Editor’s note: This article was originally published by Aquent, AIGA's official sponsor for professional development.
You got the call for that job you’re dying to get. But how do you
make a good impression on a phone interview? Here are 10 quick tips.
1. Avoid distractions. Treat a phone screen like any
interview. Have someone keep an eye on the kids and take Fido for a
walk. Then find a quiet place to talk. And don’t forget to keep some
water by the phone. You’ll need it after all that talking!
2. Make a personal connection. Building rapport on
the phone can be difficult, but a bit of friendly banter can help you be
a more memorable candidate. Before the call, do your homework on the
interviewer. You never know who you might know in common, or what
industry events you both frequent.
3. Keep it brief. It’s understandable to want to
squeeze as much as possible into the interview, but be cognizant of the
interviewer’s time. Typical phone screens run 20 to 30 minutes. Provide
high-level answers and let them know you’re happy to elaborate if they’d
like. It’s OK to ask them along the way if you’re providing the level
of detail they’re seeking.
4. Stay on message. It’s easy to meander on the
phone. To stay focused, keep a bulleted list of the best selling points
you’d like the interviewer to take away from their conversation with
5. Adapt to the interviewer’s role. You’ll want to
approach an interview differently depending on whether you’re speaking
with someone in HR or the hiring manager. Talking to the HR specialist
about CSS style sheets, for example, is likely to make their eyes glaze
over—but you won’t know it because you’re on the phone. HR likely needs a
big picture view of your experience, while the hiring manager is apt to
want more specifics.
6. Be engaged. Find out what their hot button issues
are. What was the catalyst for hiring for this role? What are the most
important attributes for this candidate? What impending changes are
occurring in their business?
7. Hold off on discussing money. A phone screen is
typically too early in the process to discuss salary. Hiring managers
want to know that you’re interested in the role, not just “show
me the money.”
8. Don’t be afraid to “close.” Interviewers
want to know that you have initiative. If you’re interested in the
role, let them know this at the end of the call, and ask about next
steps. You might even ask how well you fit the role. (Don’t be surprised
if their answer is a little vague. The point is to show you’re
9. Leave room for future conversation. Ask the
interviewer for their email address or connect with them on LinkedIn
after the interview so you can send additional details about your
experience that’s relevant to their needs.
10. Send a thank-you note. Even if you decide you
don’t want the job, email a thank-you note to the interviewer. They may
keep you in mind for future opportunities.
About the Author: Aquent is a global staffing company dedicated to marketing and creative services organizations and is a
leader in helping companies increase marketing capacity by providing the right
talent quickly. Its network of more than 400,000 marketing and creative
services professionals provides access to a diverse field of talent that includes
graphic designers, copywriters, branders, managers and market researchers.
Aquent is the Official AIGA Sponsor for Professional Development, serving as a
source for creative and design talent as well as providing access to great
career opportunities for AIGA members nationwide.
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