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If you manage to ace an initial phone interview, you have overcome a huge milestone in your job search. Success in a phone interview gets you a step closer to a face-to-face interview. Prepare for a phone interview much as you would an in-person interview. Be ready for questions, act professionally and say, "Thank you."
Print Your Resume
Have a printed copy of your resume available during the phone interview. Refer to it when the hiring manager asks you questions about your work history, dates of employment, education and skill set. This way you don't have to rely on your memory when recalling your professional certifications or when you were last licensed.
Get online before you begin a phone interview and use the web as a resource during the conversation. Have the company website open, perhaps to the mission statement page, so you can refer to it when the employer asks why you want to work for the company. Refer back to the job posting or job description as you list the skills you can bring to the company. Just be sure that the interviewer does not hear you typing during the conversation, which may give the impression that you're not paying attention.
Use a Landline
Use a landline, rather than a cell phone, for a phone interview. A cell phone can be unpredictable and lead to dropped calls or less-than-ideal connections. Use a cell phone only if you have to schedule your interview for when you are away from your home or a desk. Also, take steps to avoid interruptions by children, pets or visitors, and turn off the call waiting function on your phone.
Allow enough time for your interview. Do not schedule an appointment or another phone interview right after. Spend time preparing for interview questions so you do not waste time stumbling over your words as the questions are asked. Review your answers to common questions about your experience, skills, and the reasons you applied for the job. Don't rush through your answers, but also keep your responses concise and to the point.
Aanya Rose has been writing since 1998. Her work has appeared in "ADDitude," "Curl," "Diabetes Alternatives," "Fitness," the "Healing Path" and more. She has served as a channel manager for various websites and worked in consultation and training. Rose holds a B.S. and Ph.D.