Your first phone call with a hiring practice is very important. As the old saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Many of our client practices use a phone interview to decide which candidates they would like to take the time to meet with in person. To help you put your best foot forward, here are a few tips:
Be Prepared to Interview
- Have your résumé or CV nearby so that it is easily accessible when a practice calls.
- Make a short list of your accomplishments available to review.
- Have a pen and paper handy for note taking.
- Turn call-waiting off so that your call isn’t interrupted.
- If the time isn’t convenient, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives.
- Clear the room – evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door.
- Unless you’re sure your cell phone service is going to be perfect, consider using a landline rather than your cell phone to avoid a dropped call or static on the line.
During the Phone Interview
- Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink.
- Do keep a glass of water handy, in case you need to wet your mouth.
- Smile. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice.
- Speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
- Refrain from using slang.
- Use the person’s title (Dr., Mr., or Ms. and their last name.) Only use a first name if they ask you to.
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
- Take your time – it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts.
- Give short answers.
The goal of a phone interview is to set-up a face-to-face interview. At the end of the call, thank the interviewer, and ask if it would be possible to meet in person.
Contributed by Chante Smith.