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How to prepare for a phone interview? Here are 6 interview tips

You have a great resume; you are a perfect candidate for the job and you get an invite for a phone interview. Many companies use phone call interviews to determine whether they want to meet a candidate in person. It’s like a preliminary screening. There is no need to panic because with our phone interview tips you can still ace a phone call and get invited to the next round.

Phone interviews are mostly about you, your background, skills, previous experiences, your expectations, reasons for applying, etc.  The interviewer will also describe the job duties and responsibilities and will try to determine whether you are fit for the company. Even though these questions seem easy or dull, you still need to approach them professionally. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for a phone interview/screening:

1. Prepare notes

Even though your interview is over the phone, you still need to do your research. Research the company, people, culture, job responsibilities. The best part is that you can have your notes in front of you when you are talking on the phone. Unlike in-person interviews, phone interviews give you the flexibility to have notes and your resume in front of you.

Prepare answers to common interview questions. That way you won’t be surprised and nervous. You can always refer back to your notes and instill confidence during the interview.  

2. Find a place where you won’t be disturbed

It’s important to eliminate distractions while you are on the phone. Find a quiet room in your home and turn off your TV, mute your laptop and close all unnecessary tabs in your brewers. Only have tabs if they are essential for the interview. This will help you to remain focused during the call.

3. Check your tech

Even though this seems like an easy thing to do many people fail at it. Charge your phone before the call, check if your signal is good and whether your phone is working properly. If you plan to use wireless headphones – charge them before. You would be surprised how many people forget about simple details and then start panicking.

A woman talking on a phone and holding a macbook.
Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

4. Speak clearly and slowly

Phone interviews are different than in-person interviews. The interviewer can’t see your body language and thus they can’t fill those conversations gaps. That is why you must speak slowly and clearly. Wait for a bit before you start answering. When you don’t see a person and their body language it’s hard to determine when someone is finished talking. Take your time before jumping to an answer.

5. Take notes

Taking notes during the interview can help you remember important details regarding the job, company, or any other issues that are discussed. These notes can help you form some questions at the end, but also help you if you are invited to the next round.

6. Prepare questions for the end

Just like for any job interview – questions you ask in the end are important. When the interviewer asks you, in the end, do you have any questions – this is your opportunity to shine. Don’t just hand up the phone. If you prepare questions beforehand you won’t be surprised and you will keep your cool.

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