Great news: You got a phone screen for that dream job! You’re one step closer. But you have to get the call just right to make it to the next round. How do you do it?

  1. PREPARE

    Just because it’s a phone interview doesn’t mean you should wing it. Research the company. Google the person who’ll be interviewing you. Check out his or her background and look for a picture — it’ll be easier to talk to someone if you have a mental picture of him or her in your mind. Review the job description and be prepared to talk about how your skills, experience, passions and goals connect to the position.

  2. HAVE QUESTIONS READY

    You’re answering questions. But this is also an opportunity for you to decide if you want to take the next step. Make sure you’re prepared with questions such as what the job entails, the culture of the company, the size of the team, etc.

  3. PRACTICE

    It may seem a little odd, but practice answering questions out loud. Record yourself, play back and listen. The tone of your voice speaks volumes about your personality. Do you sound friendly? Approachable? Respectful? Engaged? Enthusiastic? Pro tip: smile. You might be surprised at how much more positive and confident you sound when you smile.

  4. Just because it’s a phone interview doesn’t mean you should wing it.
  5. HAVE THE RIGHT THINGS WITHIN REACH

    Unless it’s a video call, take advantage of the fact that the person you’re talking to won’t see you during your chat. Have your résumé in clear view, along with the job description and any notes you’ve prepared. Have a pen and paper handy in case you want to take notes, and place a bottle of water within reach.

  6. CLOSE WITH CONFIDENCE

    If you’re still interested in the job, let the interviewer know how you feel at the conclusion of the call. Ask about next steps in the hiring process so you have some sense of when the next round of decisions will be made. And finally, thank the interviewer for his or her time.

Follow up the call with a thank-you note. Hopefully you’ll be meeting in person soon.

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