When a company has a large pool of applicants for a job, it won’t have time to meet everyone personally. One way companies narrow down their search is through a phone interview. If you’re scheduled for a phone interview, it’s your first step towards a new job. Here are some tips to keep in mind so you can ace your phone interview and earn yourself a chance to meet the employer in person.
1) Be Prepared for the Interview
You want to make sure you’re well prepared for your phone interview before it starts. Print out a copy of your resume ahead of time so it is easy to reference during the call. You should also write out a few questions about the job and any information you definitely want to mention to the interviewer. Keep these papers in front of you during the call so you can use them as a reminder.
It can also be helpful to have computer access for your call. Load up the interviewing company’s website so you can reference it during your conversation. If your interviewer starts talking about something you don’t understand, you can do a quick web search while he’s talking. Just be careful not to let the computer take your mind off the call.
Note: If you’re worried about your ability to multi-task, you may do better leaving the computer off for your interview.
2) Remove Distractions
One of the problems with a phone interview is that it can seem less serious than a face to face meeting. Since you can have your interview anywhere you want, even your home, it’s easy to let yourself get distracted during the call. However, your interviewer will be able to tell if you aren’t giving him your full attention and this can be enough to get yourself knocked out of the running for the job.
You need to make sure that you are able to give this interview the attention it deserves. Make sure your kids and pets are out of the way, turn off the TV, and don’t take your interview while driving. If a problem comes up that you need to address during the call, let the interviewer know that you need a minute. The interviewer will appreciate your honesty.
3) Sound Like a Winner
During your phone interview, how you sound will also make an impression on your interviewer. During your call, try to remind yourself to smile (even though they can’t see you). This is an old telemarketing trick. When you smile during the conversation, it adds positive energy to your voice. This energy will leave a better impression on the interviewer.
As you talk, also focus on speaking slowly and clearly. Be careful not to rush your answers or use filler words like “um” or “uh”. If you have a tape recorder, you can try a practice interview with a friend while recording your answers. Make sure your pace is good and your answers come across clearly. During your interview, be sure not to chew gum or eat anything. If you need to take a quick sip of water, move the phone away for a second so the interviewer doesn’t hear you slurp.
4) Dress Appropriately as if for a Face to Face Interview
Just like the interviewer car “hear your smile” how you dress affects how you respond. You should dress in clothes appropriate for the position you are applying for. This will put you in the right mood for the job and make it easier to answer appropriately.
5) Focus on the Goal- To Get an Interview
Always keep the goal of your phone interview in mind: you’re trying to earn a face to face interview. You need to prove to the interviewer that you are worth the time and effort of another interview. Be sure to bring up your strength’s as a candidate during the call as well as why you’re interested in the position. At the end of the call, be sure to thank the interviewer for his time and let him know that you’d be very grateful for another meeting. If things go well, you should finish your phone interview one step closer to a job offer.
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