Acing the Phone Interview

I have had a number of phone interviews so far but maybe there is something I could do better.  I’ve always been told that you have to be more excited than you might be in person because obviously you can’t tell what the person is thinking through the phone where as you could read a persons facial expressions when you are meeting with them face to face.

I decided to see what tips Doostang had.  I know, this site has become my site of choice for finding tips in relation to job searching.  Alesia Benedict gives the following 8 tips and I have added my own point of view to some of them.

1. Control Contact: Don’t list every number at which you can be reached.  Your work number is probably a bad choice due to the fact that those of us who have lived in cube-ville know that everyone around you can hear EVERYTHING you are saying.  List only your cell phone number, or perhaps home phone and then make sure to return all calls as soon as possible.  This leads to the following: You MUST have a professional voicemail message.  I would also look down upon reverse ring tones, a recruiter or possible employer doesn’t need to know what your favorite song is this month.

2. Focus: If you receive a call during a time when you can’t devote the caller 100% of your attention ask if you can call them back or reschedule the cal for a different time or day.  I’ve actually stopped answering phone calls from numbers I don’t recognize.  I know that if it’s something important they will leave me a message and when they do I will be more prepared when I call them back.  I’d rather be at my computer or with a description of the job in hand when I return the phone call.

3. Practice Tough Answers: We all have some sort of skeleton in the closet about a previous job.  Practice how you will answer if a certain question about your previous experience comes up.

4. Google Yourself: Know what is out there about you.   Speaking of that, I need to change the username I am under for these blogs.  This whole blogging world is an extension of my experiences and I want future employers to know that besides Facebooking, Tweeting and running races I also write two blogs.

5. Use Your Resume: Have your resume on you, almost, all the time.  This will allow you to steer the interview.  Put some notes in the margin so you can highlight the experiences as they relate to a certain future job.

6. Be Informed: Know about the company you are interviewing with.  Recruiters talk to many people on the phone, if you can speak informatively about the company you may stand out more than most candidates who simply view this as an informal interview.

7. Give Scenarios: Employers can read about what you’ve done but they will be able to relate to you better as a person through a personal story from your experiences. Hopefully, this will also make you stand out from the crowd.

8. Curb the Chatter: Don’t overtake the interview.  Let the interviewer get a word in edge wise. You want to be enthusiastic but also…sane.  I have to say that sometimes you get a recruiter who is really chatty and you happen to hit it off, in which case I don’t think you should be short with him or her as that may make you seem standoffish.  Just read the vibes.

I hope this helps…and now I’m off to prep for my own phone interview!

Check out my posts on my Facebook group: Jobs. Ideas. Networking

What did you do today?

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