Ace That Interview … Without Even Leaving the House

Success tips for wowing prospective employers on the phone

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Today, many employers conduct initial phone interviews to help determine the best qualified candidates for employment. They are often a great way to narrow down candidates who will ultimately be invited for in-person interviews.

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of a phone interview, but doing so could minimize your chance of employment. Since the interviewer can’t physically see you, they’re judging you based solely on your voice, answers and other sounds that may come through during the phone call. Given this, it’s imperative to make a great impression that could land you that in-person interview and eventually, a full-time gig.

Here are four tips to help you ace your phone interview:

Be prepared: Prepare the same way you would for an in-person interview. Practice answering questions, have a physical copy of your cover letter and resume in front of you, as well as a pen and paper to take notes. In order to give yourself enough time to converse in a calm and collected manner, avoid scheduling the interview on a tight schedule.

Set the scene: While you may enjoy working from your favorite coffee shop, this may not be the best place to take a business call, especially one that determines your future. Make sure you’re in a quiet environment, away from pets and kids, and where you can speak with a reasonable volume.

Disable your phone’s extra features: It’s always best to use a secured landline when conducting a phone interview. However, your cell phone may be the only option you have. When using your cell phone, disable your phone’s extra features to hinder any distractions during the interview. This includes silencing noisy notifications for calling waiting, voicemails, text messages, e-mails and games.

Perfect your voice: Practice talking—even if it’s to yourself— before your interview. You don’t want to sound as if you just woke up and weren’t prepared to take the call. Exercising your voice prior to the call will make you sound clear, confident and concise. Also keep a glass of water near during the interview in case your mouth gets dry. Even if it’s 8 a.m., remember to smile when answering questions, as it will show your excitement and enthusiasm.

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