5 Tips to nail a phone interview – Penelope Trunk

PREPARE YOUR SURROUNDINGS AHEAD OF TIME

Make sure you’re alone and can talk freely. Limit background noise. If you did not schedule it beforehand, feel free to ask the interviewer if you can call back at a better time. You will not sound disinterested, but rather, you will sound concerned for managing your life by organizing your commitments.

DRESS FOR THE PART

Consider getting dressed up for your interview, even though no one will see you. If you are not practiced at talking about business on the phone, it may be hard to get into business mode for the call. When there’s a risk of sounding too casual or unprofessional on the phone, dressing up a little can actually change how you sound.

STAND UP

You’ll sound more self confident and dynamic if you stand while you speak. Walking around a bit, but not too much, also keeps the call going smoothly. If your body is confined, your speech sounds different than if you have the run of the room.

PREPARE FOR THE MOST OBVIOUS QUESTIONS

A resume is to get someone to pay attention to you. An in-person interview is to see if people like you. Somewhere in between those two events, employers use a phone interview to make sure you’re qualified and check for red flags. Expect questions about your skills and qualifications, as well as questions about problems on your resume, like frequent changes in companies or big gaps in time between jobs.

DON’T FORGET TO CLOSE

Your goal for a phone interview is to get an in-person interview, so don’t hang up the phone until you have made some efforts to get to that step. Ask what the process is for deciding who to interview face-to-face, and always, always send a thank you note to follow up.

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