For many jobs, the phone screen interview is a key first step in the hiring process. This introductory call — between submitting your application and being brought in for a formal interview — not only lets the company know if they should move you forward to the next round, it also allows you to get a better sense of the job and whether you think it’d be worth going in for an interview. Below, we have eight tips that can help you prepare for the call and stand out among the other candidates.
Know the job description
Applying for a job going into a phone interview without knowing the basics of the job description would be a big red flag. Before the interview, make sure to read through the job listing carefully so that you have a good grasp on what the role entails.
Familiarize yourself with the company
Research the company by reading about them online and going through their website, so you can understand their values and mission. In doing so, you’ll be better prepared to show the interviewer how you embody these values and can help the team further their mission and reach their goals.
In order to have a seamless interview experience, take any steps possible to remove distractions. Put your phone on “do not disturb” so that you’re not interrupted by any other incoming calls. If possible, answer the phone in a quiet room without any other people or background noises like music or television.
Be prepared to answer the phone
Confirm the date and time of the interview and be ready by the phone when it rings. If a scheduling conflict arises, reach out to the interviewer and ask to reschedule.
Know your salary expectations
Have an idea of the salary range you’re looking for — know what salary you’d like (and what fits industry standards), as well as the bottom of the range you’re willing to accept.
Slow down and avoid interrupting
Take your time when answering questions. This will not only allow you to gather and organize your thoughts, as opposed to rushing through your answers, but it will also help you avoid interrupting the interviewer in case they weren’t finished asking their question.
Prepare questions to ask
During the phone screen interview, you’ll be asked if you have any questions. Be ready with a handful of questions about the company as a whole and about the role in particular. Asking insightful questions will show the interviewer that you’re engaged and truly interested in the job.
Treat the call like an in-person interview
Unfortunately, lying in bed in your pajamas won’t help you get into an interview mindset. Get dressed and stay upright, so you don’t get too relaxed. And smile! Smiling during your interview will allow more enthusiasm to come across in your voice and will show that you’re personable and excited about the role.