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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

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Phone interviews are really phone screens.  They are screening candidates, narrowing down a list that’s too long, figuring out who to invite in for a face-to-face interview. So really, in a phone interview, they’re looking for reasons to mark you off the list—to screen you out.  Your job in phone interview is to keep them from eliminating you, so you can get to the face-to-face interview.  How can you keep them from screening you out?  The answer might surprise you. 
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The first thing you can do, of course, is to make no mistakes.  Follow good phone interview practices like making sure you’ve got a quiet room with no distractions.  Prepare for the interview with some research on the company.  Practice answering typical phone interview questions so you sound smooth, calm, and confident. Come up with a list of questions to ask of your own.  Communicate your enthusiasm for the job.   Be positive all the way through your conversation.   Those are all basic things you should do to have a really good telephone interview.

phone interview tipsBut the one thing that can really seal the deal for you and keep you from getting screened out is simply asking for the next step, the face-to-face interview.

Most job seekers would never dream of asking for this next step.  Instead, they keep answering questions until the interviewer says something like:  “Well, it was great talking to you.  We’ve got a few more people to talk to.  I’ll be in touch.”  Know what that tells you?  Nothing.  You hang up not knowing if they liked you, if they’re calling you back, if you’re moving forward, nothing.  And then you’re waiting, and waiting, and waiting.  If the call doesn’t come, that’s when you find out they’ve screened you out.  And by then, it’s too late to do anything about it. The time to act is during the interview.

What do you say?  You’ve got several options.

  • You can say, “Based on what we’ve talked about, this sounds like a great fit for me and I am very interested in meeting with you to discuss it further.  When can we schedule it?”
  • You can say, “I’ve really enjoyed talking to you.  From what we’ve discussed so far, it sounds like a good fit to me.  Do you agree?”
  • You can say, “Have I given you enough information so that you feel comfortable moving me forward in this process?”

You can say any number of things that make it clear that you want to move forward and ask if they agree with you.  If they have any doubts about you, it should become clear to you right about then and you can ask about them.

If they’re thinking of crossing you off the list, you need to find out BEFORE they hang up.  That’s your chance to change their mind.  That happens much more often than you think it does.  Sometimes, whatever reason they have for screening you out is from a misunderstanding, an assumption they’ve made, or even just because you forgot to tell them something they wanted to hear but didn’t.  If you can correct whatever it is, you’ve just saved your face-to-face interview.


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