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Inside Kendall

Career Services 101: Phone Interview Tips & Tricks

The Career Services Department at Kendall College knows that phone interviews are a popular way for a variety of industries to find the right person to fit their job openings. Phone interviews can save the company time, money, and are an easy way to interview candidates in different cities, states or even countries. Whatever the reason, students and alumni looking for a job or internship in various industries including business, culinary arts, baking and pastry, early childhood education or hospitality should expect to do a phone interview at least once.

Here are a few crucial phone interview tips from Kendall’s Career Services experts to prepare anyone for success over the phone. It might seem easier to speak on the phone versus meeting in person, but preparation for a phone interview can be the difference between impressing the company and being eliminated from the running for a job or internship.

Top 5 Phone Interview Tips from Career Services

  • The interviewer can’t see your face or body language, so the tone of your voice is extremely important. One trick? Plaster a big smile on your face. This will make you sound happy and engaged in the conversation.
  • Have a physical copy of your resume and the job description in front of you during the call. You know your background better than anyone, but having a copy ensures you know exactly what the interviewer may be referring to and reminds you of the words you used.
  • Eliminate all background noise; find a quiet place to conduct the interview.  Clear the room – evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door and take a deep breath!
  • Answer the phone by stating your name. This lets the person on the other line know exactly who you are and saves them the trouble of asking for you or a potentially awkward start to the call.
  • Stand up if possible. Standing increases your level of alertness and allows you to become more focused on the conversation.

Preparing the physical environment is only part of the equation. Sure, every interview might be different, but there are certain questions regularly asked that candidates should prepare answers for.

Top 5 Common Questions Asked During a Phone Interview

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What interests you about this job?
  3. What applicable attributes or experience do you have?
  4. What do you know about this company?
  5. How do you handle stress and pressure?

Many interviewers will ask if the candidate has any questions for them. Preparing thoughtful questions shows that you are interested in the position and respectful of their time. Make an appointment to meet with Career Services for help preparing for interviews, updating your resume, and for job openings and application help. Email or call 312.752.2012.

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