The sole purpose of a phone interview is to establish whether you’ll be a good fit for the position and vice-versa—don’t forget that it’s as much an audition for the employer as it is for you. This is a fairly low-pressure situation in comparison to an in-person interview, given that you or the interview won’t be making any decisions about hiring at that point in time. It’s a screening, essentially. That said, the phone interview is your chance to impress the caller enough to be asked in for an interview, so it’s good to go in armed with a few strategies.
The absolute first thing you’ll need to do is make sure your schedule’s clear at the appointed time, and to guarantee that you’ll have a quiet, private place available where you can take the call—this is not only to ensure that you’ll be free from distractions and interruptions, but also to prevent any background noise from interfering with the call. The details of the interview are important, and you’re sure to miss some if you’re in a noisy environment. If you’ll be using a cell phone, make sure your battery’s fully charged and that you’re in a place with great reception. It’s a good idea to have a pen and paper handy, too, to take notes. Under absolutely no circumstances should you eat, drink, or chew gum during the interview—these things are all distractions and will diminish your professionalism if your interviewer hears them (and they likely will).
During the interview itself, it can be a good idea to stand up or even walk around while you’re talking—not only will this help to keep you from getting distracted, but it will also boost the power and authority of your voice. This is very important, too—it’s crucial to remember that any nonverbal gestures will be lost in a phone screen, and so you’ll have to consciously make an effort to sound enthusiastic in order to telegraph your interest. As you think about how to answer a given question, it’s generally a good idea to consider why the interviewer is asking it—this goes beyond just the answer itself; think about the motivations—the why behind the question. Try to answer both the literal question and the one that’s lurking beneath the surface.
Finally, it’s crucial that you make your interest known in an overt fashion. This involves asking questions, both about the company as a whole and about the specific position for which you’re being interviewed. Do not ask about things like salary and benefits—these questions will be addressed later in the hiring process.) At the end of the conversation, you should ask for a decision as to whether you’ll be recommended for an interview; this is a great time to express further enthusiasm and interest. Feel free to request an interview, and if your interviewer won’t commit, see if you can get them to share some of their concerns so you can address them directly while you’re still on the phone.
Remember also to call your Lynx recruiter immediately to debrief and discuss the next step while the details of the interview are still fresh. It’s just one of the ways that Lynx Inc. can help to ensure that you’ll end up with a job you’ll love.