How to Succeed in a Phone Interview

If a job interview doesn’t make you nervous, we should get a doctor in here to check your pulse. For most people, the anxiety gets even higher if it’s a phone interview. Here are some tips to help you do well in a phone interview and get your dream job.

First, let’s talk about the advantages of the phone interview – you don’t have to worry about how to dress, and you can’t get lost on the way to the interview. You can also look at your resume and notes while you on the phone, which you certainly can’t do in a face-to-face interview.

Getting Ready
First, consider where you’re going to have the phone call. You want a quiet place, with a good phone connection. No screaming children, barking dogs, or poor cell phone connections. You don’t want to these distractions to making a bad impression on the interviewer. Select your location, gather up a copy of your resume, your notes, and shut the door.

“My notes? “, you ask. “What notes?” You should prep for any interview. Think about your answers to the commonly asked interview questions, like What are your strengths and weaknesses? or Why are you leaving your current job?. Jot down some notes on how you might answer some of these questions. Also jot down any questions you have about the company and the job. While you’re at it, make a list of three reasons why you’re a good match for this job. You should do this preparation for any job interview, but one of the wonderful things about a phone interview is that it’s an open-book test. You can have your notes right in front of you to refresh your memory, and help you get your message across.

Let’s Talk
When people are nervous, they often talk too fast, or the tone of their voices goes up. The phone tends to magnify these problems, so you want to speak in a straightforward, normal tone of voice. You may find it helpful to imagine yourself as some icon of confidence, like George Clooney or James Bond. When you answer the phone, try to sound relaxed and confident, and glad that you’re going to have a chance to do this interview. Set the tone early on.

As you talk, remember this is a job interview. If you’re too relaxed, you many find yourself slipping into an excessively casual tone, and become too buddy-buddy. This isn’t your new best friend, so you shouldn’t get into the details of your personal life or the really cool new music you got. Remember, you’re basically doing a sales job here – you’re selling the interviewer on you.

Listen and Answer
You need to listen carefully to the interviewer, and keep your answers focused on the question. You don’t need to rush, though. Take a moment to put together your thoughts, and then answer. You’ll sound more confident and in control. If you’re not sure what the interviewer is asking, you can ask a question in return, like “Are you asking about my work with web design?” Also be prepared to have a question or two for them. They’re right there in your notes.

Wrapping Up
When the interview’s done, thank the interviewer for taking the time to talk with you, and if you’re interested in the job, re-iterate why you think you’re a good match. Follow the phone interview up with an e-mail to thank the interviewer.

The key to a phone interview is being prepared, and then projecting a feeling of competence in your voice and manner. With these, you’re well on your way to acing a phone interview.

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