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5 Excellent Tips to Ace your Next Phone Interview

Companies are increasingly finding it difficult to hire the best employees. One way firms are dealing with this problem is by holding initial phone interviews before scheduling a face-to-face interview. As a job seeker, you need to prepare yourself well if you wish to pass this initial huddle. Below is an overview of a few major tips you need to concentrate on to ace your phone interview.

phone interview tips

Phone Interview Tip #1: Be cooperative

You should endeavor to answer all the questions fielded at you without evading any of them. You should be cooperative with the interviewer even when you feel the questions are being repeated. One of the mistakes many people make is that of referring the interviewer to their resumes. Something like “check my resume to understand what I am saying” will not go down well with most interviewers. Remember, it is not only your answers the interviewer will be interested in. Your manner of answering the questions will be used to determine your intelligence, level of cooperation, communication ability and many other things.

Phone Interview Tip #2: Do not ramble

It is tempting to talk too much but doing that will actually hurt your chances of acing the interview. In fact, it is better if you wait for two or more seconds after the interviewer has stopped talking before answering. This will eliminate your chances of interrupting the questioning process, something that can actually be viewed as rude. Rambling may also lead to numerous ‘ums’ and ‘ahhs’ in your conversation, and you cannot pass an interview that way.

Phone Interview Tip #3: Listen keenly

In a face-to-face interview, you have the advantage of reading the body language of your interviewers. This is not the case with a phone interview where you have to rely solely on your ears. That is why you need to listen carefully to the questions asked and ask for a repeat of any question that is not clear to you. This means you should also have a clear phone line. Clear the room of any potential noise generators before the interview commences.

Phone Interview Tip #4: Don’t be coy

Even if you feel you are more “fun” with coy or cute answers, resist that temptation. Remember, the interviewers are not (in most cases) interested in your fun side, unless you are interviewing for a comedy position. Give clear and straight answers to all the questions fielded. For example, answering the common question of salary expectation with “I’m negotiable” may be viewed as antagonistic by many people.

Phone Interview Tip #5: Prepare yourself

Do not think that just because it is a phone interview, you do not have to prepare yourself. The preparation is not only for your interviewers but also for yourself. In fact, it is better to postpone an interview if you are not ready than to go ahead and fail miserably. If you think you can pass a phone interview by just getting out of bed and handling it in your pajamas, think again. Your preparation, or lack of it, will send a subconscious message to your brain. If you approach the interview casually, you might end up giving casual answers to the interviewer.


Although a phone interview may not be regarded as highly as a face to face interview, it should be. This is because it usually determines who is selected for the next step. At the end of the process, remember to thank the interviewer for his/her time.

Guest post contributed by Darren Rowen on behalf of Progressive-Personnel.com. Daren is a careers adviser and freelance writer. His articles mainly appear on job seeker blogs.

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/71505211@N07/