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How To Ace A Phone Interview

How To Ace A Phone Interview

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What’s the biggest obstacle to getting a job interview? The phone interview.

Related: How To Answer 5 Important Phone Interview Questions

Phone interviews are also known as phone screens, for a good reason: When a company interviews you on the phone, they have more people on the phone list than they can interview in person. They are looking for reasons to weed you out of the list to get to a few good candidates.

So how can you ace the phone interview and get invited to the face-to-face?

Prepare For Interview Questions

Prepare your answers to the common phone interview questions before you answer the call. They may very well ask:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you know about this company?
  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • What is your current salary?

Control Your Environment

Make the effort to conduct your call in a very quiet, distraction-free environment. If you try to talk somewhere noisy, you will give the impression you don’t care that much about the opportunity. Plus, a quiet environment will help you keep your focus on the interview.

Keep Your Notes In Front Of You

The one big advantage of phone interviews is that you can keep all your notes in front of you. The safest route is to print out everything – resume, key points you know you want to make, key questions to ask, and even the names and numbers of your references. Having it printed out means you can absolutely find it quickly—just try not to shuffle papers loudly.

Stand Up While You Talk—And Smile

Standing up will make you sound more energetic and enthusiastic, and your voice will project better. Smiling will make you seem friendlier and more confident. Your voice is all you have in a phone interview—make the most of it.

Don’t Talk Too Much

You can’t see the interviewer, so it will be tempting to fill silences (possibly unwisely). Answer questions completely but concisely, and then stop. Or, one good idea is to ask a question of your own:  “Did that answer your question?” Or something appropriate that puts the ball back in their court.

Ask For The Next Step

Don’t let the interview end without asking when you can meet with them to discuss this opportunity face-to-face. It may be scary to ask, but you will get a good idea of what they thought of your conversation and it will actually boost your chances of getting invited to interview in person.

See 5 Phone Interview Questions and Answers AND Download a Free Phone Interview Prep podcast!

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About the author

Career Coach – Peggy McKee is an expert resource and a dedicated advocate for job seekers. Known as the Sales Recruiter from Career Confidential, her years of experience as a nationally-known recruiter for sales and marketing jobs give her a unique perspective and advantage in developing the tools and strategies that help job seekers stand head and shoulders above the competition. Peggy has been named #1 on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters by HR Examiner, and has been quoted in articles from CNN, CAP TODAY, Yahoo! HotJobs, and the Denver Examiner.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Peggy McKee Career Coach – Peggy McKee is an expert resource and a dedicated advocate for job seekers. Known as the Sales Recruiter from Career Confidential, her years of experience as a nationally-known recruiter for sales and marketing jobs give her a unique perspective and advantage in developing the tools and strategies that help job seekers stand head and shoulders above the competition. Peggy has been named #1 on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters by HR Examiner, and has been quoted in articles from CNN, CAP TODAY, Yahoo! HotJobs, and the Denver Examiner.