The world has certainly changed for many of us, and as always, we continue to hope that we’ll see an end to this sooner rather than later. For organizations that are still hiring, assessing candidates virtually is now the new norm, and passing the phone interview is a key step to making a good impression as a job seeker and hopefully proceeding to the next stages of the selection process.

Usually, the phone interview stage is where candidates are pre-screened by the employer to make sure their experience, skills and knowledge are aligned with the needs of the organization. So how do you make sure you excel and proceed to the next steps?

Below are a few tips you can use;

  1. Review the JD – Before the phone interview, review the JD to familiarize yourself with the skills and qualifications required of the position you applied for, and note down how your competencies align to the same. During the conversation, you need to be able to articulate why you should be considered for the position, thus having the information at the tip of your fingertips is critical.
  2. Research the organization – This will always be a pertinent requirement. Make sure you understand the services/products offered by the organization, their vision, history, etc. Having this knowledge will help you customize your responses and tie the value you would add to the aspirations they have as an organization, come up questions you can ask for anything that may be unclear and also assess if you would fit into the organization culture. Here’s a guide you can use.
  3. Prepare answers for possible questions – Usually, the first phone interview can be fairly brief, so you want to make sure you’re being very concise and are answering questions as asked. Because it’s a phone interview, research potential questions on the internet and draft up your responses so that you’re not struggling or taking too long to answer the questions. Make sure your motivation to join the organization, your list of accomplishments, skills, and the value you would bring to the organization are noted down and are clear and persuasive.
  4. Find a distraction free environment – Considering most of us are at home right now, not all of us live alone. Therefore, if you’re living with others. please inform them early in advance and right before your interview that you’ll be on a call and they should not destruct you. Even if you live alone, make sure you find a place where there is minimal to no noise coming from outside that would hinder you from having a peaceful conversation with the interviewer, remember, first impressions are everything.
  5. Have a list of questions for the interviewer(s) – It’s important to keep in mind that the ending of the interview matters as much as your responses to the questions asked. This is an opportunity to blow away the interviewer and make them shortlist you for the next stage, so your questions have to be brilliant, and not having any questions is a potential dis qualifier. We recently highlighted 3 questions you should ask after every job interview in an article, have a read. You can, of course, find many more questions on google 🙂 so don’t be afraid to utilize it.

Other tips include:

– Confirm the interview date and time and put it into your calendar to avoid any confusion.

– Find out who you you will be talking to. You can research them on the organization website or on LinkedIn to learn more about them and their role in the organization, do NOT request them on Facebook :), too soon.

– Ask about the next possible steps after the interview. Although you won’t find out whether you were shortlisted immediately, it’s good to tentatively plan and know when you can expect to hear from the employer.

What other tips have helped you excel in a phone interview?

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