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How To Prepare For A Job Interview Over The Phone

Everything you need to know to calm those nerves before your phone rings.
PHOTO: Nick Onken

When I had my first phone interview, I didn't know what to expect. I submitted an internship application, and they got back to me within the day with a request for a phone interview. Though it wasn't a total disaster, it didn't go as smoothly as I wanted it to. For one thing, the call kept getting dropped, and I couldn't find a spot in my room with a steady enough signal. Here's how you can avoid making the same mistake:

1. Test your tech.

If you're lucky enough to know all the dead spots in your house, avoid them at all costs! Next, convince someone to do a trial run with you. The last thing you want is to constantly ask your interview to repeat the question because of choppy signal. Lastly, make sure it's fully charged before the call. How badly would it suck if you left a bad impression just because of your phone's battery life?

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 2. Make sure you're alone. 

Unfortunately, not everyone's gonna be as chill as the BBC when an interview gets interrupted. To stay on the safe side, find a quiet spot to have your conversation so you can stay focused on the call. Because you can't see each other, you won't be able to rely on face-to-face cues for when you need to speak up, so apart from locking yourself up, eliminate background noise as much as possible so you hear your interviewer clearly. 

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3. Dress up. 

We know this might sound weird, but anyone who's ever worked from home knows how unproductive pajamas can make you feel. Wearing work clothes or even a power suit can help you get in the zone. 

4. And don't rush. 

As previously mentioned, one of the down sides of a phone interview is not being able to build rapport as easily because you can't see each other. What usually happens when someone's too eager to answer a question is that the interviewer gets cut off, which is as off-putting as it is in person. Though definitely not a deal breaker, we advise you to pause and make sure he or she is done before you answer. 

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