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Phone interviews are fairly common in today’s business world. They give hiring managers an opportunity to screen candidates without dedicating the amount of time normally required for an in-person meeting. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be thoroughly prepared, as these initial conversations may determine whether you move forward in the process. To help you get started, here are a few secrets to a great phone interview:

Prepare in Advance

While the medium is different from a traditional interview, a phone interview is still an interview, and you need to prepare just as you would for any other opportunity. Take time to gather materials, like your resume and cover letter, and make sure you have access to a copy of the job description. Look into the company’s background and keep relevant pieces of information or notes handy.

You can also practice for a phone interview just like you would for an in-person interview. Try to craft and rehearse answers to common questions in advance to help them feel natural, and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a friend to get everything nailed down.

Create an Interview Space

One of the appeals of a phone interview is you can participate from anywhere. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work to control your environment if you want to make the best impression possible. Ideally, you’ll need to have access to a quiet, comfortable room that is free from distractions. If you’re interviewing from home, this includes ensuring that children, pets, or electronics, like a television or radio, cannot be heard while you are handling the call. You also want a suitable surface for your materials, such as a desk or table, and a comfortable chair.

If you will be away from home during the call, it could feel more challenging to find a way to control your environment. One option is to use your vehicle as it can muffle some of the sounds from the outside world. However, you don’t want to drive and interview, as this can be dangerous, and it might not be an ideal location if the internal temperature isn’t comfortable and running your car (for A/C or heat) generates too much noise. Otherwise, you may need to scope out a suitable place in advance based on where you anticipate being at that time.

Speak Slowly and Clearly

Since the hiring manager can’t see you during a phone interview, they don’t have the benefit of visual cues to help them understand what you are saying. This means it is critical that you slow down your natural cadence and focus on enunciation. Nothing is more frustrating than having to ask someone to repeat themselves over and over, so you don’t want to put the interviewer in that position as it will likely reflect poorly on you. Instead, take your time and concentrate on clarity so you can be sure you’re understood the first time, every time.

If you are currently looking for a new position, the specialists at The Squires Group can connect you with top employers in the area. Contact us today to see everything our recruitment team has to offer.

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