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7 tips to help you in preparing for a phone interview!

Updated: Sep 14, 2019

Get well prepared for your phone interview and improve your chances of being selected for the next stage of the hiring process.

An interviewer interviewing a candidate over a phone interview in an office.

Phone interviews are very often used as a criterion by recruiters in shortlisting those applicants who look good on paper. You are then called in for a longer, in-depth personal interview.

Phone interviews may be scheduled or could be a surprise call asking if you're available to chat about the job position. The recruiter may reach out to you via email or LinkedIn and schedule the phone interview specifying the date and time while surprise calls may happen anytime after sending out your job application. For these unscheduled calls if you are unable to talk, simply schedule the call stating your availability. Doing so gives you some time to prepare for it as well.

Here are the 7 tips to help you prepare for your next phone interview -

1. Do a complete research.

Read about the job description and analyze it highlighting those areas where they have placed more emphasis on. Research about the company, their products and services, their founders and other industry articles that you may come across on Google. Read your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile for the recruiter may surely ask you about your past experiences, reason for leaving, employment gaps etc.

2. Prepare a list of common questions with your answers.

Prepare a list of all the possible questions along with their answers as this prepares you to answer confidently any question the recruiter may ask. These questions may either be generic or specific. Generic questions such as those related to your strengths, weaknesses and reasons why you may want to work with the company. Specific reasons may be around your resume and your knowledge about the company. Besides that, have a list of two or three questions ready to ask the interviewer as well. This gives an impression that you are keen to work in the position.

3. Be in a comfortable environment.

Do everything that you can to feel at ease. Being in a comfortable environment, shutting out any distractions and eliminating noise will help you be at your best. Besides, all that unnecessary noise will only be a barrier to communication.

4. Get everything you need beforehand.

Have a copy of your resume handy in front of you. Highlight any key points that you would like to talk about. Keep a notebook and pen nearby as well to help you jot down anything that you may need to. You can have the advertised job posting on your laptop/computer or another device for easy reference. Related - 7 reasons why you need an attractive resume! 5 reasons why you need a Cover Letter!

A phone besides a sofa at the home of a candidate preparing for a phone interview.

5. Listen first, answer professionally.

Answer the phone yourself. Take notes of all that the recruiter asks so that you don't miss out on any point. Listen carefully for your listening skills are also being tested here. Wait for the recruiter to finish speaking before you answer so that you avoid interrupting. You may take a couple of seconds to think about your answer but don't take too long. If you need the interviewer to repeat the question, ask.

6. End it on a positive note.

End the call on a positive note. Thank the person for the call and reassure your interest in the position. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice.

7. Send a thank-you email.

Send a thank you note in the form of an email. An email is the best way to follow up after an interview. You can send it on the same day but not directly after the call. Confirm your interest in the company, ability to do the job and desire to take things to the next step.

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