The keys to ACING a phone interview

Many times, the first step to securing a face-to-face interview is the dreaded phone interview. And, many people dread it simply because, since there’s no non-verbal cues to read, they can’t monitor and adjust their demeanor or answers for the best interview possible. All hope isn’t lost, however! There are things that you can do to ace your phone interview.

Since non-verbal visual cues are missing in the phone interview, make sure your tone of voice is appropriate. Be personable, but don’t sound casual, but don’t sound too uptight, aloof or condescending. And for the love of everything good, don’t eat or chew gum on a phone interview!

This next tip may seem the most obvious: be prepared. Part of being prepared is making sure that you ask the employer how much time you should allot for the call. A sure-fire way to make certain you DON’T get a face-to-face interview is to either get interrupted or to cut the call short. Make sure you have enough time to properly communicate why they should meet with you in person.

Another important aspect of being prepared is to know the job description and, prior to the phone interview, know how to communicate your fit (things interviewers really want to know) for the company. Most of the time, no applicant is going to fit every single requirement and companies know this. But, get an idea how you are generally a good fit for the position and during your phone interview, your answer will come easily.

The question regarding salary (salary questions) is likely to rear its ugly head. Make sure you know what the market value of the position is, what your salary expectation is and how you will gracefully broach the subject. Getting this aspect right sends a clear picture to the interviewer that you know how to handle the “tough stuff”.

Make sure you know a little something about the company and can ask intelligent, relevant questions of your interviewer. You may want to clarify the position and you may want to ask questions about the general environment of the company. And, most importantly, when closing the interview, make sure you get a timeline of when they will be back in touch with you.

A phone interview can be nerve-wrecking, but following a few simple guidelines can help you ace it and get your foot in the door for a real, live interview AND onto beginning a new career with the company!

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