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Top five tips to be an expert at phone interviews

Career fair
Career fair
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Preparing in advance for a phone interview makes the difference between good and bad candidates. Plan ahead by doing simple things in advance – purchase an interview suit, portfolio with pad of paper, and resume paper. It’s important to understand what function a phone interview plays in the process and how you can establish your own steps to be ready.

  • Realize that a phone interview is meant to screen you out. Several companies conduct phone interviews as the first step when they recruit for internships and full-time positions. The reality is that a phone interview will most likely be your first introduction to a company unless they are coming directly to career services or a career fair.
  • Be in the right place at the right time. Doing a phone interview in a potentially loud place could be disastrous – plan ahead to schedule with the interviewer at a time when you can be in a traffic free spot.
  • Figure out if you have any habits to break over the phone. Do you say ‘um’ or ‘like’? Do you talk too softly? Are you using intonation to make the interviewer want to keep talking to you?
  • Practice common questions and your answers. Phone interviews are open book tests! Have some notes about your accomplishments and skills in front of you to use as a reference.
  • Prepare questions to ask the interviewer and write them down ahead of time. EVERY recruiter will end the interview by asking ‘What questions do you have for me?’ – having no questions or winging it shows a lack of preparation. And finally, but most importantly, ask for the next interview!

Find hiring managers and prospective employers at the Phoenix Career Fair this Thursday:

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