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4 tips for nailing a phone interview


By Rebecca Lake/smartasset

Landing a job these days is no easy task. No matter how stellar your qualifications are, it's the interview that can make or break you.

It's becoming more common for employers to conduct intensive Q&A sessions over the phone. Telephone interviews need to be approached differently than face-to-face meetings, so it's in your best interest to know how to handle them.

Click ahead for four tips on how to ace that phone interview.

For more from smartasset:

Be energetic, but don't overdo it

Brian McEntire

During in-person interviews, hiring managers can gauge your interest based on your physical cues and facial expressions. That's not possible over the phone, so the interviewer has to rely on your tone to determine how you feel about the job. You want to be enthusiastic, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

An interview involves more than just answering a bunch of questions in quick succession - it requires you to listen and respond in a thoughtful way. Cutting off the interviewer before they're done with a question or rambling when a simple answer will do suggests that you're nervous or you like the sound of your own voice. Either way, you're hurting your chances of getting hired.

Be ready to turn the tables

business woman with a computer laptop and mobile phone Evgeny Atamanenko

At some point, the interviewer's going to open the floor and allow you to ask a few questions. This is an opportunity that you don't want to waste. Asking questions shows that you've been listening and that you're genuinely interested in learning more about the company.

The questions you ask should prompt the interviewer to expand on topics they've already touched on. For example, you might ask for a more detailed profile of the type of client they cater to or their expectations regarding the role you want.

If all else fails, you can always ask about the kinds of challenges you can expect if you're hired. It's best to steer clear of topics like benefits and a salary that'll cover your student loan payments since those are more appropriate to bring up when a job offer has been formally extended.

Mind your manners

Businessman on the phone with a smile on his face. Rasmus Rasmussen

Good phone etiquette is a must during an interview, so you want to make sure you're opening and closing the call with the proper greetings. It's a good idea to eliminate background distractions and avoid interrupting the interviewer when he or she is talking.

It's also important to be polite and keep the conversation professional. Even if the interview doesn't lead to an offer, the hiring manager is more likely to keep you in mind for future openings if you make the effort to leave a good impression.

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