Likely the first level interview you’ll participate in, don’t underestimate the importance of a phone interview. This interview will likely determine whether or not you move forward in the interview process.

But, I do better in live interviews.

Then, you better take the phone interview seriously. Make sure you have a clear reception. Never disrupt a phone interview to take another call. Ensure the outgoing message on your voice mail is professional, just in case you miss the call.

Eliminate all background noise, and possible interruptions. Be sure your environment will allow you to focus on the interview. Avoid distractions.

Reference your resources. This is where your initial preparation will come into play. Have a copy of your resume, prepared questions, and any specific notations in front of you. If possible, have the company’s site, and the interviewer’s profile in view, for quick reference during the call. Otherwise, refer to any company literature you have gathered.

Take your energy and enthusiasm up a notch. On the telephone, the interviewer can’t see your body language. Speak clearly and enunciate. Build rapport, and ask questions. Stand up, or move around, to help keep your energy level up. Create a virtual reality by imagining yourself sitting face to face with the interviewer. Always sell the positive, not the negative.

Close the interview by thanking the interviewer for his/her time. Let the interviewer know that the conversation was informative, and reiterate your interest in the opportunity. Ask about next steps in the process.

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