10 ways to ace your phone interview

by Ask a Manager on May 30, 2011

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My column this week at U.S. News & World Report is on 10 ways to ace your phone interview. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, I’ll be personally disappointed in you if you don’t know these tips, but if you’re new or you need a refresher, check it out here.

{ 4 comments }

jen May 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm

These are great tips. To me sounding enthusiastic about the job you’ve applied for seems like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many people can’t muster up polite engagement on the phone.

I’d add one more: Make sure you’re in a place where you won’t be interrupted by crying babies or noisy kids or pets or other loud noises. I’d rather talk to someone with the time management and organizational skils to schedule the interview at a time when they can give their full attention than be interrupted part way through and put on hold or rescheduled while the candidate deals with their interruption. But it happens all the time.

Anonymous May 31, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Don’t have a musical ring tone instead of ringing. I have yet to come up with a profession where it isn’t silly (if you are in the music industry I assume you care about the quality of what is being listened to and that is never good quality). Save the few dollars a month and don’t use the musical ring tone for whatever phone you are using for job interviews.

Liz in a library May 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I completely agree. Even the more innocuous ones (instrumental only or classical) are annoying to someone, and can leave a weird first impression.

I once called someone whose voicemail message was clearly her singing about drinking into a whiskey-fueled oblivion. Then it went straight to the beep (no explanation, not even confirming the name and number). It was an incredibly odd thing to find in a business context, and I’ll admit that I made judgments about her because of it that were not flattering.

Justin Dalton June 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

One of the suggestions I was given when making sales calls was to make sure I was smiling while on the phone. Apparently smiling actually makes you sound more upbeat even over the phone. I guess the same would be true for an interview.

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