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Phone Interview Tips

Phone Interview Tips, Your New Job is Calling

So who says hard work doesn't pay off - nonsense.You just received a call from the HR department(or hiring manager-supervisor) for one the many jobs you applied for online. And guess what, they want to set-up a phone interview to find out more about you. That is great, the work you put into your cover letters, resumes, and your job search persistence has provided you with an opportunity for a phone interview. The phone interview usually occurs during the initial stages of the interview process and is used by employers to identify potential candidates for a face to face interview. In short the phone interview is a prescreen event. Since your goal is to get in front of the employer, you need to score big here to advance to that stage. Here are a few tips to prepare for you phone interview.

Before the phone interview:

  1. Be sure you have a quiet place to take the call. No background noise or distractions.
  2. Ensure that all household members are aware of the importance of this call.
  3. Dress for the job and speak with a smile on your face. It is important that you be enthusiastic and professional over the phone. If you dress the part you are more likely to feel the part; it's your dress rehearsal to a face to face interview.
  4. Have your resume, cover letter, the job description, a pen, and notepad in front of you for reference and to take notes.
  5. Research the company and prepare 2 - 3 questions about the company and/or position. Focus on the company's organizational structure, size, brand image, strengths, or questions related to the job description.
  6. Write down your strengths and weakness with examples: how your strengths have been beneficial to your current or previous positions, and ways you manage or overcome your weakness.
  7. Confirm the date/time and be sure to get the interviewers contact information in case of an emergency.

During the phone interview:

  1. Greet the interviewer by name in the same manner you were addressed. If you are addressed by your last name then do the same for the interviewer.
  2. Speak in a clear and upbeat voice. Try standing up or sitting up straight to project your voice.
  3. Focus on the interviewer's questions and refer to your resume, cover letter, notes or research to give detail answers specific to your experiences. Be sure to include your actions and the results.
  4. Do not fill in silences with babble; instead use this as an opportunity to ask a question on the current topic or to allow the interviewer to continue with the next question. Your job is to answer questions; the interviewer will set the tone and control the flow of the interview.
  5. Do not bad mouth former employers or co-workers.
  6. Do not interrupt or argue with the interviewer.
  7. When appropriate, ask 2 - 3 questions about the company and/or position from your research or questions or information obtained during the interview. Do not ask about salary, hours, commute, or benefits these questions can be asked at a later time in the interview process.
  8. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and ask what the next step in the interview process is. You want to end the conversation knowing your next step.

So how did you do? I expect, with the tips above, you did quite well! Great. You should be looking forward to landing a center stage invite - a face to face interview. Make sure you prepare for your face to face interview.

Author: Michelle Wright