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How to ace your phone interview

Last updated on: April 24, 2014 22:38 IST

Image: A phone interview has its advantages -- you can be more relaxed and confident while answering questions.
Photographs: Carlos Barria/Reuters Courtesy

Not having to face your future employer in the first round of interview is an advantage in more ways than one. Here's how to ace it.

Telephone interviews have become a screening tool that precedes an on-site interview.

Often, candidates undermine the importance of a phone interview and end up being rejected by potential employers.

Here are some ways to make sure you pass the screening and land the next stage of the interview.

The perks

The biggest advantage of a phone interview is that you don't have to face the interviewer.

You can be in your comfort zone and feel more relaxed and confident.

Other perks include being able to talk while you're still in bed, being in your comfy clothes and having an exhaustive list of answers to commonly asked interview questions.

While it all seems so easy, too much comfort breeds a laid-back attitude, and it will have an adverse effect on your interview.

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Make notes, be communicative

Image: Refer to your notes, but don't read it out.
Photographs: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

You can easily make cheat sheets and keep them handy during your interview. But it sounds scripted when you read from them.

If you take your interview call in bed you might sound tired, uninterested and boring.

Since there are no visual cues to guide the interviewer, they will pay extra attention to your replies and they can judge you on the basis of the slightest nuances in your speech.

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Do's and Don'ts to follow

Image: If you're home or with friends, be wary of distractions, disruptions.
Photographs: Jorge Silva/Reuters

As with most things, there are some simple do's and don'ts while being interviewed over the phones.

  • Do some stretching as it helps you to calm your nerves, feel fresh and confident.
  • Sit straight, don't slouch. Sound natural.
  • Take notes during the interview, especially regarding the way forward.
  • Pick a quiet place for the interview.
  • Make sure your phone has good reception and turn off the 'call waiting' option.
  • Keep your resume handy.
  • Avoid unnecessary pauses and give articulated answers.
  • Pace your answers and pronounce clearly.
  • In case of long interviews make sure you use a phone with a speaker.
  • Dress formally as your professional attitude always reflects in your words.
  • Know the name of the interviewer and pronounce it correctly.

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Use the power of smile

Image: The smile in your voice will leave a positive impression.
Photographs: Rediff Archives

Although a phone interview is a serious process and shouldn't be taken lightly, do not forget that it is a conversation between two people.

Don't sound too serious or nervous.

Portraying yourself as someone who is friendly and excited about the prospective job opportunity will leave a positive impression.

Smile! It makes your voice cheerful and welcoming.

Your qualifications landed you the interview, now it's time for you to show your charisma that will make you stand apart from the rest of the candidates.

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