Winning the Phone Interview

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Winning the Phone Interview

It’s unfortunate, but many talented and well-qualified job hunters never make it to an in-person interview. Why? Because they make the mistake of being unprepared for a phone interview. More and more often these days, phone interviews are the intermediary step between applying for a job and meeting face to face. If you want a real chance at landing the job, you must first be prepared to have a winning phone interview.

How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

Prepare for your phone interview as soon as possible by writing a list of questions, key facts about the company, and highlights from the job posting. Make sure you also have a copy of your resume printed. The great thing about a phone call is that you can refer to these notes throughout, rather than trying to remember everything.

Keep a pen handy, and as the phone interview progresses, cross things off so you know what’s been discussed.

Phone Etiquette Tips

In the age of texting, email and video chat, many people just aren’t used to talking on the phone. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of interviewing over the phone, remember these tips for a smooth and professional phone call.

  • Find a quiet place for the call, and use a landline if cell reception is poor.
  • Smile! Even though they cannot see you, a smile can help you sound more enthusiastic.
  • Keep good posture. Like smiling, posture can affect your voice. A seasoned interview can almost hear good posture!
  • Avoid being overly casual in your speech. Phrases like “Huh?” or, “Yeah” can make you sound disinterested. It’s better to use phrases like, “I’m sorry, can you repeat that?” or “Yes, that’s correct.”
  • Avoid word whiskers – filler words like um, like, and If you need time to think about an answer, let the interviewer know by saying something like, “That’s a great question. I need a moment to think about that.” It’s better to have a moment of silence than to stumble through an answer without thinking first.

Phone interviews are used to narrow a search from a hundred resumes to the four or five people who will land a face-to-face meeting. Make sure you make the short list by preparing well and following the tips above. For more help with your job search, contact the job placement experts at Aventure.

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