By Clay Wyatt
Posted on 12/03/2012

An employer who is interested in your resume will often conduct a phone interview. This is often a bridge to a face-to-face interview, which would put you on the short list for the job. How you cross that bridge could mean the difference between a fulfilling career or dealing with the drudgery or your current job (or unemployment).

A phone interview may seem like a minor deal, but it’s not. As such, you’ll want to be prepared to ace this important step in the selection process. Let’s take a look at a few tips for acing your next phone interview.


Before the Interview



Prepare Questions


In a face-to-face interview, it is important to ask questions at the end. It is also important to ask questions at the end of a phone interview. Doing so shows the employer that you have researched the position and are eager to learn more.

Prepare a list of questions to ask the employer. The questions you ask should be specific to the job. For example, if it is an office job, you may want to ask about the types of software that are used.


Disable Call Waiting


Your friend Billy may decide to call 11 times during the interview to discuss last night’s game. Disable call waiting so that you don’t get annoyed or accidentally hang up on the interviewer.


Gather a Pen and Notepad


A pen and notepad will be useful for taking notes during the interview, if necessary.


During the Interview



Be Alone


“What was that? I didn’t hear you. My roommate was yelling at the video game. Can I call you back later after the party is over”?

Imagine saying the above to an interviewer. Would you expect him or her to invite you in for a face-to-face interview? Probably not.

Whether you live with 6 roommates or your cat, find a place to be alone. If necessary, hire a babysitter. In any case, find somewhere private to speak on the phone so that nobody interferes with your interview.


Speak Clearly


If you normally speak like an auctioneer, slow it down a bit. The interviewer won’t be able to read your lips and a fast-talker can be difficult to understand over the phone.


Pretend You’re Invisible


The interviewer won’t be able to see you. While this means that you can wear your pajamas to the interview, it also means that body language won’t be seen. As such, a harmless joke or sarcastic remark may seem serious to the interviewer, as your facial expressions won’t be seen.


Keep Your Mouth Empty


The interviewer can’t see what you’re eating. However, he or she may be able to hear it.

Avoid eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum during the phone interview.


Don’t Interrupt the Interviewer


Nobody likes to be interrupted. Avoid cutting the interviewer off in mid-sentence.




By preparing for your phone-interview and keeping these tips in mind, you can ace it.

Be sure to remain alone during the call and speak clearly to the interviewer. Keep gum and other materials out of your mouth and be mannerly. After all, the interviewer is already impressed with your qualifications and it is now a matter of convincing him or her that you should be called in for another interview, which you can do by following these tips.