No matter the interview you will be appearing for, it is always better to prepare yourself well in advance. For those who have freshly graduated from college, starting their career with an internship with a reputed organization can be a huge stepping stone to future success. It can also prepare them for more essential interviews they will have to face later in their careers.
However, not all interviews today are conducted face-to-face. Companies today are open to hiring global talent, and work-from-home opportunities have increased remarkably after the pandemic. Hence, recruiters are conducting interviews online or over the phone, and the same goes for internship interviews as well.
Even if the job is for an in-office position, many recruiters conduct the interviews over the phone if the candidate is located in another city or country. Once they have qualified for the job, they could relocate.
As a result, the applicant has to keep several factors in mind while preparing for a phone interview for an internship. While, in some ways, it is easier than a regular interview, it is far more challenging in some other ways.
Vital Points That Are Unique to a Phone Interview
A phone interview for the internship will be unique in specific ways compared to a regular interview. Here are some points to keep in mind when you prepare for it.
1. Your Voice is Everything
Your recruiter conducting the phone interview will not be able to see you in person when you appear for a phone interview. Hence, you have to express yourself through your voice, and it is crucial that you work on your voice modulation.
When you walk into a room for an interview in person, your body language and overall demeanor play a considerable role in making a favorable impression on prospective employers.
If you have a pleasing personality, then you can make the most of it when the interview is conducted in person. However, that will not be avail when you appear for a phone interview, and you need to express your personality, as well as your eagerness for the job, through your voice.
Work on your voice modulation and practice speaking with someone who can give you feedback about whether you sound tensed or confident over the phone.
2. Understanding Verbal Cues
Just like your interviewer will be forming an idea about you over the phone, you need to do the same as well. Once you start answering the questions, you will not be able to say in any way whether the answers are favorable or not with the help of their facial expressions.
You will have to understand verbal cues and answer accordingly. Do they sound impressed? Do they want you to go on with a particular answer? Should you stop and wait for the next question? Understanding these nuances will remarkably increase your chances of doing well in the interview.
3. Do Not Use Lots of Paper
In a regular interview, you are mostly expected to answer the questions by making eye contact with the interviewers. Consulting notes too often is not considered very professional unless you are consulting some data. You may think phone interviews are better in that respect since it gives you the opportunity to consult some written material.
However, do not make the mistake of consulting too much from your notes. Your interviewers, experts in their rights, will instantly figure out if you are reading out from printed material rather than being spontaneous. Also, if you are using a ton of paperwork, the rustle from the papers will create another distraction and, instead of helping your interview, will only jeopardize it further.
4. Being On Time
You might not be physically traveling to the location of the interview, but it is still essential to be on time for your phone interview for the internship. Discuss it earlier with your recruiters very clearly about who is going to make the call. If your recruiter decides to call you, be sure to be by your phone at the exact time. Do not let the phone ring and go unanswered as you decide to get a cup of coffee.
On the other hand, if you are supposed to make the call, which is quite rare, do not be a minute late. Your interviewers are probably waiting for you at the other end, and it isn’t polite to make them wait.
5. Dressing Up
While it is not necessary to dress up for a phone interview, for obvious reasons, try not to be too informally dressed during the process. Studies have shown that how your dress often has a psychological impact and attending your interview in your pajamas, just because your recruiters cannot see you, might not have the desired result.
Shower and dress up in a shirt and trousers, and wait for your call. This will help you create a mindset for the interview and allow you to remain focused instead of simply rolling off your couch.
Tips to Do Well in the Phone Interview for Internship
A lot will depend on your internship in the future when it comes to opportunities. Here are some tips that will help you do well in the interview.
1. Greeting the Recruiter
When you first receive the call, greet your interviewer warmly with a good morning or afternoon, depending on the time of day. This will instantly set the mood for the interview, and your recruiter will know you are calm and prepared. If they are the first to speak, then respond accordingly.
2. Avoid Distractions
You won’t have the privacy and solitude of a formal office space while appearing for a phone interview. While office spaces can be intimidating, they are more formal and help you stay focused.
However, chances are that you will answer your phone interview from your home or some similar space. Try to find a quiet place and avoid distractions. Make sure you are not sitting near the window or balcony. You must avoid attending the interview from a café or similar public spaces.
3. Using a Land Phone
For several reasons, it is ideal to use a land phone for a phone interview. There are no chances of the phone battery running out if the interview becomes long and interesting. Moreover, even if your keep your Wifi or phone data switched off, there are chances that you might still get messages or phone calls while you are speaking to your recruiter.
The ding of promotional SMSs or the beep of a call waiting in the background can be as distracting as social media notifications. So using a landline will be a good idea.
4. Be Thorough with Your Resume
Since you are applying for the position of an intern, chances are that your resume does not have much to show in terms of work experience, and this could very well be your first job. However, it would be best if you were thorough with your resume and the academic qualifications you have stated.
Your recruiters might ask you specific questions about a certification you have listed, your GPA, or the major and minor subjects you had in college. They might ask you how they are relevant for the internship you have applied for. It would be best if you did not have to look into your resume to check which certifications or courses your recruiter is asking you about. Be prompt with your answer.
Bonus Read: How to Write Cover Letter For Internships With No Experience?
5. Asking Questions
Appearing for a phone interview for an internship might seem intimidating, but one of the surest ways of making an impression on the interviewer is to ask questions at the end. The questions should not just be related to any doubts you must clarify. Also, do not just ask questions about stipends or salaries the internship will allow you.
Instead, ask questions that focus on your growth with the company. What kind of opportunities are you looking at once the internship comes to an end? Will the company consider hiring you full-time at the end of the internship? Does the company offer any kind of further courses for skill development? Who will be your mentor or supervisor during the internship? Be polite and formal, and the recruiters are sure to be impressed with your approach.
6. Send a Thank You Note
Once the interview ends, you must send a thank you note and an email within forty-eight hours of the interview. This will reflect your professionalism, and you can also show your enthusiasm about the internship.
Questions to Expect During a Phone Interview For Internship
Some of the most common questions that are asked during a phone interview are as follows:
- Please introduce yourself and tell us something that is not mentioned in the resume?
- What do you expect to learn by the end of the internship program?
- What did your teachers say about you when you were in college?
- Which of your achievements has made you proud?
- Were you passionate about the subject you majored in, or did you go for it just because it meant a promising career?
- Do you think you have leadership skills? How have you put them to use?
- Have you learned anything from any of your past mistakes?
- What did you want to become when you were a kid? Why didn’t you follow your dream?
Appearing for an interview is no small task. An internship is just a stepping stone for bigger things in the future. Hence, graduates often become discouraged if they fail to land the internship they had hoped for. There are plenty of companies that offer stupendous internship programs that can help you kickstart your career. However, preparation is everything.
Practice answering plausible questions with a friend and work on your phone etiquette. Try not to drink or eat anything that might affect your throat. Speaking in a raspy voice over the phone or coughing intermittently will affect the interview process. Have confidence in yourself and do your best, and you will surely land your dream internship.