Why It Might Help to Request a Phone Interview First

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Some people shine at in-person job interviews, but most people get nervous and second-guess themselves. It’s just the way it is. Interviewers already know this, and they usually expect some level of nerves to show up in an interview.

But in this day and age, you might be able to cut down on the number of in-person interviews you have to attend because there are times when an initial phone interview makes more sense.

In this post, we’re going to cover the circumstances in which it makes sense to request a phone interview first.

You live far away

If you’re planning to relocate for a job, it probably makes sense to have a phone interview before you step foot on an airplane. Even if the employer isn’t planning to conduct phone interviews for other candidates, they will likely understand in your case (especially if they aren’t footing the bill for the flight and accommodations). It doesn’t have to be an out-of-state job, but if you live more than three hours away from the interview location, It makes sense to ask for a phone interview first. This way, both you and the potential employer can decide whether it’s worth the time and expense to conduct that in-person interview. And if things don’t go well, you’ll be glad you didn’t waste your time.

It’s a phone-intensive job

If you’re struggling to find time to get away for an in-person interview for a phone-intensive job, it may make sense to ask for a phone interview. When your entire job performance is evaluated based on your phone skills, an employer could very well decide whether you’re a good candidate based on how you perform on a phone interview.

You’re being poached

If you’re (relatively) happily employed and another company wants you to come work for them, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a phone interview first. In this case, the other company is aware of you and the value you bring to the table. They’ve already decided that you’re the man or woman for the job, and you’re actually the one who has the decision to make. This is a time when you can make some requests (or even demands) that will inevitably make your life easier. Consider this first interview an opportunity to see what the company has to offer above and beyond what you’re getting from your current employer.

And remember, an in-person interview could pose some risks for you when you’re happy with your job. There’s a greater chance your employer will find out that you’re interviewing when you show up to an office in person and meet with someone. So asking for a phone interview in this situation can help keep that opportunity private until you’re ready to discuss it with your boss.

You’re practicing social distancing

These days, most people are trying to limit contact with others, so phone interviews are becoming the norm instead of the exception. So if a potential employer asks you for an in-person interview before you’ve even discussed the job, it’s appropriate to ask for a phone interview first. This can help you limit the number of in-person interviews you must conduct, and in the process, it will help limit your exposure to other people. Even with COVID-19 vaccines being distributed, phone interviews are still the responsible thing to do. A potential employer may even require it.

Especially in a post-COVID society, phone interviews are more common than ever. And they’re often the more responsible choice. If you feel you’d benefit from a phone interview before you meet with anyone in person, the best you can do is ask. They may or may not agree, but it’s often worth a shot.