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With so many people applying for the same job, phone interviews are still something that employers use to narrow the field a bit more. Understanding how to stand out, even in a phone interview, will greatly help in taking that next step towards the job. Take your phone interview seriously by implementing these six tips.

  1. Prepare

A phone interview is still that: an interview. You need to prepare and think through your responses like you would if you were going to a physical interview. Make sure to have your CV at hand, as the interviewer will likely refer to it at some point during the call.

Do some research and refresh yourself on the job specification, company and the person that will be interviewing you. Your answers will need to be tailored and you should also think about your strengths and weaknesses in advance.

  1. Take your time

When you’re on the phone, it can be difficult to know when the other person is done speaking and talking over one another can create awkwardness. Be sure to listen and wait so that you know that they’re finished and don’t have more to add to their statement or question. It’s also a good idea to have a pen and paper nearby for taking notes. Then take your time to answer, referring back to any notes, and try to tailor your response to their specific needs. Make sure you speak slowly and clearly.

  1. Get rid of distractions

If you’re at home, don’t sit in the living room with your dog running around and the TV or radio on; or at the kitchen table browsing the internet on your laptop. Think ahead, eliminate any distractions and make sure you are in a quiet room. It will be obvious to your interviewer if you’re distracted, so don’t let other things steal your focus.

  1. Practice

Just like you would practice your response to physical interview, practice for your phone interview. It can be a good idea to record yourself so that you understand whether you have any speech habits that you need to eliminate. You can also see if you speak too fast or aren’t enunciating well.

  1. Act the part

Sometimes the key to success is being in the right frame of mind and dressing as you would for a regular interview can really help. Respond non-verbally as you would in person too. Yes, they can’t see your smile, but smiling brightens the tone of your voice and that is all the interviewer has to go on at this point.

  1. Send a thank-you

Don’t forget this important step. Again, this is a real interview. Make sure you follow up with a thank-you email at the end of the call. It’s a great opportunity to add some points you may have missed as well. If a recruitment agency is supporting you, also remember to update them – they may even have some advice for how to handle the follow-up directly with the employer.

A colourless and generic phone interview can make you forgettable. Stand out by using these six tips.

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