Many of the techniques that job hunters use to prepare for face-to-face interviews can also be applied to phone interviews—you’ll need to be prepared to both answer and ask questions. However, there are also some other things to be aware of when you’re facing a phone interview……
Ideally you should be preparing for phone contact while you are applying for jobs. Contact information should of course be included in a cover letter—and if there is any period during which you will be unavailable for contact by phone, it’s best to say so at this point.
Another important point to consider is your answering machine message. When interviewers contact you by phone, they need to be immediately assured that they’ve contacted the person they’re expecting to speak to. Your phone message should include information that immediately identifies you, and if you share your home with roommates or family, make sure they understand that any messages for you must be taken down accurately.
In addition, consider creating a phone log to keep by the phone—this can include the name of each company you’ve applied to, the title of the position, and a short paragraph that identifies the essential features of the job.
If you Miss the Call
If you miss a phone call and the hiring manager leaves a message, return the call as soon as possible. Bear in mind that the person you’re calling may have called many people during the day, and won’t necessarily remember who you are right away. Give your full name and state that you are returning a call regarding the specific position you’re applying for. If you’re not able to return the call for several hours, leave a message with this information—but be prepared in case the employer is still available for a phone interview.
During and After the Interview
If a hiring manager or recruiter calls and you’re there to answer it, they will likely ask you if you’re available to speak at that time. If there is anything that might make it difficult to conduct the interview, it is fine to tell them that and ask to arrange another time, but make sure you express your interest in the interview and the job at the same time as you are rescheduling.
After the interview is completed, make some notes on your conversation; then send a short thank you note to the interviewer and state your continued interest in the position.