- Dress smartly, look bright and attentive, and speak clearly and confidently.
- Find out where the venue is beforehand, how to get there and how long it takes.
- Get your outfit ready the night before.
- Examine the person specification and your CV/application form, and think about what type of questions they will ask you.
- Prepare answers for the main questions - for example, why do you want the job, what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are the main tasks in this job?
- Make about three or four points in each answer.
- Quote real examples of when you've used certain skills - just saying you've got a skill isn't enough.
- Take your time when answering the questions: make sure you understand the question and take your time if you need to think.
- Sell yourself: Be positive about yourself and your experiences.
- Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview - use it as an opportunity to find out more about the role and the company. (Don't ask about money or perks just yet!)
- Get feedback on your performance, whether you were successful or not.
- Turn off your mobile phone: treat the interviewers with respect and give them your undivided attention.
The advantage of a phone interview is that you can refer to notes during your conversation. Make a list of the key points you want to express – your strengths, experience, keywords to help you respond to typical interview questions, and a few questions that you can ask the interviewer.
- Keep this information and a copy of your CV in easy reach.
- Have a pen handy so you can write down the interviewer’s name and any other pieces of information you will need later.
- Keep notes on each company in your job search log. Having this information at your fingertips assures you will not be caught by surprise when the phone rings.
- Be Prepared for a Call Anytime. Not all phone interviews are scheduled ahead of time. At any moment, an employer could come across your CV and decide to call you about your application. Employers are increasingly using phone interviews as an initial screening tool.
- If you are in a place where you cannot take a call (in class, driving, out with friends) let it go to voice mail. It’s better to return the call when you are in a quiet place where you can focus than risk being unable to hear or sounding distracted.
- Return all calls as soon as possible; if you end up playing “phone tag” be persistent.
- Make sure you have a professional sounding voice mail message – this is your first impression!
- Practice, Practice, Practice. Just like with a traditional job interview, you should try to anticipate questions the interviewer might ask. If you practice your answers ahead of time, you will sound much more intelligent and confident during the interview.
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