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7 ways to pass a phone interview

There is nothing more rewarding than getting an interview invitation after making an application. Whether it is a phone interview or face to face interview you will be overwhelmed by joy after receiving a notification for an interview. Not only did your hard work of writing a good resume pay off but finally you are going to get a chance to meet the person hiring for that role.

Most jobs start with a phone call, so whether you have practiced your body language and gestures you need to practice how to tank a phone interview. With the help of a few tips, you will be able to master the art and some basics to help you prepare.

In this era of zoom and teams, phone conversations are something of a lost art. Prior to dialing in, make sure you are prepared to show off your best professional self to potential employers.

In some instances, the phone interview might be the only interview you will have. Employers gauge if you are the right candidate for the role through phone interviews. They will want to determine if you have the right qualifications and skills suitable for the role.

In many instances, recruiters may send you an invitation via email or in other instances, via a surprise phone call. You never know when you will be called so always answer the phone professionally if it is an unfamiliar number.

Why companies use a phone interview

Employers use telephone interviews as a way of gauging the right candidates. A phone interview is a relatively quick, effective way to determine if a candidate is suitable for the role. A phone interview narrows the pool of candidates who will be invited for in-person interviews.

Before you go from ecstatic to panic mode here are a few phone interviews tips you could ever need to get yourself prepared.

Phone interview tips

1. Get clear details.

Get to know the time of the interview, who you will be speaking to and the number they will be calling from. There is nothing wrong with getting some clarity. Get to know which company they are calling for so that you can do some research. Lookup for the person calling on LinkedIn to get a grasp of who you will be talking to.

2. Do your research

Treat it like any other interview and prepare. Do not underestimate a phone interview and end up stumbling over your answers because you will mess up your chances. First, give the job description a gander to know the requirements needed. The second dig about the company, read the employee testimonials and look up at their social media sites. Get a sense of the company’s mission, goals, and overall vibe. This will help you to craft interview answers that will earn you extra points.

Make notes on your findings and mention them during the interview if an opportunity arises. This will help the interviewer know you are passionate about joining them. Researching the company will allow you to get questions to ask the recruiter.

3.Practice how to answer and how to talk over the phone  

Talking on the phone is not as easy as people assume. Practice will help you know if you speak too quickly or slowly. You can practice with a friend over the phone, or you can record yourself. This will help you improve your conversational speech. No need to memorize answers, but practising will help reduce your nerves and make your responses sound more natural.

Alternatively, you could seek professional help from recruitment agencies to get an insight into handling phone interviews. With enough training, you will be able to hone that skill.

4. Actively listen

You will mess up your chances if you become absent-minded during the phone interview. Constantly use of words such as ‘pardon’ or “what’ will annoy the recruiter. Be insightful and interact with the recruiter. Active listening helps pace the conversation and will equip you with information you can use later in the call. Take notes while the recruiter is talking meanwhile grasping all the important information you will need.

Follow up with questions to show that you were actively listening. You can practice active listening with a friend or a mentor.

5.Speak clearly and with confidence

You can wow the recruiter with your confidence alone. You must be enthusiastic and professional. This alone can attract the recruiter’s attention.

Nothing is worse than a dull conversation and a monotone. Variation in speech is important for points of emphasis and applying that on your phone interview will earn you points. Your body posture impacts how you speak on the phone. Make sure to stand up while speaking to avoid being comfortable.

Demonstrating your communication skills will increase your chances of being hired. Show excitement in your voice because the person cannot see you, you must sound energetic. Try to lower the volume if you are speaking too loudly. figure yourself when you start to babble a mile a minute.

  1. Gather your documents and tools

Print out your resume to use as reference in answering and emphasizing your points. Keeping your resume handy will help describe your previous roles and your achievements. Gather a charger, headphones, a notepad, and a pen. Take the research you did and write them down on your notepad so that you can refer when being asked a question. Make sure you do not read your answers like a script because that will make you sound unauthentic.

7.End the call with follow up questions

Do not feel like you are left in the dark, refer to your notes and ask questions based on your findings. Take a moment to ask questions on what you expect, having prepared them in advance. Inquire about the next step of the process. It is a good way to show your interest in the job by asking relevant questions.

Dos and don’ts during a phone interview

  • Use Mr or Ms Followed by the interviewers last name but if you are not sure just use their first name.
  • Do not smoke or chew gum while talking.
  • Focus and pay attention, speak slowly, and show interest.
  • Do not interrupt the interviewer.
  • Smile when talking over the phone, this gives your voice a more energetic tone.
  • Keep a glass of water handy, though. There is nothing worse than having a tickle in your throat or a cough starting when you need to talk on the phone.
  • Avoid loud music in your background. Avoid distractions by turning off television and radio. Look for a quiet place to pick the phone.
  • Make sure your connectivity is on. If you are video conferencing, make sure to find a spot with a great connection.
  • Give brief answers. It is important to stay focused on answering the questions. Use examples if possible and avoid long stories.
  • Follow up after the interview. Send out an thank you note email to the interviewer. You can also use your thank-you note as a way to provide information on anything regarding your qualifications that you did not get a chance to mention during the phone interview.

In conclusion, you have the upper hand to ace the interview because in most cases the recruiter is rooting for you to succeed. So, use that to seek their help and suggestions in moving on to the next round. Clearly express your intentions for the role.

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