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Putting Your Best Voice Forward In Phone Interviews

By: Don Goodman

Take the tips offered here to help put your best voice forward and further advance on an opportunity to a job offer:

Treat Every Call You Receive Like It Was an Interview

Phone interviews may not always be scheduled. An employer may call you to respond to your submitted cover letter and resume, and the moment you pick up the phone an interview may occur right then. Most employers will be courteous to first ask you if this is a good time, but that does not always happen.

So, if you believe there is a chance an employer may be calling, be prepared by providing a professional greeting on your voicemail or when you pick up. Also be conscious of what the caller may hear in the background if you pick up the phone. If it’s not an appropriate time or place to talk, let it go to voicemail, but try to call back immediately when it is more appropriate for you to talk.

Talk Enthusiastically

Since the interviewer will not see your face, all they have to work off of is the voice you present, so make sure it sounds enthusiastic and energized with confidence. Try keeping a smile on your face as you talk and be aware of your tone and pitch so you do not come off sounding monotone. Keep a “can do” attitude when you talk. It will leave a more positive impression than if an employer were to hear, “I can’t,” “I don’t,” or “I haven’t.” Also be conscious of how you speak, to avoid the “Ahs,” “Errs” and “Ums.” You can come across as unsure of yourself and lacking in confidence.

Watch Your Words

Keep a “can do” attitude when you talk. It will leave a more positive impression than if an employer were to hear, “I can’t,” “I don’t,” or “I haven’t.” Also be conscious of how you speak, to avoid the “Ahs,” “Errs” and “Ums.” You can come across as unsure of yourself and lacking in confidence.

Use a Clear Line

Many people list their cell phone number on job applications, cover letters and resumes, which is fine, as long as when the phone is answered you are under good reception. If you are the one initiating the phone call, use a landline to avoid static or dropped calls. It’s also important to find a quiet location where you will not be disturbed or distracted.

Treat It like An In-Person Interview

Keep in mind points that you can use to help explain how your previous experiences or skills make you a good fit for the open position. Also, always have questions in mind to ask during the interview that show your interest and desire to work with the company. Don’t forget to also keep your resume, a sheet of paper and pen on hand. You’ll need these items for reference or to take notes while on the call.

Find Out the Next Steps

Interviews, whether in-person or over the phone, should end with an understanding of what the next steps are. If it was not covered, be sure to ask. The employer may also view this question in a positive way that you care about this opportunity and have a desire for it.

Remember, phone interviews deserve a follow up thank you note or e-mail to the individual(s) you spoke with – just as you would do after an in-person interview.

Treat phone interviews as important as a face-to-face interview. The impression you make on the phone will also be taken in to consideration when the employer is trying to decide between you and another candidate for the position.

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