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News & Events

What to Do in the 24 Hours Leading up to a Phone Interview

BY: admin | September 12, 2017


While a phone interview can sometimes feel like a pesky formality before you get to the “real” interview, in actuality, they are much more important than you may think.

Phone interviews are essentially your first impression and, good or bad, that impression is going to linger for a while.  Research has shown that it takes less than 30 seconds for someone to assess your confidence, competence, status, likeability, warmth, and trustworthiness.  After that impression has been made, people tend to only remember actions that reinforce their belief about you and forget actions that contradict that belief.

So if done correctly, a phone interview is the best way to set yourself up for success for the long haul.  And the best way to perform well in a phone interview is to prepare!

Follow these tips in the 24 hours leading up to your interview to knock it out of the park.

24:00  |  Research

Your interviewer wants to know that you’re familiar with their company; the key word here being familiar.  You don’t have to know that Brien from Accounting loves meatloaf (both the food and the musician) or that Megan from HR has seen every Nicholas Cage movie –  just get comfortable with the high-level information.

Visit their website and make sure you understand their business and industry.  If they are a public company, review their Annual Report.  Find your interviewer on Linkedin and see if you have any connections.  Lastly, make notes on your findings and see how you can match up your prior experience with the job description and mission statement of the company.

Simply put, do your homework!

03:00  |  Charge Your Phone

Between checking emails, updating your fantasy roster, and listening to your favorite Spotify playlist, its easy to forget to check your battery levels.  It can sometimes feel like your battery has gone from 84% to 6% in an instant.  Be sure to plug in your phone and get a full charge so that your phone doesn’t die mid interview.

02:00  |  Dress for Success

Even though you’re interviewer won’t see how nice you look, research has shown that dressing in formal attire boosts abstract thinking and negotiating skills.  I guess there is some truth behind the old adage “you look good, you feel good”!

01:00  |   Hit the Off Button

Whether its your T.V., stereo, or a squeaky ceiling fan, if you think something in the room may break your concentration, turn it off.  The last thing you want is a quick glance at the T.V. to shift your train of thought from “Credits & Debits” to “Khaleesi & Dragons”.

00:55  |   Get Set Up

Lay out your research notes, the job description, and your resume so that you will have quick access to your talking points and won’t have to go searching for them mid-call.

00:50  |   Review

While your notes are out, this is a perfect opportunity to review! In the interviewing world, the term overly prepared does not exist – it is simply ‘prepared’.

00:15   |  Pose and Twist

Get your blood and hormones pumping by striking a power posePlant your feet widely and stretch your arms overhead in a V shape for 2 minutes and you’ll feel like a champion. 

While you’re at it, do some speech exercises to ensure that you speak clearly.  Try some simple tongue twisters like “Theophilus Thistler, the thistle sifter, in sifting a sieve of unsifted thistles, thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb.”

Your dog may look at you strange, but it will all be worth it.

00:00  |  Answer the Phone