Phone Interview Tips: Ace Your Phone Interview

Career Advice

Phone interviews are a new interview fact of life – if you’re applying for a new position, chances are you’ll need to go through a phone interview on your way to getting the job. While it sounds easy enough to take on an interview from the comfort of your home, they present more challenges than you think. Here are a few phone interview tips to help you ace your interview.

1. Pick a quiet location where you can focus on the conversation. Nothing ruins a phone interview faster than background noise, distractions or barking dogs. Pick a quiet place for your phone interview, and make sure it isn’t at your current cubicle – few things are more tacky than interviewing for your next job while at your current job.

2. Dress for success. So, we know the interviewer won’t be seeing your savvy interview attire, but trust me, you’ll feel more like a pro if you look like one. Take off the pajamas, take a shower, and get ready for the call.

3. Be specific. Interviewers love concrete examples of how you took a project from start to completion. Phone interview questions can tend to be more open ended than in-person interview questions – you’re being vetted, and with every question the interviewer is making the decision as to whether you’re fit for the next step. Don’t respond to open ended questions with open-ended answers – provide specific details of the work you’ve done in the past.

4. Admit it if you don’t know something. Phone interviews are a screening process. You’ll waste your time and your potential employers if you pretend to have skills you don’t in order to make it from a phone interview to an in-person interview. That said, feel free to transition the question to discuss a skill you do know about, and don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer questions if you’re unsure about the question or confused.

Phone interviews, like all interviews, can be stressful. Take advantage of the opportunity you have to set the conditions for success, and your phone interview could be a key step on your way to a new job.

Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.

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