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Five Steps For a Successful Phone Interview

November 11th, 2013 by Russ Bray

Businessman1. Prepare Yourself

Conduct the phone interview in a location where you will not be interrupted. It possible use a “land line”. Have your resume and any other notes handy and be prepared to cover questions referencing it. Make sure you have allocated adequate time for the interview. It may help to write down a success or two as well as a failure and what you might have learned from it.

2. Show enthusiasm

A positive attitude can go a long way in your marketing efforts. This is your opportunity to shine on the phone, so take full advantage. Now it’s time to put on your “game face, join the conversation with enthusiasm (not cockiness) and demonstrate the conviction that you are a top candidate for this job. Don’t make negative statements about past employers or employees.

3. Speak clearly, listen and answer carefully

Remember you are being judged on your communication skills. This is more so if you do have an accent. The interviewer may wonder if you can effectively communicate with his team. Don’t speak too fast, particularly if you have an accent, and remember to speak clearly and concisely.

One of the major complaints from employers about candidates is that too often the candidate doesn’t answer the question being asked or they stray from the question and start talking about other accomplishments that have nothing to do with the question. Since you’re on the phone, this is especially critical because you don’t have the advantage of visual cues such as eye contact or body language. Listen carefully to the question being asked and answer that question only. Don’t ramble or try to anticipate the next question, or you may talk your way out of the next step — a possible job interview. Let the interviewer initiate any casual conversation and keep your answers to those questions brief. Save your own question for the end of the interview process.

4. Know the company that is calling you.

It pays to do some research on any company you apply to. After all, the question, “Why are you interested in us?” may certainly come up. Therefore, it makes good sense to have your ducks in line before the call and to be ready to mention why this company impresses you. Don’t be bashful and make sure you have something positive to say about them.

5. Close.

At the end of the phone interview, if you would like to proceed and talk further with this company, take the initiative and let the person know you would be very interested in a face to face interview or at least ask “What’s our next step?” Know your itinerary as well in case the person wants to schedule the “next step”.


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