Forget about a firm handshake – interviewing during a pandemic requires a new set of skills. With these tips, you’ll rock your next phone interview.
- Put on pants. There’s no need for a full suit, but real clothes and clean (ok, clean-ish) hair get you in the right mindset.
- Find a quiet spot with good reception. If your house is a little on the louder side these days, sitting in a parked car is a great option if you have it. Before interviewing from a closet, stairwell, or bathroom, call a friend to check the sound. If a kid or pet interrupts your interview, don’t sweat it. Your interviewer’s probably hiding in their closet or car, too.
- Make a cheat sheet. Research common interview questions, and prepare responses for them. Practice saying your answers so it doesn’t sound scripted.
- Stand in front of the mirror, make eye contact with yourself, and smile even when you’re not talking. Be warned: you will feel crazy. It’s worth it, though. You’ll speak with more animation and warmth. If using a mirror is too weird, at least smile throughout the call.
- Keep an eye on the clock. Most interview questions can be answered in 30-90 seconds. If you know you tend to ramble when you’re nervous, watch the time. If your interviewer wants more information, they can ask follow-up questions.
- Prepare questions and take notes. More than in-person interviews, phone interviews blend together. Take notes on each call to keep it all straight.
- Send a thank-you email. Use the notes you took to reference something specific from the phone interview.
About the Author
Kate Ericksen, MS is a corporate recruiter with PT Solutions Physical Therapy. She recruits for clinical and non-clinical positions across the nation. Kate received her BA from Emory University and MS in Managerial Sciences from Georgia State University. She lives in Peachtree Corners, GA with her husband, two young kids, and dog. In her 7 years of recruiting, Kate’s conducted thousands of phone interviews. She’d love to connect on LinkedIn!