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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.

You have much more power over your telephone interview than you probably think you do, including when to schedule it.  If you can exercise that power, please do so.

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Why is it so important to control when you interview?  First, you want to give yourself enough time to prepare.  This phone interview is a very big deal.  It is the gate that is going to get you through to the face-to-face.  If you blow it here, you don’t get another chance.  So you want to prepare and research for this interview very well.  Second, you’re always going to come across better if you are able to schedule the interview for a time when you’re calm, alert, and focused.

Sometimes you’ll get a call just to schedule the phone interview, and that’s great.  But sometimes you’ll get a call and they want to talk right then.  It is perfectly acceptable (and really, it’s in your best interest) to say, “Hey, I’m so glad you called.  I would love to be able to talk to you now, but I’m really not going to be able to give this the attention it deserves right at this moment.  Can we talk tomorrow morning?” (Or whenever a good time for you is.)  Every once in a while, you’ll be speaking to someone who thinks it’s a good strategy to catch people off guard, and this won’t work.  If that happens, I can’t help you.  You’ve got to talk.

Most of the time, hiring managers are pretty flexible when it comes to scheduling a phone conversation.  It’s not that big a deal…most of the time. If for some reason they are not flexible, you just have to bite the bullet and agree to whatever time they ask for.

But assuming you get the choice, always schedule your interview for the time of day you are most alert and on your game.  I personally would never, ever schedule a phone interview for the first thing in the morning.  I need a little while to warm up first.  On the other hand, I have a friend who is at her most chipper in the wee hours.  So for her, earlier is better.

You might be stuck with asking for a general time of day to have the call, but very often you can request a specific time for your call.  It’s just like setting an appointment for a face-to-face interview.  You’d have a set time for that one, so it’s not a problem to set a time to be on the phone.  In fact, it shows that you’re a good time manager.

When you do schedule your call, make sure you leave yourself a nice big cushion of time after the call, in case it runs over.  Some managers will tell you it will be a 10-minute call, and they stick to it.  They have a set of questions, they go through the questions, and they’re done.  But I’ve known many phone interviews to start off with a 10-minute time limit and go over to 20, 30, or even 45 minutes.

I just want you to remember that phone interviews are a very important step in the interview and hiring process. You’re not guaranteed a face-to-face interview just because they called you.  But you can take steps to gain some advantages in this conversation, and timing is one of them.


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