Career Peers Tell All: Phone Interviewing Tips

This post is in response to an article I recently read about phone interviewing:

My first phone interview was for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco – it was an amazing opportunity and a position I strongly desired. I was being interviewed by about six women and made a crucial mistake that, had I read this article, I would not have made. The ladies began by introducing themselves and what they do at the Federal Reserve Bank. I listened and was ready to answer questions – half an hour later I was very confident my answers had been perfect and I knew I was a great fit for the position. Before the end of the call one of them women says, “So, I assume you have been taking notes, which one of our departments sounds the most interesting and the best fit for you?” I froze, I hadn’t been taking notes and I didn’t remember what each of the SIX women had said about themselves half an hour before. I came up with something about my unique generational perspective which could benefit them but I knew I choked.

This article is perfect to read before a phone interview; just like a regular interview it is important to do your homework and thoroughly research the company and your interviewer. Make sure you are comfortable in your space with nothing to distract you. Then, the most important tip that I could have utilized, is to listen. Listening also includes TAKING NOTES which is key. This may seem strange because you would not be actively note taking in a face-to-face interview (which was my thought) but over the phone you can! It will be very helpful if they ask you a surprise question. I also agree with the tips for talking – standing up and smiling while you talk makes a huge difference in the way your voice projects to the interviewer. Practice speaking this way so it feels natural when it is time to interview. Lastly, just like with any interview, send a thank you note and be patient. Make sure you don’t push for a response too soon but definitely don’t take being ignored for an answer – if it has been a while follow up and let them know you’re not giving up until they give you a yes or no answer.

Most importantly, keep searching! You’ll have to apply for many jobs to get a few interviews and even fewer offers – don’t get discouraged! The right job is out there for you.

DhariniClare-19webBlog written by Dharini Clare, 3rd year Environmental Studies Major and Career Peer