Set Up Your Space for Quiet
Nothing says “I don’t care about this phone interview” more than having it in a noisy space where you are constantly distracted. It’s better to put off the call until a later time rather than trying to talk over interruptions. Make sure you have a quiet space to talk with no distractions.
Address the Interviewer by Name
Make sure you know the name of your interviewer before you speak to them. Even if you have to call and find out from someone else ahead of time. It’s much nicer to be able to say, “Hi, Mr. Smith” if you can.
Address the Interviewer Formally
Always address the interviewer as “Mr.” or “Ms.” Whatever-their-last-name-is until you are told otherwise. Until they specifically say, “Please call me John,” you may not address them by their first name.
No matter how excited you are about the job, it’s rude to interrupt while someone else is speaking.
Don’t Put Them On Speakerphone
Speakerphones detract from the sound quality of the conversation. And they convey the impression that you really have something more important that you need to be doing right now, so you’re going to do that while you talk.
Respect Their Time
A big way to show that you respect the time of the person you’re speaking with is to be very prepared for this interview. Research the company before the interview. Have questions prepared to ask. Know how you’re going to answer the interview questions most companies typically ask. And have your resume, as well as all your notes, right in front of you so you can see them easily. You don’t want to be shuffling papers, looking for something while you’re on the call. While you’re at it, make sure you have a pen and paper to take notes on during the call. You will need the notes for later, and you’ll be ready just in case they want you to write something down to look up later.
Ask About the Next Step
Express your interest in the job by asking about what the next step will be. When will you speak in person about this opportunity? Don’t wait for them to bring it up. They might not…maybe they’re waiting for you to do it to see if you want it, or maybe they have a few doubts about you that you need to clear up. Do not end the call without knowing what happens next.
Send a Thank You Note
Follow up after your phone interview by sending an emailed thank you note to the person you spoke to. Thank you notes are always the polite thing to do, and they make you stand out from the other candidates. Why email? Because it’s faster. A fast response time is a positive thing.
Got a big phone interview coming up? Let’s make sure you’re ready with a half-hour of coaching!