Phone Interview Tips That Will Secure a Second Interview

Phone Interview Tips That Will Secure a Second Interview

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Understand Who's Calling

As soon as you hear from the person who will conduct your phone interview, do a quick LinkedIn search to figure out what their role is at the company. Most often, it's going to be a member of the recruiting team, which means it won't be your potential boss or the hiring manager. What that means: They're going to want to ask you basic 

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Understand Who's Calling

questions about your work history, qualifications, and tell you more about what the position entails.

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Write Back About Scheduling ASAP—and Spellcheck!

While it's the phone prescreen that matters most, you still need to make a great impression in your email responding to the phone interview request. Make sure your reply is pristine and straightforward and that you get back on the same day, preferably within an hour or two. Your quick response shows enthusiasm and helps 

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Write Back About Scheduling ASAP—and Spellcheck!

you avoid communication red flags. Also, double-check that the time you select for your phone screen interview is one that works with your schedule. (We've all double-booked before, especially when nervous.)

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Print Out the Job Description

Once you know you're a potential candidate, pull the original job description up and read it carefully. Look for keywords that keep popping up and the clear skills they're after. These are the elements you should try to touch on when you talk to your interviewer. We recommend even jotting down specific questions on scratch paper as you read.

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Print Out the Job Description

It will help your memory. For example, if they mention “candidate experience” in the job posting then you can try to work that keyword into your answer. Something like, “In my current role I’m focused on creating an organized customer experience…”

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Research the Company on Linkedin and via the Company Site

Your interviewer will assume you know at least a little something about the organization since you did apply for a job with them, which is why it’s crucial that you’re prepared to answer this question. Start by visiting the company’s website and social channels and educate yourself about the company's mission, 

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Research the Company on Linkedin and via the Company Site

goals, and core values. Do you know who their leadership team is? What is their product, service, or clientele? If you can test out their product beforehand, do it.

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Prepare Your Salary Requirements

This is another question recruiters always ask for a few reasons. First, they don’t want to waste either person’s time in case you’re really far apart between what you expect and what they have budgeted for the role. Next, it’s a great way to see how you deal with tough, uncomfortable questions. Also, according to research 

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Prepare Your Salary Requirements

from the Job Description Library, the vast majority of employers expect candidates to have information about their salary before attending the interview so, just another reason why you need to prep for this!

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Plan on Being Somewhere Quiet

That does not mean your car. Ideally, it's not in an office next to a construction site either. Book a meeting room at work or make sure your dog's out with the dog walker while you're on the phone.  You’ll want to prep the space to make sure it’s quiet, has reliable cell phone service, and if you’re going to use headphones, test them out ahead of time.

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Prepare Some Questions to Ask

A common pet peeve of recruiters is when they start to conclude the interview and asks if you have any questions and....crickets. Don’t make this mistake and miss the opportunity not only to learn more about the role and company, but also impress them with all your company research prep. These don't have to be too complicated since

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Prepare Some Questions to Ask

it's a phone screening, but if you don’t ask anything then you’re sending the message that you don’t really care about the role and company.

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Don't Be Afraid to Communicate if You Need to Reschedule

Obviously, it's not ideal to ask for a change of interview time, so this is the last resort. But if you're job searching, and it turns out that your current employer wants you to attend a meeting during the pre-scheduled time, email the recruiter back. They understand that you're juggling your search and your work, and they don't want to 

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Don't Be Afraid to Communicate if You Need to Reschedule

make things uncomfortable for you. The secret to re-scheduling without irritation is to make your ask as quickly as possible, provide other days and times you’re free, and please don’t do it more than once.

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Practice a Mock Phone Interview

You might hate the idea of playing pretend job interview, but hear us out. 96 percent of job candidates who had taken a mock interview got their dream job. The magic of mock interviews is that you can practice your interview answers—especially to those behavior-based interview questions—enhance your soft skills, and calm your 

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Practice a Mock Phone Interview

anxiety leading up to the big day. And if you’re feeling like you want to take your mock interview up a notch, record yourself on video. In the replay, you can take note of your body language and attitude. You might notice you say "um" a lot and need to stay mindful of that.

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When You Answer, Answer Professionally

Since this is a phone interview, you’ll be doing something you do all the time—picking up the phone, but you want the tone of your voice to sound professional and prepared. You should say, "Hello, this is [your full name]." It makes it easy for the recruiter to know they are speaking to the correct person, but it's also clear that you're ready and 

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When You Answer, Answer Professionally

waiting (and therefore prepared) for the interview.

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Use Headphones

Plugging in headphones helps cut down on background noise and will help the interviewer hear you better if the service is spotty. Headphones can also be helpful if you need to jot down any notes, look back on your resume or the job description, and just let you be hands-free. Some people who use their hands to talk will also do so 

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Use Headphones

during a phone interview. It can help them sound more confident and keep the flow of their conversation. Before you use headphones, follow our earlier tip to test them out ahead of time.

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Pull Up Your Resume and Linkedin, Plus the Job Description on Your Laptop

Why not? Unlike an in-person interview, you can have all those resources right in front of you to reference as you talk. We recommend having a paper copy of your resume, LinkedIn profile, and the job description on hand. Feel free to highlight anything in the job description you think is important that you want to draw attention to. And we 

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Pull Up Your Resume and Linkedin, Plus the Job Description on Your Laptop

recommend paper because hearing you type or click around on your computer via the phone might send the wrong message to the recruiter. With paper copies, you can easily browse your important documents without the distraction of background noise.

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