Friday, January 25, 2013

5 Effective Phone Interview Tips

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Phone interviews are often disregarded in the job interview process. In actuality, it is the single most important step. Why? Because it determines whether or not the interviewing process will go any further. The goal here is to convince your potential employer that they should invest time in a face-to-face interview.
Follow these phone interview tips to ensure you land that face-to-face meeting.

Be Prepared - Make sure you are ready for the call and gather all the needed materials ahead of time. It is good practice to be available 5 minutes earlier than the call time. Some interviewers actually call early deliberately to test potential candidates. Make sure you have a copy of your resume as well as the job description. If internet access is available, pull up the employers website so you may reference it if needed. Create a list of questions you would like to ask during the conversation and make note of their answers.

Create an Appropriate Environment - Ensure that the call is conducted in a quiet, controllable environment. If you have any pets, keep them out of the room. A barking dog can impede the success of the phone interview. Also, disable any phone features that may interfere with the call. Call waiting or a noisy fax machine can hurt your chances of securing a meeting. Be sure that the call is not conducted on your cell phone as the reception can be choppy.

Allot a Sufficient Amount of Time For the Call - Avoid scheduling a phone interview during your lunch break, or your morning commute. You want to ensure you have plenty of time for the conversation. Remember, the longer the call, the greater your chances of moving on to the next step.

Be Convincing - Although phone interviews tend to be short, you still want to do your best to "sell yourself" to your potential employer. Include past experiences in your answers and make sure they understand you have a true interest in the position. Share the qualities about yourself that would make you a perfect fit for the position. Try not to be overbearing with your sales pitch, though. Keep it professional and polite.

Send a Thank You Note - You may be familiar with sending thank you notes after a face-to-face meeting, but it is also good practice to send one after a phone interview as well. Aim to send out the note an hour or so after the call. In doing so, you are extending your interest in the position and noting your desire to meet in person. This helps move the process in a positive direction.
Although the interviewer cannot see you, this is the very first impression they will be getting of you. Answer the call with your name, so they already know they whom they are speaking with. Speak clearly, confidently and with a smile on your face. Enthusiasm goes a long way and will come through in your tone of voice. By adhering to the few simple steps above, you stand a much better chance of landing that all important face-to-face interview.

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