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Many companies have started using phone interviews as a way to pre-screen candidates to fill their job openings. As with any interview, it is extremely important to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you establish yourself as a desirable candidate, make a good impression, and ultimately get you an in-person interview.

 

1) Take it Seriously

The phone interview is only a stepping stone to getting the position.  Prepare yourself for this step by printing your resume and their posted job description and having them in front of you.

 

2) Prepare to Explain Job Transitions

It is common for interviewers to ask why you went from one job to the next.  This question is used to gauge personality traits, stability, as well as character.  Delivering answers and explanations clear and concise while only providing necessary detail is the best way to get past these questions successfully.

Examples to use:

  • “I felt as though I was ready for another stage in my career.”
  • “I’m looking for more roles and responsibilities, and to grow my skills.”
  • “I want to work for a company where I can make a difference.”

 

3) Add Details to Your Resume

Your resume is your first impression.  Making it detailed is great, but do not forget to highlight your accomplishments.  For example, if the company’s profit increased as a result of work you performed, reference it on your resume.

 

4) Understand Your Red Flags

You should always try to anticipate what a company may see as a red flag or reason not to move forward.  Job hopping, employment gaps, and inexperience are a few examples.   Avoiding these topics is the wrong way to go.  Be prepared to address these head-on with confidence, and then move forward.

 

5) Control Your Environment

Your environment matters!  Plan to be in a quiet space that makes you comfortable but not too relaxed.  A public space, such as a coffee house, is not recommended because you don’t have any control over what’s going on around you.  A good idea would be to sit at a desk or kitchen table at home, away from other distractions.

 

6) Do Your Homework

After setting a time for the phone interview you will want to get the facts.  A company’s webpage is a great place to obtain more information.  Understand what they do, and try to determine what their goals are. This way, you can position yourself in a way to show how you would be an asset to the company.

 

7) Prepare for Uncomfortable Questions

Everyone has a question that they would rather not answer.  To ensure you handle yourself in a professional manner when confronted with these types of questions, have a standard answer ready. Practice your responses beforehand to increase your confidence and natural delivery.

Example questions we all hate:

  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

 

8) Be Honest

No matter what the interviewer throws your way it is always best to be honest.  Holding back or covering up the truth can be detrimental to your credibility as viable candidate.

 

9) Be Convincing

When answering the interview questions do not be afraid to express excitement about the position.  Voicing interest and highlighting skills that you feel you can bring to the job can go a long way in making you stand out to the interviewer.

 

10) Say Thank You

So the phone interview is complete, and you feel like it went well.  Now it is time to follow up with the interviewer to thank them for the opportunity.  This should be done within 24 hours of when the interview took place.  Make sure to include any follow up questions you may have, and inquire as to the next step in the process.

 

Good Luck!