Answered by Dan, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on Monday, March 21, 2016
Congrats on your upcoming phone interview! Telephone interviews can make people nervous, but remember if all goes well the next step is a face-to-face interview. So it is best to be focused, a positive mindset in place, and prepared for the phone interview just like it is for a face-to- face interview.
Before the telephone interview make sure you clarify the details. Since you may not be in the same time zone as the interviewer (more common than you think), be sure to clarify the time of the interview in both your time zone and the other, and confirm who is calling whom. Use notes to your advantage: The best part about a phone interview is that you can have your notes in front of you. So have a copy of your resume and application, extensive bullet points of you want to mention (particular experience and/ or skills), and full list of questions written out ahead of time for use during the interview. Also, make sure you are in a quiet place with a charged phone and a glass of water. If you have time, it might be worth it to run home to take the call from your apartment, rather than trying to find a spot to do it from your office/car. Also, keep your phone charger handy, just in case the interview is going so well.
During your telephone interview, remember to be happy and confident. If you are relaxed and smile while speaking, it will allow you to give positive answers and sound confident. Always best to impress the employer with your enthusiasm. Next is to be professional, you may feel comfortable at home or outside having the interview. However, one is more likely to become distracted, try avoid doing what you may normally do on the phone. So put away distractions and focused on the phone call. To help one do so, stand up and take note. Standing and walking around can help your voice come across more effectively and shows that you have good communication skills. If at all possible, attempt to avoid words like “umm” as it can imply that nerves affect you. Finally and most important, make sure you are listening! Whenever your interviewer is speaking, do not interrupt them. Wait for them to ask the whole of the question before jumping in with an answer to show that you have good listening skills, and it also allows you to think of the most suitable answer,
After the interview, it is best to follow up with a thank you, just like you would in a face-to-face interview. And I also think it's nice, if an assistant set up the call, to send a quick note thanking him or her for helping facilitate the interview. Good Luck!