SPLICE | Phone Interviews: How to NAIL IT!
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Phone Interviews: How to NAIL IT!

Phone Interviews: How to NAIL IT!


In a recent blog, I discussed strategies for making a great 1st impression.  What is the best way to make a great 1st impression when the interview is not in person?  How do you NAIL IT?

  1. Never be caught unprepared.  If you receive an unexpected call for a phone interview and feel unprepared, request a time (within a few hours) to conduct the phone interview.  This gives you time to prepare things such as good questions (3-5, more than that should be in-person), researching the company/person calling and other critical items.
  2. Always prepare like it is an in person interview.  Anytime I have conducted a phone interview and hear shuffling of paper, or keyboard strokes, it is a huge negative (I may assume you are cheating with Google)!  If it helps, put on your interview suit and conduct the phone interview in full interview mode.
  3. Interview in a quiet place with limited NO distractions!  No matter who/what the distraction is (children, pets, spouses, Publishers Clearinghouse at the door with your check), NO DISTRACTIONS!
  4. Land line.  Essential!  Phone interviews while driving will drop off (no matter your provider), they will break up and you can not focus on the road and the 1st step in the interview process.
  5. Initiate request for in person interview and open the door for more information about yourself.  Be certain to ask for the in-person ASAP.  Your schedule IS clear at some point in the next 72 business hours!  Yes, it really is!
  6. Talk with confidence.  Confidence will come across in your voice, in your answers.  Confidence is a direct reflection of your preparation and practice.  Do both of these relentlessly.

Follow these simple NAIL IT principles and you will have an advantage over +75% of other candidates.  I am constantly amazed at the number of people who blow the phone interview because they do not take it as a serious part of the process.  Don’t be that person.

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5 Comments
  • Frank Zupan

    January 12, 2010 at 5:57 am Reply

    Hey Alex-This is a great tip sheet for candidates. The only thing I would add is: stand up! you would not believe how much better someones speech clarity is when they’re standing as opposed to sitting. your lungs are expanded, you’re breathing more fully, and your speaking more clearly. try it.

    • Alex Putman

      January 12, 2010 at 7:55 am Reply

      Thanks Frank! That is an excellent point and great addition.

  • Glen

    February 4, 2010 at 6:25 am Reply

    Great convo Alex and yes standing up is a great Idea as well Frank:)

    All My Best,

  • Richard Maybury

    April 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm Reply

    thanks for your contribution to my question on the linkedin hr group forum. As I said there, my friend said that my specific advice about standing up for the interview and speaking 10% slower than he would in a face-to-face meet helped him very much – he got the job.

    By the way, I’m one too 😉

    • Alex Putman

      April 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm Reply

      Great to meet you Richard and glad to help! God Bless!

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