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How Good Are You on a Phone Interview?

   How good are you in a phone interview?
You are job hunting, applying online and in person, and unexpectedly you get a phone call from an employer. At this point you have to be ready! You never know when a simple phone call will turn into a full-fledged interview for what could be your perfect job. At this point you won’t have time to prepare, so you have to be ready all the time.

Each year more employers are using the telephone interview to identify and recruit candidates for employment. Phone Interviews are used to screen applicants in order to narrow the list of candidates that will get a follow-on face-to-face interview. Here are tips for you to be prepared to ace the phone interview.

Guide to Acing the Phone Interview
• BE READY FOR THE INTERVIEW
You have to prepare for a phone interview the same way you prepare for a face-to-face interview. Have a list of your strengths and weaknesses close at hand. You will also need to have a list of answers to typical phone interview questions. While you are searching for a job, always be prepared for a possible phone interview, including being prepared to talk about your background and skills.

Have your resume handy so you can see it when you have to answer questions about it. Have a list of your accomplishments, including volunteering work or special projects you were responsible for.

Make sure you are ready to make notes and have a pen and notepad handy. Make sure you have an area where you won’t have distractions and you can concentrate on your conversation.

It is better to use a landline rather than your cell phone unless you are absolutely sure your cell phone service will be perfect and won’t drop the call or have static on the line.

• PRACTICE THE INTERVIEW
Do a mock phone interview; it is not easy to respond to an interview over the phone, and it’s not the same way you interview in person. Practice with a friend or family member; record it so you can hear how you sound over the phone. It is good idea to reduce your “ums”, “uh” and “Okays” from your conversational speech.  In addition, you need to rehearse the questions you have for the employer.

• DO’S & DON’TS DURING THE PHONE INTERVIEW
o Smile. Believe it or not your attitude is projected to the listener and smiling will change the tone of your voice. Having a mirror in front of you when on the phone will help you to see your facial expression.
o Speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
o Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink. You can have a glass of water handy in case your mouth gets dry.
o Use the person’s title, “Mr.” or “Ms.” and their last name. Only use a first name if they ask you to.
o When answering a question take your time; it’s perfectly acceptable to think your answer carefully.
o Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
o Give short answers. Remember that your goal is to set up a face-to-face interview.
o At the end of your conversation ask if it is possible to meet in person.

During (or immediately after) your phone interview, take notes; include the name of the person who interviewed you, and a synopsis of their questions and your responses.

Send a Thank You note by email or snail mail as soon as the interview is over, reiterating your interest in the position.

For more information on phone etiquette go to: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/phoneinterviews/tp/phoneinterviewetiquette.htm

Are you ready for your phone interview . . .?  You never know when it will happen!