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Ace That Phone Interview

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We all use our cell phones every day. They wake us up in the morning, give us the latest news, and allow us to communicate with family and friends. One of the most important times you will use your cell phone is during a phone interview with a hiring manager. Here are a few tips and suggestions that will help you ace that phone interview.

  1. First and foremost, make sure you are in a quiet location with quality cell phone reception. Here at the Career Center, we have two spacious interview rooms that you can book for your next phone interview. A professional setting such as the Career Center will eliminate distractions and increase your focus during the phone call.
  2. Create a professional voicemail greeting on your cell phone. Although you will not want to miss the hiring manager’s call, you should have a professional voicemail set up in case you end up in an emergency situation. Use a professional greeting every time you answer the phone. You do not want to answer the hiring manager’s call with “what’s up?”
  3. Look up the company’s website and take notes on their mission statement, values, culture, career opportunities, and current events. Jot down a few questions you can ask the manager about the company and/or the job - this will demonstrate that you have a keen interest in the company. Have these notes and questions on hand during the interview for quick reference.
  4. Think about potential questions the hiring manager may ask you and prepare your answers. The Career Center has sample interview questions and answers that can assist you in preparing for the phone interview. Rehearse your answers beforehand as this will increase your confidence during the interview. In the event that you don’t know how to answer a question, take a deep breath and do your best to answer. Do not fill the silence with “ums, hmms, and uhs” as this is unprofessional.
  5. Make sure you clearly and enthusiastically communicate with the hiring manager. Smile - your voice will translate that you are smiling. Talk slowly so that your answers are clear and easy to understand; rushing through the interview communicates to the hiring manager that you are nervous or have other more important things to do.
  6. Be respectful and courteous. Address the hiring manager by his or her last name or preferred title. Do not eat, chew gum, or sip drinks during the course of the interview - the hiring manager has ears and will hear! Never use slang words or swear words because these can offend the hiring manager and will reflect poorly on your image. After the call is received, silence your cell phone and do not pause the phone call to read texts or check your notifications. This is extremely rude and may cause you to accidentally hang up on the hiring manager.
  7. If the hiring manager does not offer you an interview at the end of the phone call, it is perfectly all right to ask for one. They may deny this request, but if they say “yes” you have given yourself another opportunity to get the job. Do not be discouraged if the answer is “no” – you should be proud of yourself for making it this far!
 
These are just a few tips and suggestions to help you perform well during a phone screening. The Career Center staff is here to help you excel during the phone interview and can schedule an appointment to meet with you. Do your best to follow these steps to ensure that you make a good impression and advance in the hiring process.