“17 Expert Tips to Nail Your Phone Interview and Secure Your Dream Job”

The dreaded phone interview – it’s one of the biggest hurdles to jump when trying to land your dream job. Companies use phone interviews as a preliminary screening tool to filter through qualified candidates and weed out those who may not be a good fit. Unfortunately, many candidates underestimate the importance of a phone interview and fail to properly prepare themselves, resulting in missed opportunities.

But fear not, there are ways to ensure that you ace your next phone interview. Here are 17 tips to help you confidently sail through your next screening interview and secure your dream job.

1. Clear the deck

Your schedule is likely packed, but to ensure you’re fully present, energized, and engaged during your phone interview, clear the deck and give yourself at least an hour of uninterrupted time before and 30 minutes following the interview. Use this time to mentally prepare, develop a list of questions, rehearse answers to likely questions, and ensure you’re comfortable and ready for the interview.

2. Look the part

Studies have shown that we perform better when we look and feel the part. Dress up for your phone interview, even if you’ll be taking it from home or a private location. This will help you feel confident and fully engaged. Plus, if the interviewer asks to connect via video call, you’ll be prepared.

3. Resend your resume and cover letter prior to the call

As a courtesy, resend your resume and cover letter prior to your screening interview. The person interviewing you may have had a busy day or a schedule change that forced them to work from home, where they don’t have access to their files. Resending your documents will save them time and earn you extra points for being considerate.

4. Research the interviewer

During your research, try to get a sense of the interviewer’s personal and professional interests. Even if you don’t dwell on them during the interview, acknowledging shared interests can make you a more memorable and likable candidate.

5. Research the company

In addition to researching the interviewer, be sure to research the company itself. Conduct a Google search on the company, ask people in your network if they know anyone who has worked for the organization, and check Yelp reviews. Don’t be deterred by negative reviews; use them as an opportunity to ask thoughtful questions about the company’s culture during the interview.

6. Check the staff listing or “About Us” section of the company’s website

Most organizations list their staff or board members in the “About Us” or “Our Team” section of their website. Prior to your phone interview, check these sections to determine whether you know someone who works for the company. If you do, reach out to that person to request a phone interview to learn more about the company.

7. Remember interviewing is a two-way street

As much as the company representative wants to learn about you, you’ll want to learn about the organization. Ask questions about the company, the position, growth opportunities, the ideal candidate, and the interview process. Additionally, ask questions to assess company culture, such as “What do your employees like most about working for your organization?” or “What do you do to create and maintain a healthy workplace culture?”

8. Develop questions prior to the interview

Develop a list of questions before your interview to save yourself the trouble of thinking of questions on the spot. Interviews can be anxiety-producing without preparation, so take the time to develop thoughtful questions ahead of time.

9. Stand during the interview

Standing during your phone interview can help you project better and reduce the urge to become too comfortable with your interviewer and say something too informal.

10. Allow the interviewer to talk

While it’s essential to ask questions during an interview, avoid dominating the conversation. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, so try to walk the fine line between allowing the interviewer to talk and interjecting questions when appropriate. This projects genuine interest and engagement on your part.

11. Refrain from multitasking

Distractions are everywhere, but during your phone interview, be as present as possible. Refrain from multitasking, even if you have a to-do list a mile long. You’ll be less anxious and more engaged, which will result in a better interview.

12. Conduct the interview in a quiet place

If possible, conduct your interview in a quiet place. Rent a co-working space or ask to borrow a friend’s office or use a private room in your house where there is minimal noise and distraction. Avoid background noise such as traffic or people talking, which can make it hard for the interviewer to focus on what you’re saying.

13. Use a landline if possible

Using a landline will ensure better sound quality and reduce the chances of dropped calls or bad reception. If you must use your cell phone, make sure you have a good signal and are in a quiet place.

14. Take notes during the interview

Taking notes will demonstrate your interest in the position and help you remember important details discussed during the interview. It’s also a good way to jot down questions you may want to ask at the end of the interview.

15. Be mindful of your tone and language

Your tone and language can communicate a lot during a phone interview, so be mindful of your words and how you come across. Speak clearly and with enthusiasm, and avoid using slang or filler words such as “um” or “like.”

16. Thank the interviewer

At the end of the call, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. Express interest in the position and ask about next steps in the process.

17. Follow up with a thank-you email

A thank-you email is a great opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the position and reiterate your qualifications. It also shows the interviewer that you’re thoughtful and interested in the opportunity.

In conclusion, phone interviews don’t have to be intimidating and stressful. By properly preparing, researching the company and interviewer, asking thoughtful questions, and being present during the interview, you can ace your next screening interview and land the job of your dreams.

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