Can’t talk under pressure? Get tongue-tied when you have to talk about yourself?
A phone interview is often the first step toward meeting a hiring manager in person. Because you don’t want to give the employer any reason to eliminate you as a prospective employee, the call shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Consequently, because of its importance, for some job-seekers, a phone screening can be the most daunting aspect of the interview. Being prepared will allay that stress.
Here are seven tips that will guide you through the telephone interview process.
Make the call at home, preferably using a landline. This has several benefits. You are in a comfortable environment with fewer distractions and can have all the information and tools you need for the interview at hand. Further, a landline reduces the possibility for disconnections and allows your voice to sound its best but turn off features like call-waiting so you are not interrupted.
Have a copy of your resume in front of you and a list of points you wish to discuss, such as your accomplishments. Keep a pen and paper handy to take notes.
Place a glass of water to keep nearby in case you need a drink to keep your speaking voice smooth. Don’t chew gum or eat during the interview, and plan to keep pets or other noise factors away during that time.
Access the company’s Web site, quietly in case you need to look up or review information.
Don’t rush. It’s a bad idea to try to fit in a phone interview over a lunch break. The stress will convey in your voice and create a bad impression as well as additional stress and potential for miscommunications. A typical phone screening lasts about 30 minutes.
Answer the phone using your name as you sit up straight and smile. You will sound professional and pleasant: two points in your favor right away. Keep your voice enthusiastic and enunciate. Answer briefly and to the point. Be ready early. Not everyone will call early, but if someone does, you will be prepared.
Thank the interviewer when done, and ask if it will be possible to meet in person. Follow-up with a thank you note that reiterates your interest in the position.
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