Phone interview tips that will get you to the next step in the process!
Yeah! You got the phone interview. Eek! Now you need to prepare to present yourself as someone who should get passed on to the face-to-face.
Preparing for a phone interview is a mental exercise and something that takes a little common sense.
That being the case, it is worthwhile to prepare for it and be ready to put your best foot forward.
Follow these 10 phone interview tips for success:
1. Do Your Homework
Look for news items in the last 12 months.
Is there anything pertaining to the product you would be selling if you got the job?
Is the company getting publicity for a new “blockbuster” product?
What stands out as newsworthy that you might follow up with later depending how discussions go.
The Goal: To research and get a 30,000, 10,000 foot view of the company.
2. Get Yourself Mentally Prepared
Practice in front of the mirror, with a friend or your spouse asking you questions and playing the part of the interviewer. Make a list of questions you’d expect the interviewer to ask and have good, succinct answers prepared.
Don’t memorize you answers word-for-word.
Memorized answers can sound canned not authentic. You need to appear genuine and real.
Be yourself, and be comfortable. Mock trials help lawyers and rehearsals help musicians. It only makes sense that a practice interview will help an interviewee.
The Goal: To develop a smooth presentation of your answers.
3. Have a Good Quality Telephone
It may seem silly to even mention it, but the better quality phone you use, the better your voice will sound. Years ago everyone rented their telephone from the local utility phone company.
These days people own their own phones, and most likely you’ll be using your cell phone to conduct the call. Dead batteries, crackling sounds, bad cell reception areas, and weather interference can make your voice sound bad at the other end, and you may not even know it.
To make sure you have good reception, call a friend…and call them around the same time you’ll be having your interview, reception might vary during different times of the day. And, by all means make sure your phone is fully charged. As a precaution, during the interview have your charger near by in case you’re on the phone for a while.
The Goal: To be clear and make a good impression.
4. Key Accomplishments
Prepare and practice two or three key accomplishments that you want to get across to the interviewer, why you are the right person for the job.
If you are having trouble thinking of these, read your resume again. Look for the key points, qualifications or accomplishments you have included.
The Goal: To outshine other candidates.
5. Convey Your Benefit
The hiring manager really doesn’t care why YOU would like the job. She cares about how you can help her company (or team), if you are hired.
When answering questions, your answers should be worded so that you convey how your skills and experiences would benefit the company.
The Goal: Make it about her needs, what skills do you have that will help her team shine.
Follow this Sales Resume sample and put these interview tips to work for you to
get the job you really want.
Click here for the Interview Prep Tutorial.
6. Dress Appropriately
At the minimum be dressed business casual. This might seem a little extreme however, you actually do present yourself differently depending on your attire.
Dress in your pajamas or an old sweatshirt and your attitude will reflect it. Dress for success and your attitude will convey that as well.
The Goal: To reflect a positive, winning attitude.
Smiles are contagious, even if they can’t be seen.
There is something in your voice and attitude that is conveyed when you smile, the person on the other end of the phone can sense it.
The Goal: To convey an enthusiasm.
8. Speak Clearly and Enunciate
By practicing your answers you’ll feel more relaxed during the phone interview. So, now focus on speaking clearly. Make sure you take the time to properly enunciate each word.
Refrain from eating any snacks or chewing gum during your phone interview. It’s also handy to have a glass of water close by in case your mouth gets dry.
You don’t want the interviewer to misunderstand you or keeping ask you to repeat yourself.
The Goal: To make sure your qualifications are communicated and that you don’t annoy the interviewer.
9. Relax and Be Yourself
By doing steps 1-8 you have properly prepared yourself.
Get a good night sleep before your phone interview.
Sit somewhere where you are free of noise and distractions, you’ll be able to concentrate and come across professionally.
The Goal: To be refreshed and sharp.
10. Convey Your Excitement and Close
The “close” is crucial – you need to ask to be furthered to the next step in the process. Some interviewers will NOT move on a candidate if they don’t close.
This takes practice, however the smoothest transitions come naturally when you have addressed the interviewer’s question thoroughly.
As a side note: If you have work through all of these phone interview tips properly, she might just come out and tell you that will be receiving a face-to-face interview.
The Goal: To show that as a salesperson, you can “close”, you’re the “product” in this situation.
Remember to thank the interviewer for her time and send a note, at this stage an e-mail is fine.
There might really be 11 phone interview tips to prepare for the best outcome…
Have your planner/calendar with you in anticipation of setting up a future interview.