Are You Ready for Your Phone Interview?

by Joe Lavelle on February 7, 2010

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I love when I find an interesting article or blog post that makes me think about my work as a career coach from a unique perspective.  I’ve written several posts on this blog about how to prepare for an interview — dress nicely, research your potential employer, arrive early, send a thank-you note after you leave, etc.  However, I found a recently published article on the CNN website that examines one specific type of job interview that puts a new spin on the standard advice.  How should you approach an interview that is conducted over the phone?

In the article, author Anne Fisher shares that, due to the increased number of applicants for each job, phone interviews have become an increasingly popular way to narrow down the candidates.  She then shares great pieces of advice from two experts in the field, Annie Stevens and Paul J. Bailo, that job seekers can use before they place that important phone call.  Here are just a few of their suggestions:

1. Wear business attire. Bailo points out that “you won’t feel, or sound, as businesslike in your pajamas.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Take the time to get ready as if you are meeting your potential employer in his office.  Being dressed nicely will give you more confidence and put you in the appropriate frame of mind.

2. Have a photo of your interviewer on your computer screen. Another great idea!  Being able to look at the person who is speaking to you on the phone will help you to maintain focus.

3. Never interrupt. This can be tricky with phone delays and the inability to look at the interviewer to be able to know if he or she is done talking.  Stevens recommends that you allow two or three seconds of silence just to make sure the other person has finished.

Have you ever been interviewed over the phone?  Maybe you’ve conducted such an interview?  I hope you will read the entire article and then let us know what you can add!  What are your tips for nailing a phone interview?

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