6 tips for a successful phone interview

Sep 13, 2013

You might be offered a phone interview as a precursor to an in-person interview.  It may seem more casual than an interview held at the company’s headquarters, but remember, this conversation may determine whether you move on in the selection process. Treat it as you would any interview. Here are some tips to help you.

  1. Prepare possible answers: Think about questions you may be asked and how you would respond to them to best show your skills, education and background. Keep an outline of your answers handy, but don’t attempt to write out an entire response. You’ll sound like you’re reading from a script.
  2. Have your résumé near you: When asked about your qualifications you can quickly refer to it instead of straining to come up with the year you started college or other facts you might not know off the top of your head.
  3. Speak slowly and clearly: You may be nervous, but the interviewer can’t grasp how qualified you are if she can’t understand you. Take your time. Don’t eat or chew gum on the phone, either. You may want to have a glass of water on hand to make sure your mouth doesn’t dry out.
  4. Don’t interrupt the interviewer: If you begin to talk before she’s finished, apologize and give her the floor.
  5. Ask for a second interview: Your goal is to make it to an in-person interviewer. If the interviewer has not set one up, ask her if you could meet to further discuss the position.
  6. Send a thank you note: It’s always polite and professional to send a thank you note. It signals you appreciate the interviewer’s time and are interested in the position.

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