The Phone Interview Log
Have you got a phone interview in your near future? Congratulations on advancing into the next step of your job search! Now, you need to get prepared to make the most of the experience! The good news is you can forget about some of the hassles of in-person interviews. For example, you don't need to worry about getting a new outfit or planning around traffic. However, just because you won't see you hiring manager in person, doesn't mean you don't have to prepare at all.
Phone interviews have their own unique set of challenges, but you need to do just as much research as you normally would. Before the day of your expected call, make sure you know everything you need to know about the company, position and industry. This information helps you prepare for the questions you'll be asked. With this knowledge, you can give more informed responses even if the inquiry catches you off guard.
If you live with roommates or your family, let everyone know in advance that you will be receiving an important phone call. This will ensure that they answer the communal phone well, take messages seriously and give you a quiet background while you are on the phone. If you can, designate a small area where you will do the interview and make sure you have your phone interview log within reach. The log helps you remember key information and will help you during the question and answer session.
Contents of a Phone Interview Log
For your log, you can either make and print your own template or you can get one from online. Either way, you should make sure it holds key information about the position you applied for. Especially if you have applied for multiple jobs, the log will help you organize thoughts, which means you can answer more confidently and with authority.
Your log does not have to be pages long. You can easily fit the information onto a notecard if you wish. You should have something similar to the following categories:
- Company name
- Point of Contact
- Name of Interviewer
- Prospective Position Title
- Date Applied
- Job Requirements
- Important Traits or Qualifications
- Your Key Selling Points
- Other Important Information
- After Interview Notes
As you can see, filling out one of these logs is not supposed to be overly time consuming or difficult. It is just meant to be a snapshot that you can use as a quick reference during the interview.
Before the appointment, you should have most of the information you need to fill in the phone interview log. The only exception is perhaps the name of your interviewer, but if you aren't provided with this detail beforehand, quickly write it down when the hiring manager introduces himself or herself. Otherwise, fill in the position related sections with what is found in the original posting. To be clear, the key selling points are the aspects of your professional merits that make you the best candidate for the job.
Using Your Phone Interview Log
Now that you have filled the phone interview log with the proper information, find a good place to put it. If you will be receiving the call on your home phone, put the file next to it. Make sure other household members know it is there so they don't accidently throw it away or move it. Should you be expecting multiple interview calls, organize your logs in order of when you expect the interview. This way you will not have to worry about the distraction of shuffling papers.
When you pick up the phone, introduce yourself and thank the interviewer for taking the time to call. As you are asked questions about yourself and the company, confer with the log to ensure you do not misspeak or forget important points you want to cover. For instance, when you are asked what your strengths are as a professional, look at the job requirements sections and align your answer with what the interviewer is looking for. Also try to incorporate your key selling points.
After the interview log, take a moment to fill in the "After Interview Notes" section with your impressions or important information. For example, you might write down the date you can expect to hear about the status of your job offer or you could record the date of your next interview.