A job interview over the phone definitely has its advantages. You don’t have to agonize over what to wear — you could stay in your yoga pants and no one would know. You can relax at home instead of sitting uncomfortably in a stranger’s office, and you don’t have to worry about getting lost and showing up late.
But don’t let the casual nature fool you. Phone interviews are important screening tools and should be taken seriously. You need to do well to make it to the next step in the hiring process. In some positions, such as travel nursing jobs, the telephone interview may be the only interview you do.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you ace the phone interview.
Prepare as thoroughly as you would for a face-to-face interview. Not only should you look over the hospital web site for its mission statement and services offered, but you also should do an internet search for the organization for any recent news mentions, according to NursingLink. Anticipate the question “Why do you want to work here?” and have a response ready.
Use notes. Career advice blogger Andrew Rosen recommends having a printout of your resume and the job description, as well as a list of points you want to make and questions you need to ask, in case nerves cause you to draw a blank.
Compose yourself before the call. Take a deep breath, NurseTogether suggests, and put a smile on your face. You will sound friendlier and more relaxed — a great first impression.
Consider getting dressed. Sure, you don’t have to (unless you’re interviewing via Skype!). But NursingLink points out that you are likely to feel more confident and professional in your interviewing getup instead of your PJ’s. And that confidence will shine through in your interview performance.
Get distracted. Your friends may be able to deal with barking dogs and persistent children in the background while you chat, but it’s not professional and will make it hard for you to answer questions and your interviewer to hear your responses. Turn off the TV, get someone to occupy kids and pets and focus on the task at hand, NursingLink says.
Leave the house. Rosen says you need minimum distractions and the ability to speak at a reasonable volume. The hubub of Starbucks is not a good environment for a phone interview.
Don’t let nerves overtake your speech, especially on voicemail. People have a tendency to rush when they leave messages, so make a point to speak clearly and deliberately. NurseTogether says if you can’t connect with your interviewer, leave your name, the position you are calling about, a callback number and good time to talk.
Feeling ready to take the plunge in the job market? Parallon can match nurses with appropriate job openings. To look over available positions now, visit our web site or call us at 1-866-967-5748.