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Phone Interview Tips – #37: How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

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.


Phone interviews are an incredibly critical tipping point in the hiring process.  They liked what they saw your resume enough to talk to you…will this phone call make them like you enough to call you in for a face-to-face interview?  There’s a lot you can do to prepare for phone interviews and make sure that happens.

In the beginning, take control of the call.  Unless they’re ambushing you on purpose, you can usually choose the time and the place for your phone interview.  Use your power.  Choose a time you’ll be most alert.  Pick a place that’s quiet.  No cars, restaurants, or anywhere there might be people talking.  You must be in top form with no distractions.

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Find a landline.  It’s not very sexy, but it is effective.  It’s a lot less attractive to keep saying, “Are you there?  Can you hear me now?” than it is to have a guaranteed problem-free phone call.

Do your homework like an A+ student….  Before your call, research the company and even the interviewer as much as you can.  It gives you an advantage to know who you’ll be speaking with.  And, it makes you look smart.

…But cheat like you partied instead of studied.  They can’t see you, so there’s no reason you can’t keep your cheat sheets” in front of you:  your resume, all your notes, all your questions, anything that might help you.  Lay it all out in front of you like you’re playing high-stakes BINGO.  But make sure you know where everything is.  You don’t want them to hear you shuffling papers.  It will give you away.

Write down a list of great questions to ask.  Ask great questions like “What does your ideal candidate look like?” and “What are the biggest challenges for the person who takes this role?”  Use your research to come up with some, too.

Practice answering typical interview questions This is one of the most important steps you can take to prepare for your telephone interview.  Why?  LOTS of reasons.

  1. Interviews make people nervous.  Nervous people do crazy things, like forgetting what they wanted to say.  If you prepare answers to typical interview questions and practice them before your interview (and by that I mean actually saying them out loud, to another person if you can), they will roll off your tongue much more smoothly and confidently.
  2. The interviewer knows you know you’ll be asked certain questions.  If you answer basic, typical questions with “Hmmm…let me think about that,” you’ll look like you didn’t take the time to prepare.
  3. Your answers in this interview COUNT.  This is the gate you must pass through to get to the face-to-face interview.  Whenever you can, make sure your answer is going to get you through that gate.  One of the best ways to know is to practice beforehand and see how it sounds.

Dress like they will see you.  Take the time to dress for success, even though they can’t see you.  How you dress makes a difference in how you behave.  Look sharp and you will feel sharp.  That confidence will carry through the phone lines.  (Because you’re on a landline, remember?)

Take care of all your bodily functions before the call.  Feed yourself, go to the bathroom, and get a glass of water (no ice) to keep by your side in case your throat gets scratchy.

Find a pen and paper to keep in front of you.  You want to take notes while you talk so you can remember what they said for later questions and your thank you note.  Plus, you never know when you’ll be asked to write something down.  It’ll just be embarrassing if you have to say, “Let me find a pen.”

Get ready to…smile.  Smiling while you talk helps you sound like you’re friendly and confident, even if you’re shaking in your shoes.

It’s going to be worth every bit of the time and effort you spend getting ready for this call.  You have a lot of opportunity to tilt the scales in your favor.

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Every interview is about successfully communicating to the hiring manager that you’re the right person to hire.  If you have any doubts about your ability to do that every time, I encourage you to come to my How to Answer Interview Questions Training Webinar.  It’s free training to get you more than ready for any interview.  Sign up below.

 

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