More and more hiring managers are using phone screenings or interviews as the first step of the hiring process. Many view phone screening as an efficient way to narrow down the applicant pool. Instead of wasting an hour-long interview time slot, they can get the initial information and interaction they need from a brief phone call.
While this may be a time-saver for hiring managers, it’s yet another hurdle for candidates to overcome on the way toward getting a job. Here are four strategies to help you impress the hiring manager when you’re not face-to-face:
1. Focus on your words
During a face-to-face interview, you can rely on your presence, hand gestures, smile and eye contact to establish a connection with the interviewer. These non-verbal aspects are key when it comes to communication. But when you’re on the phone, you’re left with only the words you speak, the inflections you give and the clarity of your voice. As you prepare for the interview, focus on these verbal communication skills.
2. Practice, practice, practice
While it may not be an in-person interview, a phone interview is just as important. Don’t just wing it. To do this: leave a voicemail message for yourself giving an interview response. Talk about yourself and explain your interest in the position. Then, listen to the recording and assess how you come across on the phone. Do you sound enthusiastic and do you speak clearly? Practice a second time speaking at a steady pace.
3. Align yourself to the job
You won’t be hired immediately after a phone interview, so don’t worry about sealing the deal just yet. You’re simply trying to make it to the next round and prove that you are a strong potential match for the position in question.
When you give an overview of your experience, highlight where your skills and expertise overlap with the job requirements. Confirm why you are interested in the job.
4. Remember, it’s a conversation
During a phone interview, you won’t have the luxury of reading the interviewer’s body language to see if you’re rambling or getting a bit long-winded. So remember to keep your answers concise, leaving room for the interviewer to ask follow-up questions if necessary.
It may be just a phone interview, but it could be the first step on your journey toward landing your dream job. Follow these tips to ace the phone conversation and move on to the next round.