Phone Interviews: My First Impression

By: Paying

I have recently been applying for summer internships for the Twin Cities while I’m in Duluth and was contacted for an interview. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make a trip down for the times that were listed so they offered me a phone interview which I have NEVER done before. For this blog post, I will be sharing my first impression getting interviewed over the phone and some advice for those of you who may want help preparing for it!

Before the Phone Interview
Our office actually has a blog post of how to prepare for a phone interview so go check it out for more in depth advice! For me, I was told the interview would be about 30 minutes to an hour long so I decided to book a study room in the Library so I wouldn’t be interrupted. Make sure to find a private and quiet spot before your interview begins and double check that your phone is fully charged!

Besides that, I also did research beforehand and looked up information through our Pinterest board for simple tips and tricks of how to handle a phone interview compared to an in-person interview. If not being able to see your interviewer is an issue, don’t be afraid to request for a video call!

Image: black and silver table rotary phone
Text: Phone interview tips

During the Phone Interview
One thing I did not expect for my phone interview was for there to be multiple interviewers on speaker! The room echoed a bit and one of the voices was further away from the phone which caused it to not be as clear. It’s okay to ask for clarification on questions!

Since everything is done through the phone, be sure to pronounce your words clearly! Talk in a bold voice as if they were right in front of you. A good tip for this is to stand up and keep a smile on your face so you don’t sound slouched or mumbled.

Usually when I am told something or is asked a long question, I nod and say “Mhm” to show that I am being attentive and that I understand. However, it is quite different in a phone interview and threw both me and the interviewers off multiple times. Since I was on speaker, it sounded as if I was interrupting to ask a question so I had to adjust and not say anything until they were done speaking. Expect to adapt to the situation!

After the Phone Interview
As for any other interview, send a thank you email! Thank them for their time and address any other questions, comments, or concerns you or the interviewers may have had. After that, be prepared to be patient and wait for them to finish interviewing the others.

Now that you know what to expect for a phone interview, be prepared and be confident! Good luck!

Of Possible Interest:
Interviewing – all our blog posts on the topic
Interview Like a Pro – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Pawel Czerwinski

Preparing for a Phone Interview

By: Zach

*Ring-Ring* – *Ring-Ring*

Hello gang! Zach here. For today’s edition of Peer Into Your Career I am going to talk about how to prepare and conduct a successful phone interview with an employer.

First and foremost, it is important to remember that a phone interview is just as important as a personal interview, if not more. When an employer requests to conduct a phone interview with you, there could be a handful of reasons why. Sometimes it may be that you are located in a different location to where the job may be, and it may be more convenient to do a phone interview. Other times it may be because they have a large list of applicants for one or few positions open, and they do not want to lose valuable time personally interviewing each candidate when they can screen over the phone. With any instance, the phone interview is your first impression that can lead to the next step of employment. If done correctly, you can bet on being brought in by the employer for a second round of interviewing. If taken lightly, you will most likely be left in the dust by your competition.

Let’s take a look at successful phone interview steps:

  1. Research the organization and possibly the interviewer (Hopefully if you have reached the interview step, this information should already be mostly gathered.)
  2. Practice standard interview questions and prepare possible answers (In most instances for employers, this is one of their first steps in the screening process and questions may not be as detailed.)
  3. Prepare follow-up questions (Just like any other interview, be ready with questions. It shows that you are truly invested and interested in the position)

After you complete these simple steps, you will be ready for the interview!

Remember that when it comes time for the phone call that you have planned ahead for an appropriate spot to talk. Luckily, you get the luxury sitting in our sweatpants during the interview if you wanted, but remember to find a quiet area where you won’t be distracted or interrupted. Moving to a location where there is a minimal amount of people if any is best. Really, even with a phone interview we’d recommend dressing up some. That simple act will help you get into the frame of mind for an interview. The most important thing to remember about phone interviews, or any interview for that matter, is to be your genuine self! With any other questions about phone interviews or the interview process, stop by Career & Internship Services (SCC 22) for more information!

Talk to you later!


Read Zach’s other posts here.