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Marco Buscaglia, Tribune Content AgencyCareerBuilder
Rarely used even a decade ago, the phone job interview is now a critical tool for today’s recruiters. A strong phone interview can help narrow down applicants to a select handful that will be brought in later for a face-to-face interview. While the phone interview may seem like a casual first step, it’s not. In fact, it’s an important part of the process. More importantly, the phone interview is an entirely different beast from a face-to-face encounter; without the benefit of eye contact, body language and other visual cues, what you say and how you say it become even more important.
If you have a phone interview in your future, here are a few things to remember:
–Pay attention: Turn off the music in the background, put Snapchat on hold and focus on the call at hand. If you’re interviewing from home and have a dog, put him in the yard so your interview isn’t interrupted by a barrage of barking each time someone walks in front of your house. You shouldn’t have any distractions. “Pay complete, total and full attention to the person on the other end of the line, as if you were staring them in the eye,” says Karen Friedman, a communications coach in Blue Bell, Pa. “People can read and feel your body language across the miles, so act as if they are in the room with you so they can feel your energy, presence and attention.”
–Stay alert: Don’t lounge on the coach or take the call in bed. In fact, don’t sit, if possible. Get on your feet and show some signs of life. April Callis, author of “Springboard to Success” (Springboard, $19.95), asserts that standing up will help you stay focused. “It will give you more energy in your voice if you stand,” says Callis. “Also, smile while you talk so that you sound friendly and enthused.”
-Be clear: When you talk on the phone, is the person on the other end of the line constantly saying “What?” or “Huh?” If so, we’re talking to you — the low talker who thinks it’s OK to use his or her NPR voice, even when a new job is on the line. When you’re on the phone, you’ll need to speak even more precisely than you might in person. “Pronounce your words clearly and don’t trail off at the end of a sentence,” says Friedman. “You want to make sure you are heard and understood. Additionally, pause to give the person on the other end of the line a chance to digest what you are saying and to participate in the conversation.”
Job market growth – see the strong markets and the slower markets.