and don’t be afraid of the awkward silence. You were asked a question therefore you are allowed to think for a few seconds. You don’t really have the need to talk right away.
3. Be prepared to close the interview on a good note. Prepare a script for closure. When a recruiter asks if you have any questions for him, be ready to read from your script and close the conversation. You can also do a Google search for “how to end a phone interview” then prepare your script based from the results you get.
With these three tips, you’d be off to acing your phone interview in no time.