It's quite common for companies today to use phone interviews as initial screening techniques for all types of reasons. Phone interviews are rather brief in nature, they save time and they are good screening tools to use when companies are interested in speaking to candidates who live out of their area.
It's likely that you'll be asked to take part in a 30-minute phone interview at some point in your job hunt where there may be one person or several on the other end of the line asking you questions. Preparing for a phone interview is not all that different than getting ready for a face-to-face interview, although there are a few ‘extras' to be aware of.
It's easy to get into the mind set that a phone interview is very informal. If you allow yourself to think this way, the chances are good that you won't be as prepared for it as you would if you were sitting down with your interviewer(s) face-to-face. Be certain that you do a bit of research on the company, understand the job description well and practice your answers to questions you think you will be asked. In other words, prepare yourself just as you would for any other interview you are invited to.
It's almost certain that you will be asked to provide some of the information that is on your resume, so be sure to have that with you. It's a good idea to also have your cover letter in front of you as well as your portfolio and written job descriptions from past jobs or internships.
It is essential that you ask the interviewer questions when asked if you have any queries as this will show that you are very much interested in the job. Therefore, you should take the time prior to the phone interview to write up a ‘cheat sheet' with questions you would like to pose to the person or persons interviewing you. It's also a good idea to jot down a few key points you would like to tell the interviewer about yourself, your skills or your interests.
A phone interview is not the time to use a cheap cell phone that won't stay connected. Nor is it the time to rely on a low quality land line that makes it hard for the interviewer to understand what you are saying. Make sure that the phone you use is in excellent working order.
While it may seem unimportant what clothes you wear when being interviewed over the telephone, it is important from a psychological point of view. If you dress up as you would for a regular interview, you will feel more professional than you would if you were interviewing in your most casual clothing. So take a shower, fix your hair and put on some nice clothing for your phone interview. Doing so will make you feel good about yourself. When you're dressed for success, you'll have a ton of self-confidence while speaking to the interviewer on the other end of the line.
As your interview is winding down, show your confidence by asking if it would be possible for you to meet the interviewer in person so that you can continue your conversation. This is also the time to ask what happens next so find out if they will call you or send you an email to let you know if you are still being considered for the job. When you take the time to wrap the interview up properly, it shows that you're confident that things went well. Plus, it's always good to be aware of what the next step consists of when you are actively looking for employment.