Friday, January 11, 2013

Job Hunting: How to Master the Phone Interview in Five Easy Steps

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You prepared your killer resume and uploaded it online. Now you are just waiting for the phone to ring. Don't blow the interview before you even get invited to interview for your dream job. Before you can get invited to a face to face interview or offered the job you will need to ace the phone interview. The phone interview begins the moment you answer the telephone. You have only three to five seconds to wow the hiring manager. The steps below will help you pass the phone interview so you get a face to face interview.

1. Don't answer phone numbers you do not know. Do not get caught off guard by answering a call from someone you do not know. Do not answer a phone call when in a noisy environment, when eating or worse using the bathroom. Let all unrecognized numbers go to your voice mail and return the call when you can focus on the conversation and present yourself in a favorable manner.

2. Be in the position of high demand. Don't answer the phone on the first ring. Let it ring 3-5 times. Do not be available for the first job interview time available. People will remember you better when you create an impression that you are in high demand and unavailable. It is human nature to want what we can't have. Make them want you.

3. Develop chemistry. A hiring manager will sum up whether he or she likes you based on how you answer the telephone. Be sure you answer the phone with a friendly yet professional tone. Your voicemail greeting can also help you or hurt you. You will want to take a few minutes to develop rapport with the interviewer. I recommend using the mirror technique. Mirror his or her form of speech and tempo. If he or she is very forma be formal. If he or she is relaxed be a bit relaxed. Don't be afraid to be yourself. If your personality does not fit with the hiring manager or person you are speaking to you may not want to be employed with that company.

4. Research the company: Hopefully you did this before submitting your resume. Research the company to learn about its culture, mission, and vision for the future. If not, now is the time to do it. Follow the company and hiring manager on LinkedIn. Watch the news to see how it may impact the company. These things will help you when you get the face to face interview. When you watch the company on LinkedIn you will want to keep an eye on if people are leaving the company and where are they going. Who is joining the company and where are those people coming from. When you see a lot of people leaving a company it is OK to ask why they are leaving. This may prevent you from getting hired by a company that is a sinking ship or has an abusive climate.

5. Quiet Environment: The day of your phone interview you will want to ensure you are in a quiet space. This may mean you take the dog to doggie daycare, send your spouse and children to the local park. Turn off your cell phone and television. I recommend also posting a note on the front door altering people that you are in conference and to not ring the doorbell or knock. You do not want background noises when you are conducting business. This interview is serious business.
These five tips will help ensure that you are prepared to present yourself in the best light possible when conducting a phone interview. The phone interview is often the first step leading to a face to face interview. You may not even realize that you are being interviewed so ensure you are following items one through three above before returning a phone call or answering the phone.

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