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Insider tips on dealing with phone interviews

With more and more candidates applying for the same position, many employers now look to phone interviews as a quick and easy method of screening applicants or as a precursor to one-on-one interviews. This form of interviewing also has numerous practical advantages, particularly for candidates applying from abroad or from other parts of the country.

Phone interviews, however, are not as straightforward as they seem. Researchers believe that 80% of jobs are won or lost during the first five minutes of the conversation. Given these circumstances, it is essential to prepare thoroughly for the interview and to master the relevant techniques.

Ensure that your contact information is accurate. No employer wants to waste time trying to contact you if you have changed your phone number or have moved to a new address. Keep things professional. If you aren't available when the employer calls, he or she is likely to leave a message for you on your answering machine. Make sure that your answer phone greeting is professional. Practice! Phone interviews can often be quite intimidating. Practice with a friend. This will also provide you with the opportunity to assess your style. Try to sound confident and professional.


Last updated 3rd March 2009