Keep Your Cool: Top 3 Tips for Acing the Phone Interview | Job Hunting

The Dreaded Phone Interview

It’s easy to get hot under the collar thinking about a phone interview. Release the pressure valve. There’s no point in steaming over something that is super simple. Just keep three things in mind to stay calm, cool and collected.

1. Get comfortable.

Remember they can’t see you! The great thing about a phone interview is no eyeballs scrutinizing your every move and expression. You have the added benefit of being able to be comfortable in your own skin (bare—if you dare).

Take advantage. While you may not want to be so comfy you forget what you’re doing, you can take the edge off. Wear your favorite sweats, the fuzzy slippers that make you feel great, your funny-looking lucky hat—whatever will put a smile on your face.

2. Smile.

No matter what, keep a smile on your face. It’s a scientific fact that smiling releases happy endorphins that put you in a good frame of mind. So even if you’re super nervous, smiling can help you calm down.

Also, people can hear a smile. It’s not something we think about often, but a smile changes your whole tone of voice. You sound friendlier and more approachable when you smile. That can also translate into confident and competent in an interview situation.

3. Embrace silence.

We think much faster than we speak. That can lead to bottle necks in our ability to vocalize our thoughts. That’s when those nasty little “em”s and “ah”s sneak into our speech. Take a moment to slow down and get your thoughts in order.

It is perfectly okay to have moments of contemplative silence during your interview. Most people don’t mind a pause here or there. It’s a great practice to say “hold on, let me compose my thoughts on that subject” before answering a particularly challenging or exciting question. Order your thoughts so that your answer will be concise and intelligent without those unprofessional fillers.

No Sweat

This is all it takes (besides actually being qualified for the job). There’s no need to melt under the pressure. You’ve totally got this. No matter where you are, if you take a moment to get comfortable, take a breath and exhale a smile, and take your time answering the questions you will ace the phone interview every time.

Kate E. Stephenson is a resume expert and writer with over a decade of experience. The Career Cafe is a blog that offers insight into today’s job market and hiring tips.

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