Top Tips for a Winning Phone Interview

TOP TIPS FOR A WINNING PHONE INTERVIEW

 

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In preparation:

1.      DO YOUR RESEARCH

The most important thing to do when preparing for a phone interview is to research the company. Don’t just go on their website and see what they’ve said about themselves; search for news articles that apply to them, learn about their new projects and ideas. Think about what they stand for and how they go about it.

Primarily, from a phone interview the interviewer wants to be sure that you have put effort into this, and actually want the internship/job. Doing research and dropping facts or statistics into your answers will impress them.

 

2.     LEARN ABOUT THE COMPETITORS

Also research the company’s competitors. What have they done wrong? Why has your company done this better? Spin the negative points about the competitors into positive ones about the company.

 

3.     THINK OF A TIME WHEN YOU WERE A TEAM LEADER

Everyone needs to show that they are able to lead a group of people in order to get a good job or internship. In 90% of phone interviews, or just general interviews, they will ask you when you have led, so don’t be shocked by the question – prepare an answer.

Think of a time at university when you have actually had some responsibility. Great examples are a JCR position, directing a play, organising an event, and there are so many others. You need to be able to show that if you were in their organisation, you’d be the first one to volunteer to stand up and inspire the group. You may not feel like you can do this, but for the purpose of the phone interview, pretend you are!

 

4.     THINK OF A TIME WHEN YOU WERE A TEAM PLAYER

No one wants someone working for them who is bossy and independent all the time. You’re not going to be entering into their company as the CEO – you need to show that you can listen to advice, take criticism, and work with a team toward a communal goal.

Have a clear example ready about how you did this – maybe you were in a play, or working under a leader in an organisational role, or raised money for charity. Whatever it is, you just need to show that you can work with others, as well as tell them what to do.

Now your preparation is complete, get ready to answer that phone!

 

Tips whilst on the phone: 

1.      KEEP CALM

Everyone gets worried about a phone interview. They are scary – lots of communication between people happens non-verbally, and a phone interview immediately cuts out all of that, and all you have is your voice.

But don’t let that worry you. With everyone out of their comfort zone, you are all on a level playing field.

If you start to feel worried on the phone, take a few deep breaths, and continue to talk. You don’t need to talk quickly, and the one good thing about someone not being able to see you, is that you can look as terrified as you like!

 

2.     DON’T SPEAK TOO SOON

On a phone interview, pauses are always awkward. You don’t have any idea what the interviewer is thinking, and it is easy to start to panic, want to break the silence, and start talking about nothing.

Don’t do this. Pauses are not that bad. It is more important to think through the question, break it down into several key points, and go through each one individually. Take as long as you need – the interviewer has to pause anyway to write their notes. It is better to have a think and then come up with a good answer, than to ramble off on a tangent for a while.

 

3.     KEEP A WORD DOCUMENT OPEN TO NOTE DOWN THE QUESTION

There is nothing worse in an interview than going completely off topic, telling them about how much you generally want a job, and then realising what has happened and forgetting what the question was.

This is why the best thing to do is to note down the question that they ask immediately onto a word document, or just a piece of paper. Then, whenever you feel yourself getting slightly flustered, just look back to the question and remind yourself of what it is asking.

I hope this has given you a bit of advice about how to deal with those horrible phone interviews.

Good luck!!

Camilla Rees