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Phone Interview Tips - #27: Biggest Phone Interview Mistakes

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.


For such a short conversation, phone interviews are a surprisingly wide-open opportunity for screw-ups.  Why is that?  Partly, it’s because in a phone interview, the interviewer is really looking for mistakes.
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Telephone interviews are a screening process—a way to weed out too many candidates.  So they’re looking for reasons to mark you off the list.

Here are the biggest ways to make that happen:

Failing to Prepare for the Interview

Yes, phone interviews are the prelude to the big event—the face-to-face interview.  But that’s no reason not to take it very seriously.  If you don’t do well here, there is no big event.  Spend as much time as you can preparing for this conversation—research the company, research the interviewer, practice answering common interview questions, and make a list of questions to ask.  Failing to prepare for this interview practically guarantees you won’t get to the next one.

Allowing Your Environment to Be Noisy

This telephone interview is so important, you don’t want any distractions that will keep you from being your best and making a good impression.  The easiest thing that you can control to make that happen is the noise factor.  Choose a quiet place to have this conversation, and do not allow anything or anyone to disrupt you.

Talking on a Cell Phone with Poor Reception

Do you really want half of your conversation to be, “Can you hear me now?”  Choose a landline whenever possible.  If you must use a cell phone, be absolutely certain that you have crystal-clear reception before your call.

Bringing Up Any Concerns You Have About This Job

Even if you have valid concerns about commute time, health benefits, or the company itself, the telephone interview is not the time to bring it up.  Any negativity on your part puts a damper on the whole conversation.  Even if it turns out that there’s no problem at all and it will all work out wonderfully, they will feel differently about you if you bring up potential problems this early in the process.  Just wait.

Talking About Money

In general, it’s always too early to talk about money until you have an offer in your hand—they’ve decided they want you, and price is a secondary consideration.  I know it doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s the ideal.  The farther you can put off that money question, the better.  That means that the phone interview is way, way, way too early to be talking about money.  You should never bring it up yourself, and if they bring it up, your goal is to deflect.  Learn how to handle salary negotiations, even from that first question, here:  Salary Negotiations Webinar.

 

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