More and more companies are including phone interviews as part of the hiring process. It's easy to understand why; phone interviews are easier to schedule than in-person interviews and take less time, while still being a very helpful opportunity to have a conversation with a potential employee.
Phone interviews can be voice-only or may take place on webcam over Skype or another video-calling service.
1) Be Prepared
There are two main ways that you need to be prepared. First, you need to be prepared for the conversation. Check ahead of time if the interviewer wants you to prepare anything for the interview. Spend some time on the company's website so that you have an understanding of what they do. Go over your relevant experience and practice talking about it.
Second, you need to be prepared logistically. It's easy to think that, as it's a phone interview, you don't need to consider logistics but preparation will make the interview go more smoothly. For example, if you have children, do your best to get childcare arranged. If that's not possible, try to put the kids down for naps or, if all else fails, give them chocolate and let them watch TV. Ask how long the interview is likely to take ahead of time (preferably when arranging the interview), and make sure you free up that much time—plus a little extra in case it goes over. If the interview is taking place on a specific app or platform rather than a basic phone call, practice using the platform ahead of time or come online at least thirty minutes early in case you need to download, install, or sign up for anything.
2) Dress the Part
If the interview is audio-only, you don't need to wear your full interview outfit, but wearing something relatively smart will help you to get into interview mode and feel more professional.
If the interview is a video-call, wear the same as you would wear for an in-person interview with the same company. And wear your full interview outfit. You never know when you might have to get up during your interview and do you really want your potential employer to see your teddy bear pyjama bottoms?
3) Sip Water
Sipping water will not only help you to avoid dehydration during your interview but it will also improve how your voice sounds. Another piece of advice, though; sip, don't gulp! If the interview goes longer than expected, you need to be able to focus on the conversation, not be distracted by the need for a trip to the bathroom!
4) Have a Strong Ending
Leave the interviewer with a really good impression by having a strong ending. This is the phone-interview version of a handshake. Usually, the interviewer will make it clear that the interview has finished. When that happens, thank them for their time, tell them it was good to speak to them and you look forward to hearing from them. Once you have both said goodbye, hang up.