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Tips for Your Next Phone Interview

1. Take it seriously. It’s may be easy to view a phone interview as less serious or less formal than a face-to-face interview, but you shouldn’t treat them that way. Prepare just like you would for an in-person interview. Research the company, take notes, and ask questions about what you find. Also, be ready for the questions they are likely to as you. You should have about five stories and examples of your work performance ready to share. And spit out your gum.
2. Be intentional about your environment. Plan to be in a quiet and private place where you feel comfortable and won’t have to deal with distractions. Get somewhere you can lay your notes and resume out in front of you. And make sure your phone gets good reception in the spot you choose (may seem obvious, but it’s very important).
3. Listen closely. One disadvantage of phone interviews is that you can’t read your interviewer’s body language while you’re talking. Pay attention to how they are reacting to what you’re saying and how much you’re saying. It can be easy to let nerves get the best of you and begin to ramble.
4. Pour a glass of water. Keep water close by incase your mouth gets dry.
5. Smile and speak slowly. Smiling helps keep your tone positive as you speak. Also, try not to get ahead of yourself and talk too quickly. Make sure you are speaking clearly and that your interview doesn’t have to strain to understand you.
6. Don’t interrupt your interviewer. Period.
7. Follow up. Before you end the call, ask what the next steps are in the process so that you know what to expect and how to follow up about moving forward. Send a thank you card or email that day (whichever seems most appropriate – though cards are typically more impressive). A thank you note could be what sets you apart from your competition and it communicates (among other things) your genuine interest in the position.
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