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10 Ways to Ace Your Next Phone Interview

By Tom Caravela, Managing Partner (The Carolan Group)

Phone interviews have become the standard initial step in the job application process for companies large and small. Not only are phone interviews a first impression for both company and job seeker, it typically determines whether there is a next step in the process. Here are 10 ways to ace your next phone interview:

  1. Make sure you are in a quiet place with no noises, distractions, kids or pets nearby that can interrupt your call.
  2. Keep a pad of paper, a pen and your resume in front of you as a reference. Take notes during the call but maintain focus on the interviewer so that you understand all information and hear questions correctly.
  3. Do not eat or chew gum during the call. It is okay to have a glass of water ready in case you get dry but of course be quiet and discreet at all times.
  4. Make sure you speak clearly and do NOT ramble. Keep your answers concise but try to find a balance between talking enough and not talking too much.
  5. If possible, review the LinkedIn profile of the person you will be interviewing with to gain an understanding of their background and perhaps common interests.
  6. Research the company you are interviewing with and be prepared to answer questions about the organization and why you would like to work there. Make sure to express a strong interest in the company and the position you are interviewing for.
  7. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the job and have read the job description thoroughly.
  8. Be prepared to discuss how your background fits the needs of the role and responsibilities.
  9. Be sure to thank the interviewer, restate your interest and ask for the next step. Typically, an onsite interview would follow so express interest in the possibility of meeting in person.
  10. Send a follow up e-mail within 24 hours to re-state your interest and again thank the interviewer for their time. Be sure to follow up with your recruiter/search firm if you are working with one.

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