Update! I now have a YouTube channel where I’ll also post Video Blogs! If you’d rather watch here you go! Phone Interview Tips & Tricks
Go with me to a place for a minute. You went to college. Worked hard for that degree. Found a job you adore, but then a love you never knew you could feel came along and that degree and career went straight to the backburner. Yes. I’m talking about those little sweet loves we are blessed with called children. Fast forward 7-10 years and the time has come to get back into the workforce, but you feel absolutely lost and somewhat afraid; almost like you have no idea where to even begin your search.
I took my search to Indeed, which was perfect for what I was looking for; part time and flexible. Below are a few tips I found useful for when I landed a phone interview.
- Sometimes, an employer is gracious enough to reach out and let a candidate know whether or not they’ve filled a position before you even land some sort of interview. While this is very discouraging for several reasons, there are always internal reasons as to why you didn’t get an interview. However, if a prospective employer does reach out to inform you that a position has been filled, respond and thank them for the courtesy and wish them and their new employee luck. This immediately makes you stand out in case something falls through with the new employee.
- Get dressed and ready. Yes, you’re at home, but it’s proven that we are more productive, well spoken and feel more professional when we are dressed and ready to go.
- Brush up on your phone interview skills. Be prepared for anything. Employers have questions. They want well-thought out answers and they want questions too. A few common questions you might be asked:
- Tell me about your previous job and what were the circumstances under which you left? It’s easy to forget what we did 10 years ago! Revisit your resume and refresh your memory.
- What are your computer skills? Tip: Of course, list of your basics, but if you’re anything like me, there are a lot of new programs out there employers use that seem like a foreign language to me. Research what programs they’ve posted in the job description. I like to emphasize that with every employer or job I’ve ever had, they seem to all have their own software or program they prefer to use. It’s just a matter of learning it and mastering it. I’ve never had a problem with that before and am sure I’d be quick to catch on to their preferred program. Don’t let this question intimidate or discourage you one bit!
- What are 3 words that describe you or 3 words your friends would use to describe you? Think about it. Write it down. Master it. Laugh about it. Be clever about it. One of my words was introvert. I wasn’t sure how to feel about using this one, but I used it. If you think this is negative, it’s not at all. Find a way to turn it into a positive. i.e. Introverts are good listeners. Most people want to be heard, which is especially good in a sales position. It creates a special connection. Guess what? My interviewer ended up being an introvert as well. There are more of us out there than you think!! Not an introvert? Great! Say you’re an extrovert and list the positives of it! You might even be an ambivert!
- How can your previous experience help you succeed in this position? Look back at your resume and make sure you find what is similar in previous jobs. Do you have a 10-year gap on your resume. It’s okay! Experience is experience. It’s like riding a bike and you’ll take it all back in once put in the position to do so. Have you volunteered at your child’s school? PTO? Put that experience to good use!
- What questions do you have for me? ASK THEM!!! You’ll seem uninterested if you don’t. But, don’t ask them about pay, benefits, vacation, etc. at this point. Ask more about the position. Ask them about there own current position and what they feel is the best part of their job and the most challenging. What would another employee say about the company? Questions like these let them know you’re serious about considering this job. This isn’t just an interview for you. You’re interviewing them as well.
4. Now, this may seem silly, but it works!! This is a phone interview. They don’t know what it looks like on the other end of the phone. Put up post it notes reminding you to smile. If you smile, you sound happier. Have a cup of water nearby. Spread out your resume, the job description and any notes or questions you might have, but are afraid you’ll forget. I’m no vocal expert by any means, but do those vocal exercises you see celebrities doing before they go on stage! It will relax your throat and lips and help you from losing your voice, a cracking voice or stuttering through the interview.
5. DO YOUR BEST NOT TO SAY “UM!!!” A pet peeve of many. Work on it. You’ll sound much more put together, well spoken and less nervous.
6. Be ready. Do NOT miss that call. Make sure you are in a quiet place with no distractions.
7. Thank the interviewer or recruiter for their time. Don’t be afraid to ask them what the next steps are if they don’t offer the information themselves.
Good luck!! You’ve got this!