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Phone Interview Etiquette Best Practices

Looking for ways to impress a recruiter during your initial phone screen? Make sure you become familiar with these unwritten phone interview etiquette rules.

Wondering how to increase your confidence for your upcoming phone screen? Although you probably know how imperative it is to anticipate common phone interview questions and prepare top-rate answers, there are a few lesser-known phone interview etiquette rules that you may not have heard about. It is important to familiarize yourself with these rules so that you are equipped to do and say the right things when a recruiter calls you. No matter how prepared you may be in every other area, if you show any signs of basic etiquette infractions, you may decrease your chance of receiving a follow-up interview invitation.

Even though the recruiter will not be able to see you during your phone interview, it is still important to act a certain way if you want to make the best possible impression. Take a few minutes to commit the following phone interview etiquette best practices to memory and get ready to ace your phone screen!

1. Dress the part. The recruiter can't see you during your phone interview, so you should be able to lounge in sweats and a t-shirt, right? Wrong. The way you dress has an impact on how you feel and conduct yourself. If you want to feel confident and successful during your interview, make sure you dress the part.

2. Sound enthusiastic. Recruiters are at a disadvantage during phone interviews because they cannot assess your body language or mannerisms. As a result, they have to rely heavily on the tone of your voice to determine your level of interest, confidence, and forthrightness. Do the interviewer and yourself a favor by maintaining an enthusiastic, positive tone of voice throughout your interview. Be careful not to overdo it and come across as insincere. You may want to have a mock interview with a friend beforehand to make sure you know how to sound energetic but not hyperactive.

3. Stand throughout your interview. Rather than slouching in a chair, try to stand for the duration of your interview. Some experts claim that standing makes you feel and sound more professional.

4. Eliminate background noise. Attempting to have an interview in an area with excessive background noise is a recipe for disaster. Show that you have good manners by taking the call in an area that is very quiet and devoid of distractions.

5. Politely ensure that the recruiter can hear you. Cell phone signal strength can be unpredictable at times, so politely ask the recruiter at the beginning of the call if he or she can hear you clearly. If not, adjust the phone so you are speaking directly into the mouthpiece or move to another location with a better signal.

6. Never click over to another call. Switching to another phone line in the middle of a phone interview is one of the most discourteous things you can possibly do. To ensure that your friends and family members do not keep trying to get ahold of you during your interview, let them all know beforehand that you will be unavailable during a certain time. Block out at least an hour and a half just in case your interview goes longer than usual.

7. Don't chit chat through brief silences. You should expect to encounter some potentially awkward silences throughout your interview. During these times, the recruiter is most likely gathering his or her thoughts and deciding what to ask next. Be patient and resist the urge to steamroll over brief silences with forced chatter. If the silence becomes uncomfortable or lengthy, consider asking the recruiter if it is appropriate to ask a few of your own questions during this time.

8. Never interrupt. While this should be an obvious etiquette essential, many people tend to interrupt more frequently when they are anxious or swallowed up in their own thoughts. No matter how badly you want to interject, it can always wait until the interviewer is finished speaking.

9. Don't eat or drink during your call. Even though the person interviewing you can't see what you're doing, he or she can certainly hear what you're doing. Never make chewing or slurping noises while on the phone with a recruiter or you may discover that the interview is cut short. Your mouth should be preoccupied with answering questions, not with chewing.

10. Avoid filler words like "um,"Â "uh,"Â and "well."Â Many interviewees make the mistake of thinking they have to immediately answer every question they are asked. As a result, they often end up using filler words while they collect their thoughts. Keep in mind that it is ok to think about what you are going to say for a few seconds before you answer a question. Your interviewer will be more impressed with a thoughtful answer given after a short pause than an answer preceded by multiple filler words.

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