Advantages of a Phone Interview ■ You can participate from the comfort of your home or from anywhere else in the world. ■ You can schedule the interview in advance and this flexibility can win you extra points. ■ You can give more descriptive answers. ■ You can cover up gaps in your resume by explaining the reasons behind them. ■ You can showcase your verbal communication skills if body language is an issue. ■ You can have relevant facts and figures handy and refer to them while giving the interview. Pre-Interview Prep: Do Your Research ■ Record a professional voicemail message as soon as you submit your resumes as calls can come at the worst possible times. ■ Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. ■ Review the job advertisement and match your skills to the requirements asked for. ■ Research key facts about the company and the projects they are involved in. For e.g., place in the industry, future outlook, news/press, product, culture. ■ List examples and projects you can use to demonstrate how you fit the profile. ■ Print and organize this information alphabetically for each position you have applied for. ■ Prepare answers to common questions the interviewer may ask. ■ Write your elevator pitch: what you have done in the past, what you are doing now, and what you would like to be doing in the future. ■ Keep your CV and an alphabetized dossier of companies you have applied to next to your phone or computer. ■ Learn more about your interviewer so you can put a face and personality behind the voice. ■ Prepare your answers to commonly asked interview questions and visualize your response in detail. (Refer to the last section of this PDF for a few interview questions you can expect.) Pre-Interview Prep: Set Your Environment ■ Find a quiet room that allows you to give an interview without any disturbances. ■ Optimize the room temperature and light so you can be comfortable during the interview. ■ Find a comfortable chair and desk to use. ■ Inform your family ahead of time about the interview to ensure no one interrupts you. ■ Drink plenty of water and keep more close by. ■ Switch off all push notifications on your phone. ■ Charge your phone and keep your charger handy. ■ Use a good set of noise-cancelling headphones. ■ Have a pen and paper available to take notes and a calendar to schedule any follow-up interviews. ■ Dress professionally for the interview. ■ Visualize any obstacles or interruptions (for e.g., call drops) and your ideal response to manage them. ■ Rehearse a simulated interview with someone and practice answers. The Interview ■ Mind your posture and avoid slouching. ■ Do not eat, drink, or smoke during the interview. ■ Beware of sounding overfamiliar. Refer to the other person by their surname unless told to do otherwise. ■ Do not interrupt the interviewer. ■ Let the interviewer do most of the talking. ■ When it is your turn, be brief and factual. ■ Avoid “Yes” and “No” answers. Elaborate on your skill sets and experiences. ■ Do not hem and haw while answering as it indicates indecisiveness. ■ Sound enthusiastic with your answers. ■ Pause, think, and give your answers clearly. ■ Avoid clichéd responses. ■ Be honest about any unexpected distractions. ■ Take quick notes or record the conversation so you can refer to it later for the face-to-face interview, if there’s one. ■ Once the interview concludes, ask what the next step will be in the process. ■ Seek permission to follow up for information or queries. ■ Ensure that you have the right contact details and the correct spelling and pronunciation of the interviewer’s name. The Follow-Up ■ Ask when and how you can follow up. ■ When you don’t hear back, it’s ideal to send an email a week after the phone interview. ■ Send a thank-you email. Common Questions to Prep For ■ Can you tell me a little about yourself? ■ Can you walk me through your life? ■ Why do you want this job? ■ Why do you want to work at this company? ■ What do you know about our company/and the position you are applying for? ■ Why did you leave (or are leaving) your last position? ■ Tell us about your current job role. ■ Are you willing to relocate or travel? ■ What applicable experiences or skills do you have? ■ Why do you think you are the best person for the job? ■ Why is there a work gap in your resume? (If there is…) ■ What is your greatest weakness? ■ What are some of your greatest strengths? ■ What are your career goals? ■ Tell me about a successful project you have completed. ■ How do you handle difficult situations? Give us an example. ■ What are your salary expectations? ■ When can you start with us? ■ Do you have any questions for us?