While I was looking for employment after being laid off, I spent a lot of time on phone screening interviews. The phone screen is officially the first step of the interviewing process, and while it’s not a face to face interview, it’s important to take it seriously. After all, it’s the stepping stone to getting that second interview. Here are some tips that I learned as I continued to refine my interview skills.
- Treat it just like an in person interview.
- Use a land line telephone. If you must use a mobile device, make sure it is fully charged and in an area with good reception. If using a cordless phone, make sure it is fully charged as well.
- Don’t use the speaker phone feature.
- Eliminate all background noise (no TV, music, rowdy kids, barking dogs, etc.).
- Sometimes the phone interview may be with more than one person on the other line.
- Have your resume and other supporting documents organized and within reach.
- Dress professionally. By dressing up and looking the part, you will take the call more seriously.
- Have a warm glass of water within reach. The last thing you want to do is choke when you’re taking a sip of cold or hot water.
- Sit upright or stand while speaking on the phone, don’t slouch.
- Go to the bathroom before the phone screening to avoid interruptions or have a bucket handy (just kidding).