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If your resume has made it into the "yes" pile, then the first thing a company will do is a phone screening. The purpose of this is to test your communication skills and to do a quick check of your skills and experience to determine if it's worth bringing you in for an interview.

Here are six important tips that will help you ace your next phone interview:

1. Be Prepared

Basic preparation steps include having your resume in front of you, making sure you are on a good phone line where there are no disturbances, and allocating enough time for the phone interview, even if it goes beyond what was scheduled.

2. Research The Company And The Interviewer

Job seeker researching before phone interview

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The first question I used to ask job seekers was, "What do you know about us?" If I did not think they had spent the time to do their homework, they were immediately downgraded. So, spend some time researching the company before your phone interview. Check out their website and social media accounts, and see what employees say about them on Glassdoor.

Also, go to LinkedIn and review the background of the person conducting the interview. Check if the manager you will be reporting to participates in LinkedIn groups and discussions, and see if you have anything in common.

3. Exude Energy And Interest

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The words you use account for only 15% of the effectiveness of your communications. Intonation and body language are most important, and since you are on the phone, you live and die by your intonation. Put energy in your voice and demonstrate a high level of interest. An old telemarketing trick is to have a mirror in front of you and smile when you speak since that automatically affects your tone in a positive way.

4. Ask Questions And Build Rapport

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People hire people they like, so it is important to turn the interview into a conversation by asking intelligent questions. Show off your expertise by following up their question with an insightful question of your own. Those who just answer questions and wait for the next question will lose here. Use a conversational tone, as if you are having lunch with a friend, telling a story, instead of just responding to questions.

For example, here are two ways to respond to, "Can you tell me about your experience at Bank of America?"

"At Bank of America, I was hired to oversee the integration of systems that were the result from acquisitions."

Or...

"You know, that was a really challenging experience because I had to integrate all the different systems that were the result of acquisitions. You can just imagine how tricky that would be since there were so many differences between them, and I had to research and document the trade-offs from an integration of each one."

Which is more interesting? I did some interview coaching with a highly accomplished technical manager at Intel who was getting interviews and no call backs. It was immediately clear that he was just responding to questions in a fairly monotone manner and was about as interesting as a memory chip. After some coaching on how to build rapport using the above technique, he had three offers in four weeks.

5. Ask The Most Important Question

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Companies have a reason they are looking for talent and it is your job to find out what their chief source of "pain" is. Do this by asking:

"What is the biggest challenge someone will face in this job in the next six months?"

This lets you target your responses and demonstrate how you have successfully handled these challenges before.

6. See If They Have Any Concerns

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Don't just end the call wondering how you did. Ask them. If you are going for a sales position, this is mandatory. State something like:

"Based on what we discussed today, do you think I am a good candidate for this position?"

Now, when they respond, you can handle any concerns they may have.

By using these six simple techniques in your next phone interview, you'll be sure to make a good impression on the employer and, hopefully, move on to the next step in the hiring process.

Need more help with your job search?

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.


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Inspiration lacking this Monday morning? On the job search and feeling blue? Stuck in a career you hate? Not sure what success means to you? You're not alone. Grab a nice, warm cup of coffee and let us help you out.

Light your inner fire with these inspirational career quotes:

What Are Professional Quotes? 

Professional quotes motivate and inspire you to become the best professional you can be in your career. They remind you that you can achieve what you want to achieve. What does success look like to you? If you ever need some inspiration, read these quotes...

What Are The Best Inspirational Quotes For Professionals?


  1. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." —Confucius
  2. “It's not what you achieve, it's what you overcome. That's what defines your career." —Carlton Fisk
  3. “Work to become, not to acquire." —Elbert Hubbard
  4. “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it." —Katherine Whitehorn
  5. "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." —Michael Jordan
  6. "Failure doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you haven't succeeded yet." —Robert H. Schuller
  7. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." —Abraham Lincoln
  8. "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." —Thomas A. Edison
  9. "I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it." —Lou Holtz
  10. "I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything." —Jon Stewart
  11. "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you imagine it." —George Lucas
  12. "If you can DREAM it, you can DO it." —Walt Disney
  13. "Desire! That's the one secret of every man's career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire." —Johnny Carson
  14. "I can not do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail to do the something that I can do." —Helen Keller
  15. "A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory." —Arthur Golden
  16. "It's not the days in your life, but the life in your days that counts." —Brian White
  17. "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." —General George Patton
  18. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." —Albert Einstein
  19. "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment." —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  20. "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." —Mark Twain
  21. "You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." —Confucius

1. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." —Confucius

Inspirational Career Quotes Confucius


2. “It's not what you achieve, it's what you overcome. That's what defines your career." —Carlton Fisk

Inspirational Career Quotes Carlton Fisk


3. “Work to become, not to acquire." —Elbert Hubbard

Inspirational Work Quotes


4. “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it." —Katherine Whitehorn

Inspirational Work Quotes


5. "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." —Michael Jordan

Inspirational Career Quotes Michael Jordan


6. "Failure doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you haven't succeeded yet." —Robert H. Schuller

Inspirational Quotes About Failure


7. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." —Abraham Lincoln

Inspirational Abraham Lincoln Quotes


8. "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." —Thomas A. Edison

Inspirational Thomas Edison Quotes


9. "I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it." —Lou Holtz

Inspirational Career Quotes


10. "I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything." —Jon Stewart

Inspirational Career Quotes Jon Stewart


11. "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you imagine it." —George Lucas

Inspirational Quotes George Lucas


12. "If you can DREAM it, you can DO it." —Walt Disney

Inspirational Walt Disney Quotes


13. "Desire! That's the one secret of every man's career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire." —Johnny Carson

Inspirational Career Quotes


14. "I can not do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail to do the something that I can do." —Helen Keller

Inspirational Career Quotes


15. "A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory." —Arthur Golden

Inspirational Career Quotes


16. "It's not the days in your life, but the life in your days that counts." —Brian White

Inspirational Quotes About Life


17. "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." —General George Patton

Inspirational Quotes About Success


18. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." —Albert Einstein

Inspirational Albert Einstein Quotes


19. "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inspirational Career Quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson


20. "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." —Mark Twain

Inspirational Career Quotes About Success


21. "You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." —Confucius

Inspirational Career Quotes Confucius

We hope these quotes motivated you. Please share with someone you know who needs a little inspiration right now.

Need some more inspiration in your career?

We'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!

This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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