How to Set Yourself Up for Phone-Interview Success

How to Advance Your Career

Old-Fashioned Telephone

If you're in the market for a new job, one of the first hurdles you'll probably have to clear in order to get it is a phone interview. Because they're more casual than face-to-face meetings, it's easy to take those conversations for granted. Doing so, however, could cost you the job.

Keeping a few basic rules in mind will help you avoid common pitfalls and make the most of your time on the phone, author Janice Haddon suggests in a blog post for job search website Glassdoor.

Although it might sound obvious, Haddon's first rule is to take the call somewhere private and quiet. "It is surprising how many candidates take interviews whilst walking down a busy street or with loud noises, people talking or dogs barking in the background," she says. "There is nothing more off-putting for a recruiter than battling to hear your answers over other noises, so make sure you find a quiet space where you will not be interrupted."

Also, it goes without saying that this is one conversation during which you should not try to multi-task. "When on a telephone interview it is not the right time to be doing other things," Haddon says. "[It is not the right time for] gazing out of the window and being distracted, typing an email to someone else or working out what you are going to tackle next on your 'to do list' … Interviewers are trained to pick up the detail of what you are saying and they can also tell if you are not fully concentrating or if you are distracted. So place your focus of attention and be fully present in the conversation."

Most importantly, treat the first interview on the phone as if it's a final interview in the office.

Concludes Haddon, "What you say on the telephone is just as important as a face-to-face interview, so do your preparation and be prepared to answer questions on the organization or what your thoughts are on the impact of the role you are applying for."

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