7 Tips for Phone Interviews

Many preliminary and final interviews for pharmacy jobs are conducted over the phone.

Many preliminary and final interviews for pharmacy jobs are conducted over the phone.

As an interviewee, you may feel inclined to relax because you’re not face-to-face with your interviewer. However, you’ll actually need to work harder to make yourself stand out.

Phone interviews serve several purposes. First, they’re a quick and economical way to eliminate candidates. Instead of spending time and money to interview them in person, candidates can be narrowed down through phone conversations.

Phone interviews are also an ideal and economical way to interview candidates who are looking to relocate from a distance or are unable to attend an in-person interview for any reason.

Rules and techniques from in-person interviews still apply to phone interviews. The basic prep work, such as knowing the STAR interviewing technique, is the same, but there are some tips specific to phone interviews that can make for a more positive outcome.

1. Get out of your pajamas.

Dressing up in interview garb may sound silly, but it psychologically transfers you to the job interview setting. Think about being visible to your interviewer, speak with enthusiasm, and smile.

2. Come in loud and clear and hands-free.

Speak in a clear and confident voice to avoid miscommunication and set a positive tone for the interview. If your landline offers better reception than your cell, plan to do the interview on that phone. If you’re using your cell phone, make sure you’re sitting in an area devoid of dead zones.

At the beginning of your interview, ask the interviewers if they can hear you clearly. Tell them you’re going to put your device on speakerphone so you can be hands-free to jot down some notes. Finally, if your interview is early in the morning, get your voice warmed up so you don’t sound like you just rolled out of bed.

3. Remove all distractions.

Your phone interview will more than likely take place in your home, where distractions can make you lose focus and disrupt the interview flow. Find a time and place with some privacy. Turn off the TV and make sure your dog has been fed and walked.

Although taking a job interview on your Bluetooth device while driving home from work sounds ideal, this is dangerous and destroys your focus.

4. Get organized.

A big advantage of a phone interview is that you’re able to have your talking points, answers to potential questions, research on the company, and any other information right at your fingertips. Set everything up on your kitchen table or desk, including a pen and notepad, but make sure you don’t rustle papers during the interview.

5. Pace your 2-way conversation.

Just like an in-person interview, a phone interview is meant to be an exchange of information. Speak as well as listen, and take a breath between the interviewer’s question and your answer. Developing this type of pace will give you the opportunity to think about your response, rather than just rattling off your answer.

Give the interviewer a second or 2 after each question before you begin to speak so you both don’t end up talking at the same time, which can make for a clumsy and uncomfortable interview.

6. Make an impressive close.

Near the end of your interview, the interviewer will most likely ask if there’s anything else that wasn’t covered in your conversation. This is the perfect time to look at the notes you jotted down before or during your interview and ask a question.

Also, make sure to direct the interviewer to your LinkedIn profile or pharmacy blog for a bird’s-eye view of your accomplishments.

7. Send a thank you note.

If you didn’t catch your interviewer’s name and title at the beginning of your interview, make sure you get it before you hang up. Thank him or her for taking the time to speak with you and then follow up with an old-fashioned thank you note. A quick e-mail works, but a handwritten note reiterating your interest in the position and why you’re a great fit for the job is best.

Remember, the interview process is your time to shine and make a great first impression. The fact that you’re doing it over the phone makes the follow up even more significant.