To save on interviewing costs, many firms prefer to start the interview process with a phone screen. Phone interviews can be tricky – since the interviewer can’t actually see you they end up judging you solely on your voice and your answers. Below are some tips on how to master the telephone screening interview and secure a callback interview in the office.
- Use a landline. Don’t allow outside noises or a spotty cell signal to interfere with your interview. Making the call from a landline leaves less room for misinterpretation and cuts the odds of disconnection to a minimum.
- Print out your resume: Have a copy of your resume and the job description in front of you during the call. Type up a bulleted list of items and or questions you want to cover during the conversation.
- Have a cheat sheet. Since the interviewer can’t see you – print out the partner’s bio as well as information on the practice group and the firm- and have it (along with your prepared questions) in front of you for your reference.
- Smile. Smiling when you speak brings energy and excitement to your voice. When speaking on the phone, your voice actually loses about half of its energy during transmission.
- Focus on your voice. Stand up, or at least sit-up straight at a table or desk. You’ll sound more confident and dynamic if you stand while you speak than if you sit. Speak clearly and slowly and do not mumble.
- Listen. Do not interrupt the interviewer at any point. This is much harder to avoid when you are on the phone. However, take time to listen to the interviewer and make sure he is done talking before you jump in.
- Convince them. You must convince the interviewer that having you come into the office for a meeting will not waste their time. Make sure that your answers during the call reiterate your experience, interest in the position, and desire to continue the conversation in person.
- Be thankful. Thank the interviewer for his time and ask him what to expect in terms of when you should hear back.
Follow these tips and I guarantee that you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting a callback interview!
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