With many great applicants applying to work in the conservative movement, more and more recruiters rely on phone interviews to save time and determine whom they want to meet in person.
Many jobseekers overstress to the detriment of their preparation. However, if you have a phone interview, you already have reason to be happy; the recruiter would not waste their time if you did not show potential.
For phone interviews, you don’t have to worry about finding the location or presenting the right body language, and you can have all your notes laid out in front of you. Take it seriously, however, and prepare in the same ways you would for an in-person interview.
Preparation is everything! In the early stages of screening, the interviewer will expect you to establish why you’re qualified for the role, an appreciation of the organization and its mission, and proof you’re a normal human being.
Research the organization’s website, social media, annual reports, and recent news; use that information to establish why you’re motivated to work for the organization. The recruiter will expect you to know the fundamentals of what the organization does and the contribution it makes to the movement.
Research yourself. This might sound strange, but it’s important to know your employment history and what you’ve accomplished in previous positions. This research will serve as your validation when asked why you’re qualified for the job and what value you can create for the organization.
Find a quiet place where you can lay out your notes, and not be disturbed. You should notify anyone who might interrupt that you’re doing an interview. If you’re so inclined, wear business attire to get in the right frame of mind.
Answer the phone confidently as you would at work and introduce yourself. Take notes as the interviewer is speaking about the details of the interview and their name so you can use it in conversation.
Listen carefully to the interviewer and be careful not to cut them off in conversation. When you speak, do so confidentially, and emphasize the tone of your voice to convey friendliness since the interviewer can’t see you.
Keep your answers succinct. If the interviewer has to cut you off, it probably means your answers are too long. Also, if you’re asked a tough question, don’t be afraid to ask for a moment to think about your answer. This shows you’re conscientious and is far better than rushing in unprepared.
Finally, at the end of your interview, you should be prepared with questions. Ask the interviewer their favorite thing about working for the organization and what the dynamics of your team would be like.
After the Phone Interview
Send a thank you note to the interviewer. Immediately after your interview, write one and be sure to include details which evidence it was written personally for them, i.e., what you enjoyed about the interview. Have it in the mail that day. If you doubt the letter will get there on time, send an email.
Play the waiting game. This is arguably the hardest part of an interview and can be frustrating if the recruiter takes too long. If there was no indication of a timeline given to you by the interviewer, send a polite email a week after the interview requesting a status update. If you receive no response, move on.
Phone interviews can be hard, but if you know how to handle them, you’ll easily impress recruiters and move on to the in-person interview. Good luck!