As an IT professional, you’re sure to have participated in many phone interviews either with an IT recruiter or the IT manager looking to hire. While you may feel like you’ve got it down, there might be aspects to the interview you don’t realize aren’t going your way. On the surface, phone interviews seem to be less intensive and less stressful than in-person interviews. However, this is the first impression you are giving to your interviewer. It’s important you put your best foot forward.
There are many elements to a phone interview that you may not have thought about and are impeding you from having the best phone interview possible. Check out our 10 Phone Interview Tips for IT Pros below to make sure you’re covering all your bases for your next phone interview:
Have Your Resume Handy: No one knows your experience and past work history better than you. So needing your resume might not be something that comes to mind when preparing for a phone interview. However, interviewing (even on the phone) can be nerve-racking. Being asked about specific dates of employment or details of various positions might leave your mind blank. By simply having your resume nearby, will ensure you and the interviewer are referencing the same thing.
Take the Ca
ll From Home (or an extremely quiet place): Never do a phone interview from a public place. However, if you’re an IT pro that is currently working one contract but looking for your next role, being home isn’t always an option. If you can’t take the interview from home, find a quiet place with no distractions that will allow you to concentrate.
Introduce Yourself When You Answer The Call: Normally when someone calls your phone, you just say “Hello!” Most everyone has caller ID these days and we almost always know who is on the other end. This is true on a phone interview as well, however it’s best if you introduce yourself right away. Saying “Good afternoon, this is John” immediately lets the interviewer know they have the right person, shows your professionalism and gets the conversation started right away.
No Pets: If you are taking the call from your home (which is preferred) make sure you are in a secluded place where no pets can be heard in the background. Nothing is more distracting to you (or your interviewer) than loud barking or meowing while you’re trying to explain your skill sets.
Standing or Sitting: Depending on your personality, you might do better to stand during your interview. Some people feel confined just sitting and
can get thoughts out better when they are standing up. On the flip side, sitting calms others and standing would make them too anxious. Figure out which works best for but under no circumstances slouch or lay down!
Smile: Obviously, you’re on the phone and the interviewer can’t see you smile but they can in fact, hear you smile. People who smile on the phone sound more enthusiastic, excited and optimistic. Recruiters and Managers want to hire happy people. Doing this will put you on your way to an in person interview!
Have A Computer Nearby: Sometimes questions may come up that require you to quickly reference the internet. Have your computer nearby to facilitate these questions but under no circumstances play on your computer while you’re talking to the interviewer. This will only distract you from giving the interviewer your undivided attention and being able to present yourself in the best way. If the computer nearby is too tempting, put your screensaver on until you need to use it.
Dress Up: Just because it’s a phone interview and the person on the other end can’t see you is no reason for you to put your sweat pants and t-shirt on. When you dress better, you feel better. Dressing down might trick your brain into thinking that the interview is no big deal. Dressing professionally is sure to put you in the right mind-set to have a successful interview.
Ask About Next Steps: In any interview you go on, you should always have a list of questions prepared to ask the interviewer. On a phone interview, one of these should always be “What are the next steps after we’re done talking today?” This not only gives you insight into what you should expect next but also lets the interviewer know that you are interested in moving along in the process.
Follow Up With A Thank You: Just because you didn’t meet the interviewer in person doesn’t mean they don’t deserve thanks for their time. Whether you spoke to an IT Recruiter or the IT Manager, they will appreciate hearing from you. And you can be assured that in not doing so, it will quickly remove you from their pile of qualified applicants.
Want to put these skills to the test? Apply for one of our open IT Jobs and be on your way to testing your phone interview abilities!