Tips to success interview at phone

images-9Hiring a new employee is often a multi step process for most companies. Rather than investing time in an in person interview up front, hiring managers often add a phone interview in between to screen candidates they think would be an appropriate fit.

“With the [number] of job seekers applying for roles, conducting a phone interview or phone screen upfront saves both the company and candidates time and money up front,” said Chris Jemo, vice president of talent acquisition at The Connor Group, which owns and operates luxury apartment communities.

Though it’s an important step, a phone call is limiting. As the candidate, you should prepare for this step to solidify your spot for an in-person interview with the hiring manager.

“The biggest disadvantage [of a phone interview] is the lack of face-to-face interaction,” said Jane Trnka, executive director of the Career Resource Center at Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business. “Interviewers don’t get to see how you present yourself, so what you say and how you say it is so important. Your tone of voice and how you respond to and ask questions will indicate your interest and passion for the role, organization and industry.”

Before the call

Get relevant information up front

When called or emailed to schedule time to interview via phone, ask with whom you’ll be talking and how long the call will take, Trnka said. Get the name and contact information of the person who is scheduling the interview, and find out who will be making the call.

Trnka cautioned against interviewing on the spot. If you are called and told that the company’s rep wants to ask a few questions now, thank them for the opportunity, and then politely suggest a different time later in the day. This will give you time to collect your thoughts and refocus on the role, company, and your skills and talents, she said.

Confirm the appointment

The day before or the morning of the interview, Trnka advised emailing the person who scheduled the call to confirm it. Not only will this help you to prepare, but it also demonstrates that you are organized and that you are looking forward to the opportunity to talk about the role and your contributions the company’s success.

Make notes

The beauty of a phone interview is that you can have notes with you, said Kaitlyn Apfelbeck, human resources manager at Voices.com, a voiceover marketplaceReview the job description thoroughly before the interview; make notes so you can talk about the experiences you have that align with the requirements and expectations of the role. Even if it is a phone screen, you will want to sound intelligent about the opportunity and company.

“Write down major themes you know you’ll want to touch on, such as strengths, weaknesses, career goals, etc., and then have points under each,” Apfelbeck said.

Be prepared

Just before your scheduled call, make sure you have everything you’ve sent to an employer — your resume, cover letter, portfolio, etc. — on hand and organized, so you can refer to them during the interview, Trnka said.

During the call

Find a private area

Treat it as an in-person interview. Be somewhere quiet without distraction or background noise.

“Be [in your chosen quiet location] least five minutes prior to the scheduled time to be prepared,” Jemo said.

Apfelbeck added that you should also avoid doing the interview in the car, especially if you’re driving.

“[Talking in the car] is loud, and very distracting to the interviewer,” shesaid. “It’s also incredibly dangerous. Needless to say, there is a lack of overall unpreparedness that is not in a candidate’s favor.”