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Make Your Next Phone Interview Perfect

RESUME WRITER: Shawn P.
CATEGORY: Interview tips
POSTED: April 10, 2014 at 9:21 am

Today’s job hunters must take phone interviews as seriously as in-person interviews. However, you should understand that you must prepare for a phone interview differently than you would for a face-to-face discussion. Most of these ideas are great for Skype or other video interviews too.

Schedule the call for a quiet time and place. Be sure to schedule the phone interview for when you will be able to give it your undivided attention. Be sure the kids are all occupied and that the TV, radio, and computer are all off. Don’t forget to put the dog outside too. You do not want any random sounds or allow any loud noises that may distract you and/or the hiring manager.

Have the right resume beside the phone. Make sure the version you submitted to the interviewer is the one you have in front of you. The interviewer will be looking at a copy of this same resume, and you want to be sure you know exactly what they are looking at.

Dress right and put yourself in the best setting. Studies have shown people wearing casual clothes respond differently on the phone. Sit upright at a desk or at a table, with nothing in front of you that is not directly related your interview. The more it feels like a traditional in-person interview, the more likely you are to respond appropriately. Forbes recommends “Whether your call is video or telephone, do it in a quiet, businesslike setting, ideally in a room with a door.”

Prepare your notes. Have prepared answers ready for basic questions and take advantage of the fact that this is a phone conversation. Use notes to help yourself say exactly what you want to say. Use easy-to-read bullet points and print out your notes and resume in a larger font. A writer at USA Today reminds job seekers that “A benefit of having a Skype interview is that you can have a cheat sheet in front of you so that you don’t have to memorize everything you want to mention.” [Source:http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/personal/2013/08/01/13-tips-for-a-great-skype-interview/2608915/]

Research the company. Get to know the company. Review their website, make some calls to find out more about their business and history. You will be remembered better than other candidates if you show specific interest and knowledge of the company.

Know your calendar. If the interviewer is interested in planning a follow-up face-to-face interview, be prepared to know what’s already on your schedule. The last thing you want to do is have a successful phone interview only to have to ask to call back because you are not sure of your schedule. Have a copy of your calendar in front of you.

Plan your closing. How many times have you thought of something you should have said after leaving an interview? You don’t have to let this happen with a phone interview. Ensure that you have said everything you want and need to say before you hang up. Develop some notes with your closing lines.

And most of all, relax. Good luck!