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Phone Interview Tips Series

Table of Contents

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 1 -- Check Your Voicemail Greeting

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 2 -- The Best Time to Set Up Your Call

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 3 -- Where’s the Best Place for a Phone Interview?

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 4 -- How To Keep Your Focus

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 5 -- How to Build Your Confidence

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 6 -- How to Project Enthusiasm

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 7 -- Use Cheat Sheets

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 8 -- Research the Interviewer

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 9 -- Research the Company

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 10 -- Prepare Answers to Common Phone Interview Questions

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 11 -- Practice Your Phone Interview

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 12 -- How to Hit Your Phone Interview Goals

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 13 -- The Best Phone for Your Phone Interview

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 14 -- Your Phone Interview Voice

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 15 -- How to Give the Interviewer What They’re Looking For

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 16 -- How to Project the Right Image Over the Phone

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 17 -- Help Them Qualify You for the Face-to-Face Interview

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 18 -- Speak the Right Body Language

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 19 -- Secret Tricks to Phone Interview Success

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 20 -- Ask Questions

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 21 -- How to Listen Well

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 22 -- Don’t Talk Too Much

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 23 -- Watch Your Language

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 24 -- Phone Interview Etiquette

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 25 -- Getting the Face-to-Face Interview

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 26 -- How and When to Follow Up

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 27 -- Biggest Phone Interview Mistakes

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 28 -- Small Phone Interview Mistakes That Cause Big Problems

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 29 -- Things You Should Never Say

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 30 -- Make a Phone Interview Checklist

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 31 -- Relax, Be Calm, and Make a Good Impression

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 32 -- Good Telephone Communication Tips

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 33 -- Typical Phone Interview Questions

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 34 -- Thank You Notes

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 35 -- The One Question You Should Ask

  6. Phone Interview - Tip 36 -- How to Keep Them From Screening You Out

  7. Phone Interview - Tip 37 -- How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

I have heard some bad voicemail greetings in my lifetime…ones that make me listen to that person’s favorite song before I can leave my message, ones that were recorded by charming but difficult-to-understand 3-year-olds, and even some that tried to be funny but weren’t, like “How do you leave an idiot in suspense?  Leave a message and I’ll get back to you.”
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Talking about your voicemail greeting might seem like a strange place to start a series on phone interviews, but think about this:  if you don’t answer the phone yourself, the first impression that your potential new employer will have of you is your voicemail greeting.   It’s up to you what you want that impression to be.

Hopefully, you want that image to be professional, competent, and friendly.  That means keep it to 30 seconds or less, eliminate background noise, and maybe even offer an alternative way to contact you, such as your email address.

phone interview tipsOne other thing that is helpful is to let the caller know they’ve got the right person.  You can say, “Hi, this is Joe Smith.  Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”  Or, “You’ve reached the Burtons.  Please leave a message.”  Or, if you’re not comfortable revealing your name, you can just say your number:  “You’ve reached 555-555-1212.  Please leave a message.”

A very nice touch is to show some enthusiasm and thank the person for calling:  “Hi, this is Jane Smith.  I appreciate your call, but I am not available right now.  Please leave a message and I will call you back soon.”

You can record a personalized voicemail message like this on your landline or your cell.  But here’s a couple more tips for you:

If you have people in your home who will be answering the phone themselves instead of letting it go to voicemail, please make sure they know how to take a message in a professional manner.  I’ve talked to lots of kids who don’t know how to answer the phone politely, can’t find a pencil to write down my number, or told me too much information like the parent is in the shower or sleeping.

If your cell is your primary number, be cognizant of where you are and what you’re doing when you answer the phone.  If you’re going to answer the call of a recruiter or hiring manager, don’t be in a very noisy store or out of breath from running.  If you’re not already in a quiet spot, it might be better to let it go to voicemail so that you can get to somewhere appropriate to call back.

When you’re in a job search, you have to take care of as many details as you possibly can that will influence the image you’re projecting.  That counts for the big things like your resume and your online presence, and it counts for the smallest details like what they hear on your voicemail. Everything works together to market you for the job.

After you get the job, you can change your voicemail back to anything you want.


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