Phone Interview Tips Series

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The very best thing about phone interviews is the fact that they can’t see you—which means, you can use as many “cheat sheets” as you want to.  So what’s a cheat sheet?  Cheat sheets are just what they sound like:  notes that help you do better on the test, which in this case is the phone interview.  Phone interviews don’t have many advantages for you, but this is a big one.  Make the most of it with these cheat sheet ideas:

Your Resume

You will be discussing your resume during every phone interview.  Always have it in front of you.  You never, ever want to have to say, “Let me pull my resume to see.”  You can even highlight a few especially relevant lines on your resume so you can find them faster.

A List of Questions to Ask

Asking questions is a powerful interview strategy. You’d be surprised at how many candidates just answer the questions and don’t take the initiative to ask any.  But they’re hurting themselves.  Asking questions shows enthusiasm and if you ask the right ones, the answers will give you a lot of helpful information you wouldn’t otherwise get.

What to ask?  Some questions will be company-specific and based on the research you did.  Others are general, like, “Why is this job open?”  “When do you expect to have someone hired?”

Key Points You Want To Make About Yourself

What specific parts of your background do you need to make sure to touch on in this conversation?  Write those down so you won’t forget.

Write down the terms you want to use to describe yourself.  If you have a certain phrase or wording that describes you in a powerful way, write it down so you will remember to say it that way.

Written-Out Answers To Interview Questions

You can always anticipate a few interview questions:  Tell me about yourself.  Why are you interested in this job?  Why are you leaving your current job?  Jot down some good answers to these standard questions so you’re ready to go with an answer.  Just don’t read it word for word.  It should sound natural.

Keep A Pen And Paper So You Can Take Notes

Take notes throughout your conversation.  It will help you write a more intelligent and customized thank you note, and it will help you better prepare for your face-to-face interview.    And, if they ask you to write down a website or a phone number, you need to be able to do that quickly.

Got a big phone interview coming up? Let’s make sure you’re ready with a half-hour of coaching!


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