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Preparing for a Phone Interview

Preparing for a Phone Interview

 

More and more, with the rise in virtual workers and managers being responsible for teams comprised of members spread out around the country (if not the globe), it is becoming common practice for a first interview to be conducted over the phone. And this will not likely be the “just getting to know you” interview that used to happen over the phone. Often the phone interview is a weeding out interview. If you don’t do a good job on the phone interview, you’ll never make it to the face-to-face interview.

There are several things you can do to increase your chances of nailing your phone interview.

  1. Prepare like it is an in-person interview. Research the company, research your interviewer on LinkedIn and the Internet, and follow him/her on Twitter.
  2. Do the interview from a quiet spot. Don’t take the call while you’re in line at the grocery store, driving, or sitting in the bleachers at your kid’s baseball game. You need to be focused!
  3. Sit at your desk and be organized with your notes at least 10 minutes before the scheduled call time. You don’t want to sound like you were running for the phone when the interviewer calls.
  4. Prepare yourself just like you were going to meet the interviewer in person. Shower, shave, do your hair, and put on business attire. If you are in your bathrobe and fuzzy slippers you are not going to feel very professional and it will come across in your interview.
  5. Have your questions prepared ahead of time and make sure your last question is “What is the next step in the process?” or “What can I do to advance my candidacy?” In other words, make sure the interviewer knows you want the job.