Career | 6 Tips to Ace Your Next Phone Interview

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When you’re applying for a job, most candidates immediately think about the face-to-face interview. If you are already at this phase – refer to my previous posting HERE for tips on interview success.

The actual first step in the job search process is the phone interview. What is your mission? Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to to earn an in-person interview with the hiring manager and team, convince them that you are the perfect fit for the role as well as the company and to get offered the awesome job that you applied for. Without success at this initial step, the rest of the steps for interviewing do not take place.

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Well have no fear! I have summed up six tips to help you ace your next phone interview.

  1. Treat it like a Real Interview 
    Even though you are not physically at the hiring office, the phone call is just as important. It is in fact a REAL interview and will be part of the consideration set that gets you to the next step of the interview process. Get ready for your call about an hour before your appointment and DO NOT schedule the interview during your lunch hour at work. Sometimes the recruiter may call a candidate 5 minutes early as a test so you don’t want to be caught off guard. Answer the call with your name, greet the caller and be prepared to start the conversation. Get your head in the game!
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  2. Prep, Prep, PREP!
    Do some research on the company and review the job description that you are applying for. See what the company is up to and check on how they are doing. Start to tailor some of your answers based on the research that you have done. Practice on some of the more generic interview questions that you can find online. There is no guarantee that the interviewer will ask you any of these questions – but you never know! Have a print out of the job description and your resume on hand before you start the call as a quick reference. Also, have a pencil and a piece of paper nearby so that you can take notes and save questions for the end of the call. This will show that you were paying attention during the interview. #impressed
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  3. Find a Quiet Place
    Before the call, find yourself an area that is not surrounded by background noise. If you are calling from home, make sure that it is a pet-free room. You don’t want your pet to have the opportunity to distract you from this important call.
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  4. Talk Clearly + Smile
    Talk slowly and upbeat when you are answering questions. Sometimes your enthusiasm can be lost over the phone lines, so smile when you speak. It will add some energy and excitement to your tone and let your enthusiasm shine through. Take deep breaths in between questions and think through your answers before just spitting out the first thought that comes to your mind. Be thoughtful and thorough.
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  5. Keep Your Answers Clear + Concise
    You must convince the interviewer that having you come into the office will not be a waste of their time. As you respond to questions, make sure to highlight your interest in the position, your experience and examples of how it could apply to this role, and your desire to continue this conversation face-to-face, but don’t sound desperate…
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  6. Send a Thank You Note
    I am huuuuge on these! Thank you notes immiediately following a phone interview is even more critical since there is no commute time in between. It is a great way to leave a good first impression. Follow up with the note within the first two hours of the phone interview. This will help you to close the loop and reiterate your interest in wanting to meet the interviewer in person. The focus here is on how you will add value to the company, not just what your past experiences were.

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Remember that a phone interview is much harder than a face-to-face since you have to make yourself stand out to the employer. Once you land your appointment, you can refer to my previous posting for interview tips – HERE.

Thank you for stopping by and reading – I wish you much success with your future job searches. Please subscribe to my blog for postings and follow me on social media too!

Thank you JB for being my blogtographer!

Jackie Signature

OUTFIT
Top|| Loft Shirt (similar here, save here, splurge here)
Bottom || Loft Skirt (save here, splurge here)
Jacket || Kate Spade Saturday Coat
Shoes || Nine West Booties (old)
Accessories || Kate Spade Wishbone Necklace, Michael Kors Watch,
Coach Satchel Handbag

4 thoughts on “Career | 6 Tips to Ace Your Next Phone Interview

  1. @Jackie i am sure that your puppy loves you and just wants your attention but hopefully you find some quite space for the time block. Thank you – I love the green too – I wish that I could wear it all summer long. Too hot!! Thank YOU for your skillz.

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  2. @TheAppreciationFactor – Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my post! Though this may not be the official answer – I compare the “preparedness” 10 minutes ahead of time to arriving early for your interview. You may not see your recruiter right away – but there is something about it that just puts you in the head space to be ready to interview. It also sets a good impression if you are ready to go and not a “right up to the last second” interviewee (think deadlines), everything you say or do leaves an impression of some kind that rolls into your consideration set for getting hired.

    I completely agree with you that a phone interview is much more difficult than having one in person. I am much better face to face when I feel like I can get to know my candidate. I typically suggest taking a half day or the time to take the call. Lunch time interviews happen and that is okay too – its just a recommendation so that you aren’t distracted by the time clock in the case that conversation carries longer than you expect. 🙂

    I loveeee thank you notes and it really closes the loop for me as a hiring manager. I will definitely take a look at your post! Thank you so much for sharing. ❤

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  3. Love this! I have definitely been distracted by animals during phone interviews and/or important calls in general. Barking in the background is probably frowned upon.
    Great outfit, love that green color on the coat. Thanks for the shout out !

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  4. Enjoyed your post – although – and I’ve been getting cautious reminders from some to be ready up to 10 mins ahead – why calling 5 mins ahead of the scheduled time would be acceptable or professional? I look at the phone interview as a real interview and at times more challenging as you cannot see/read facial expressions. Still I wouldn’t try to start a F2F interview ahead of schedule, why would the caller? – You may not know, though genuinely curious.
    I’ve also scheduled some of these over my lunch hour, especially when in a role as recruiters/potential employers rarely set after-hours interviews, in my experience, and lunch is my time. (Though I do take the call on a land line and would NEVER suggest it via cell.)

    I loved that you are passionate about writing thank you notes. They are something that helped inspire my blog. You may be working on a post about how to write one, but thought I’d share tips I wrote for the business thank you that they may find helpful. https://theappreciationfactor.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/in-business-its-always-a-great-practice/

    Hope you’ll share your thoughts on the early calls. ..Really I’m genuinely curious.
    Kris

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