Preparing for an interview over the phone is often a mental exercise that appears easy to prepare for. It is the second impression that you will make on a hiring decision maker after the first introduction through your CV and/or cover letter, which must have been positive, otherwise, you would not have had the interview appointment. That said, it is worthwhile to prepare for the phone interview and be prepared to make the best presentation of you.
The first move in getting yourself mentally prepared is to rehearse. Practice in front of the mirror (funny, but it works), or with a friend or your spouse listening to you, asking questions and playing the part of the interviewer. Make a list of questions you expect the interviewer to ask and have good answers prepared, but have them on the top of your head in general and not memorized. Memorized answers can sound canned and not real, and will not help you. You need to appear natural, genuine and real.
Step two is to prepare and practice two or three ideas that you want to get across to your interviewer as to why you are the best choice for the position. If you are having trouble thinking of ideas, read your resume again. Look for the key points, qualifications or accomplishments you have written, and be ready to freely discuss them.
The number three point is to think of what you can do for the company. The hiring managers really don’t care why you would like the job; they simply care about how you can help the company if you are hired.
Fourthly, get properly dressed on the morning of the interview. Wear the same clothes you would choose to wear if you were to meet the interviewer in person. Dress for success and your attitude will reflect it. Dress in your PJs and you may as well feel sleepy during the phone conversation.
Step five is to smile. Smiles are contagious, even if they can’t be seen. Good salesmen know this and practice smiling on the phone. There is something in your voice and attitude that is conveyed when you smile, and the person on the other end of the phone can sense it. There is truth in the old saying: “Smile and the world smiles with you.” It is basic human nature.
Step six is to speak clearly and be articulate. Use a good quality phone with no probability of some network interruption. Even if not using a land line, make sure you use your mobile in an indoor space with the most minimal environment interference. Crackling noises are distractions and bad mobile phone receptions leading to dropped calls are all negative signs. You only want positives during your phone interview.
The interview itself makes the final step. Relax, be yourself and do your best. When it is over remember to thank the interviewer for his or her time, and offer to provide any other information they might need to make a decision. Be professional and you may well be rewarded with a job.