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How To Be Successful In A Phone and In-Person Interview

Last updated January 6, 2020

In-person interview

Where is the job interview?

Plug the address into Google maps and figure out where the interview location is and how you'll get there.

First impressions matter

Dress appropriately for the interview, arrive 15 mins early, and when you get to the interview location greet people ("smile"). You never know how much input the receptionist, security, or custodial staff may have.

If you can, take a break

After you check in, excuse yourself to the restroom to let go those last minute jitters.

Be handshake ready

The interviewer will come get you and lead you to a room. Have your right hand free for the customary handshake.

Bring copies of your resume

You may or may not need to hand it out, but it's good to look prepared.

Phone interview

Do a test phone call

With a friend or family member make sure your phone sounds clear. Figure out if you want to use a headset or use the speaker phone feature.

Dress up

Even though they may not see you, dressing up with put you in the interview mindset.

Quiet surroundings

Close the windows and turn off loud appliances. Phones can pick up a lot of background noise.

Don't call in too early.

The interviewer might not be ready. Try calling in two minutes beforehand. If you're waiting for the call, be patient if they call you a little late.

Try to smile while you talk

One of the cons of a phone interview is not being able to see facial expressions, so smile to relieve stress and to not sound so robotic.

In both interview environments

Listen to understand and not only to respond

List to the process of the interview, it might have different stages (verbal questions, questionnaire, etc). Ask clarifying questions if you don't understand something.

Take note of the key details

While the interviewer is asking questions, take note of keywords (mentally or on paper) and mirror your answer to the question.

Bring questions

When you're doing your research of the company, write down questions that turn up and revise them to match the flow of the conversation.

Ask about the next steps

Determine what will happen after the interview and get an overview of the timeline.

Send a thank you note if possible

Write a thank you to highlight something that stood out during the interview and show your gratitude for the opportunity to interview.

Tips for being successful in an in-person or phone interview

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