What is a Phone Interview Cheat Sheet?
A job applicant can create a phone interview cheat sheet that contains basic information about what to expect during the phone interview. It serves as a memory-refreshing tool, and it helps you to confidently respond to questions, without fumbling, when talking to the interviewer. A good phone interview cheat sheet should be short, brief, and to the point.
In almost all jobs, there is a possibility that your prospective employer may request a phone interview at some point. Your performance in the phone interview may determine if you will be among the shortlisted candidates for a face-to-face interview.
However, most job applicants dread phone interviews due to the time limitations and the inability to read the emotions of the interviewers. Phone interviews make many people nervous, and because of this, they may fail to nail the interview. Preparing a phone interview cheat sheet beforehand can help improve an applicant’s confidence and ability to respond to questions during the interview process.
Components of a Good Phone Interview Cheat Sheet
Before the phone interview, prepare a hand-written or typed cheat sheet. Ideas for what to include on your phone interview cheat sheet include the following:
1. Company information
During the interview, an interviewer may ask questions designed to see how much you know about the company. Spend a few minutes before the interview researching the company for important information that the interviewer may ask about. Visit the company’s website and social media profiles to get an idea of the products and services that the company sells, its history, core objectives, mission, vision, and information about the executives of the company.
Write down the few points you find about the company in a way that will refresh your memory when the interviewer asks questions about them. Knowing important information about the hiring company ahead of time and noting it down on your phone interview cheat sheet can give you an edge over other interviewees.
2. Interviewer information
Knowing who the interviewer is and their role in the company can help give you confidence during the interview. Also, since the interviewer possesses some information about who you are, it is safe to know some information about them and what they stand for. Visit the company’s website to know who the hiring manager is and use their name to find their LinkedIn and social media pages. Get some professional facts about them, such as their educational qualifications, experience, and any professional awards that they hold.
This kind of information can help you understand what they stand for and plan how to easily connect with them during the interview. Note down the interviewer’s name, title, and some professional facts about them that can help you establish rapport with the interviewer.
3. Information about the position
The main goal of participating in an interview is to demonstrate your competencies and why you are the best person for the job. Failure to know what the position is about and the specific requirements that the company is looking for can easily knock you out of the interview process.
Prior to the interview, review the job advertisement and pick out the most important qualifications, skills, and duties that the prospective employer is looking for, and note them down. Highlighting these points can help you structure your responses appropriately and demonstrate to the interviewer that you are the best person for the position that the company is looking to fill. Also, noting the specific requirements of the job can help you match the job requirements to your skills, qualifications, and competencies.
4. Questions that you will ask
In a typical interview, most interviewers give the interviewee an opportunity to ask them questions about the company or the position they have applied for. A phone interview is no exception, and you should prepare five to ten innovative questions that relate to the interviewer, the hiring company, or the position you are applying for.
The question-answer session gives you an opportunity to show how different you are from the other interviewees, depending on how well you frame your questions. Make sure the questions are are relevant to the position being applied for, and try to use them as a way to again highlight your skills appropriate for the job.
5. Elevator pitch
At the end of the phone interview, the interviewer may ask you for any additional information that you would like to add. Your elevator pitch serves as a golden opportunity to remind the interviewer of your accomplishments and skills, and reaffirm why you are the best candidate for the job.
Many interviewees are often caught off-guard by the interviewer by this kind of question, and it may show their level of preparedness in a bad light. Ahead of the interview, write down brief points about what you are going to say, making it a good recap of the things you have already mentioned during the interview, and accentuating the points you think the interviewer will consider most important. For example, if the interviewer mentions that the last person in the position didn’t do a great job with customer service, you might note that you are always conscientious about building and maintaining good customer relationships.
Unlike a face-to-face interview, a phone interview is the only opportunity that a job applicant can “cheat.” Creating a good phone interview cheat sheet can help you distinguish yourself from the rest of the applicants by giving well-constructed responses that match the position you are applying for.
Thanks for reading CFI’s guide to creating a phone interview cheat sheet. CFI offers the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful: