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Tips: Phone Interview

Phone interviews is one of the first step to getting hired — and we all know it can be nerve racking trying to get everything together for it. It can be a intimidating first step for even the most seasoned of job seekers. Here’s our checklist of phone interview tips for before, after, and during your phone interviews.

Before the phone interview

Describe your career in no more than 90 seconds. You can and probably will go into more detail about your work experience in follow-up questions from the interviewer, but you should first and foremost make sure to prepare an pitch for your career. Once you’ve written out a compelling summary of your professional history, share it with family and friends to make sure it’s as clear and intriguing.

Have projects or examples of your work prepared. Another way to relate to your past with your present interview (job) is to have examples or projects that apply more directly with the company or job you’re interviewing for.

Make a standout list. In addition to rounding up examples of your work, you should make a list of all of the results and projects you’re most proud of, include those that you received awards, promotions.

Do your homework. Research the company and the person interviewing you. Before the interview, research the company’s mission statement, recent news . Get additional information by typing the company name into Google and/or Google News. You should also take time to research the person interviewing you. Look up their LinkedIn profile and Twitter profile. Take note of the words they use to talk about what they do, and think about how to talk about what you do in a way that will excite them.

Then start to get your questions for the interviewer. Make sure you DO NOT say “No, I don’t have any questions.” After your research choose a few things to ask that increased your curiosity.

During the phone interview

Find a quiet place with few distractions to take the call. Majority of calls are during the day, If you work from home find a quiet room so you won't be disturbed. If you have to be in the office that day, find a quiet place near your office maybe outside of the office to do the interview.

Material. Have your resume and the job description in front of you during the call. This will make it easier for you to recall past jobs and responsibilities. Last thing you want to do is have brain fog.

Test your cell phone before the interview begins. Reliable phone reception and/or is super important. Having your call drop and struggling to make out what your interviewer is saying during the call is not productive.

Be excited. Make sure you have an upbeat tone to your voice, which can be accomplished by simply smiling through the phone during the conversation. Unless you are on Skype the interviewer can't see your face, so letting them know how excited you are about this opportunity will have to be conveyed by your voice.

Take notes. These will help you retain the information and ideas discussed, and in case a questions are asked about previous important topics you will be able to recall it. It will also help you when you’re writing your follow-up thank you for the interview email.

Wait your turn. Don't interrupt. Wait for the interviewer to finish speaking before you speak. Yes, your excited about this new opportunity but try to remember to say cool, calm and collected.

Keep negativity far away. It’s important to put a positive twist on-to all of your responses. Even if you have hard feelings or had a bad experience it’s important to provide a tactful answer.

Stay on point. Try to keep your answers to 60 seconds max; it’s easy to ramble-on or go off on tangents.

Stay focused and on topic and talk slowly with confidence.

After the phone interview

Thank you goes a long way. Send a ‘thank you’ email to the person and/or people who interviewed you right after the interview or before the end of that working day. It’s important to thank them for their time, and an opportunity to reiterate why you’re excited about the position.

Patience. It can be tough to be patient after an interview while you wait for the company’s feedback. Give the interviewer 3-5 business days after your interview to get back to you. If you haven't heard from them within that time frame write them a quick note letting them know you’re still interested in the position and looking forward to hearing back from them soon.

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