The phone interview will most likely be the initial obstacle to conquer when landing a software engineering position. For a lot of internships, you may only have to pass the phone interview(s) to obtain the job.
Phone interviews range from short simple tests to extended conversations including many technical and programming questions. The interview on the phone can definitely present an advantage for the number of less socially-inclined (sorry for the stereotype fellow brainiacs!) people in computer science that feel anxious in conversations with strangers. Before we even begin details about what happens on the phone, let’s review the fundamental tips that will provide you with the confidence to succeed.
First, do you have a landline phone? Otherwise, can you absolutely have confidence in your cell phone provider to not drop your calls? Also, are you certain you will have a charger in case your battery runs out? Visit the area that you’ll perform your phone interview and ask a friend to contact you to check on reception. If possible, put one more cell phone charger there just in case. Take action. These items might make your interview a nightmare and turn you into a nervous meltdown.
The Way You Sound
Your voice can be critical in conveying that you will be an excellent fit in the organization. Imagine being the interviewer and talking with somebody who was shy and indecisive. Most of us form impressions of people when first talking to them, and you don’t want to produce a negative, non-charming impression.
Here’s a suggestion that I frequently provide. Leave yourself a voicemail message. Say, “Hello, my name is…, and I am looking forward to interviewing with your business. My interests are…” I realize this sounds corny, but try it. Now play back your voicemail message. You sound considerably different when hearing your own voice. When you hear yourself, do you sound confident? Are you speaking loud enough? After hearing your voice, are you able to envision yourself as an ambitious person? The interviewer cannot pick up your gestures, and it is vital that you project confidence through your voice.
Call your cell phone again and carry out some things in different ways. Stand up and walk while you talk. Project your voice deep out of your chest. Deliberately put a grin on your face when you speak. Despite the fact that you may feel stupid, I guarantee you that you will sound much more confident and happy.
Company Research / News
It still surprises me when i prepare people for interviews and they have no clue about the organization with which they are interviewing. Some of my sample questions are: “What sparks your interest in the business?”, “What’s something recent you’ve learned about the business?”, and “What products interest you the most?”
They all are fundamental questions which entail simple research. It is simply embarrassing when you can’t provide an answer to these questions. Your very best assets for company information and news would be the business’s blog. When the organization doesn’t use a blog, your next option is an internet search engine. Do not go into the interview without knowing about the organization. Uncover a little more about the head honcho, the products, the locations, future plans and new projects, etc.
Generally, it is always wise to follow recent technology news. Slashdot.org is a superb beginning point, along with the technology part of Google News. For example, once an interviewer asked about a recent technology product that interested me. Fortunately, the evening before I’d learned about three-dimensional plastic printers, which sparked interesting conversations with my interviewer.
Know Your Interviewer
You should always try your best to find out who is interviewing you. If you don’t know, you’ve likely been in contact with a recruiter that can make this information available. This information is gold, so do your best to obtain it.
Once you know your interviewer, search for their information. Did they attend graduate school? If so, find their publications and find their thesis topics. Interview questions will most likely reflect the interviewer’s interests. For example, my Google interviewer did research in massive graph processing. Guess what questions he asked? I received graph question after graph question and handled them well. I did research about his team in addition to their product, which allowed for further interesting talk at the end of the interview. These interactions can leave great impressions inside the mind of your interviewer, which can play a significant role when they debate your employment with others.
These tips, while basic, are some of the most important things you can do that will make you feel more confident on the day of the phone interview. I guarantee that you will feel much more confident within your phone interview when you know that you sound great on the phone, know a lot about your interviewer, and know that you will have good reception.