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5 Ways to Ace a Phone Interview

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Phone interviews are an increasingly common part of the interview process, especially since recruiters often have a large number of candidates to screen.

They differ slightly from face-to-face interviews in many ways, so check out these five ways to ace a phone interview and you'll be landing job offers in no time.

1. Clarify the details of the interview

Much like a face-to-face interview, it's paramount that you clarify the details of your upcoming interview.

Firstly, make sure you know who is making the call. There's nothing more embarrassing than thinking the interviewer's abandoned ship when it should have been you making contact! Therefore, the day before, double check who's calling who and confirm the contact details and time. That way you minimise the chances of missing your slot.

Secondly, find out exactly who you'll be speaking to and whether this will be a one-to-one call or a conference call with multiple interviewers. It's important to clarify this to make sure you're prepared to identify who each person is and their voices.

It's also worth asking how long the interview is expected to last. We all know that it can be difficult to fit in time for an interview, especially if you're still in full-time employment. Therefore, by clarifying the interview length, you can be sure you'll set an appropriate amount of time aside - you might even be able to do it in your lunch break if you're struggling to fit in an interview around your current role.

2. Choose a suitable place to take the call

Another simple way to ace your phone interview is by selecting a suitable place to take the call. Ideally, you need to find a place that has minimal distractions; therefore, a quiet room in your home is probably your best bet - especially as it's a place you feel comfortable in.

However, the ideal option isn't always readily available, and you might find you have to take the call out and about. Try to find a place that's quiet - a small cafe or a park bench would do the trick - just make sure you've got signal!

3. Practise your best phone voice

While there's more flexibility to a phone interview because you can choose the location, the downside is that you won't be able to rely on your body language and best interview outfit to impress. Therefore, you need to make sure your phone voice is on perfect.

Things to be wary of include the speed of your speech, your use of 'ums' and 'errs' and your diction. You want to make sure you're speaking clearly and at a steady rate so that the interviewer can understand you easily. The odd 'um' and 'err' is okay, but watch yourself - too many of these may lead the interviewer to believe that you're uncertain of your answers and that you haven't prepared properly.

To make sure you ace your spoken manner, we recommend recording yourself responding to mock answers and playing them back. That way you'll be able to easily identify the areas that need improvement.

4. Prepare some notes

One major advantage to a phone interview is that you have access to all your preparation notes and research - but make sure you're using them in the right way, or you could do more harm than good.

Before the call, ensure your notes are laid out neatly and make sure you know where everything is. If they're all in a pile and you're caught ruffling your papers, you're going to leave a lasting impression with the interviewer for the wrong reason.

In addition, when using your notes, make sure you're not reading from them like a script. You want to ensure your speech is as natural as possible, therefore, use them as a prompt instead. That way your interview answers will sound more genuine and you're more likely to create a stronger bond with the recruiter.

5. Use technology to your advantage

We all know that technology can be a hindrance, but actively use it to your advantage and you could really ace your phone interview.

If you're choosing to take the call on your mobile, ensure it's fully charged and you're in an area with good signal. If you're taking the call when you're out and about, make sure you've got a charger on standby too. You should also consider putting in your headphones while taking the call - that way your hands are free to take notes, or quickly look up anything you're unsure of.

Follow these simple interview tips and you'll be on your way to phone interview success in no time!

About the author:

Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK's leading job board, CV-Library. For more advice on job searches, careers, and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.

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