These days, companies increasingly use phone interviews as a means of winnowing down the list of people they have to bring in for a face-to-face meeting. That means any job seeker should know how to knock such a call out of the park, and help ensure they're able to move on to the next round.
With that in mind, here are four tips that will help you wow a hiring manager with ease during your next phone interview:
1) Take the call in the right place
As with real estate, a good phone interview starts with "location, location, location," according to Kununu. You will want to be in a place that gets good reception (or where you have access to a landline) and is, perhaps more important, free of lots of noise, whether from construction, traffic or otherwise. It may seem like a little thing, but if you're constantly asking the person on the other end to repeat themselves because the reception is spotty or the outside noise is too loud, it can be a real turnoff.
2) Have a cheat sheet in front of you
You're likely to be asked a slew of questions about yourself, your qualifications, the company and so on, Kununu added. But because you're in a remote location, it can be wise to make a document you can refer to throughout the call, so you're never caught off-guard by a question and have easy access to whatever you need with the click of a mouse. For instance, having the information from your resume, some basic facts about the company, your salary demands and other details at the ready will help you seem "on the ball."
3) No distractions
A phone interview is, in many ways, just as serious as an in-person one, so it will help to reduce the distractions in front of you, according to The Interview Guys. That means no TV in the background (even on mute), no social media in another window, no pets in the room and basically just committing yourself fully to paying attention to the conversation at hand and referring to your cheat sheet as needed.
4) Take it slow
It's normal to be nervous, but that only increases the need to speak slowly and carefully throughout the interview, according to Career Contessa. If you start answering questions quickly, stumbling over your own words, that could come across either as nerves or a lack of preparedness. The latter could be quite bad for any interviewee, so make sure you're committing yourself to taking your time, using a moment to consider the answer carefully or referring to your cheat sheet.
This all comes in addition to other interview rules of thumb, such as using your interviewer's name frequently throughout the conversation, having a positive attitude and generally coming across as being well-prepared. A little practice before the interview itself could go a long way toward ensuring you get the job you're looking for.
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