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The 5-Step Checklist That’ll Help You Ace Your Next Phone Interview

Many companies begin their hiring process with a simple phone call before proceeding to the traditional in-person job interview. Often, the phone interview will be handled by a recruiter, a hiring manager, or—on rare occasions—by an entire panel of managers and team leaders. Unfortunately, being eloquent on the phone is a dying art, what with almost all communication happening on social media, text and email. With that being said, here’s how you can knock your phone interview out of the park and improve your chances of getting hired for the job.

1. Prepare a Comfortable Place to Do the Phone Interview

Once you’ve submitted your application for a job posting, expect to be called for an interview any time. A decent hiring manager will first ask if it’s a convenient time to talk, so if you’re in the middle of chores, request that you be called back in five minutes. None of this, however, will be an issue if you’re fortunate enough to have a scheduled phone interview.

In any case, be sure to prepare a space in your home for the phone interview—somewhere quiet, with good service, and ideally, access to a landline phone. If you’re going to do the interview via Skype, take the call in an area with good lighting and a clean wall that will serve as your background.

2. Treat It Like a “Real” Interview

You need to treat the phone call like any other job interview. That means doing your homework about the role and company, being well-rested on the day of the call, and even dressing up for the interview. If being in corporate attire helps you get in the zone, go ahead and do it. This is as much a mental game as a physical one, after all.

3. Have a Cheat Sheet Ready

The best thing about a phone interview is that you can always use notes instead of relying on memory to get your points across. Print a few cheat sheets or take down notes on index cards so you know how to answer common interview questions. And while you’re at it, print or write down your elevator pitch to ensure you highlight your core skills and credentials.

4. Listen Before You Talk

Allow the interviewer to lead the conversation, which will usually touch on things like expectations, the tasks and responsibilities of the job, and what success means in the company. Listen and take notes so you know how to respond to questions later on in the interview. By paying attention to what the interviewer says, you can build rapport over the phone.

5. End the Interview By Asking What’s Next

This does two things:

  • First, it ensures you won’t be kept in the dark about what to expect from your application. You don’t want to keep waiting for feedback when there’s none.

  • Second, it reiterates your interest in the position. If you have any questions about the position, go ahead and ask them before wrapping up.

Take Advantage of a Professional & Executive Recruiting Firm

If you need further assistance in your job search, take advantage of The Patriot Group’s high-quality professional recruiting and placement services. Contact one of our professional recruiters at 657-204- 5922 or or check out our most recent job openings today.

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