A friend asked me the other day for tips on handling a phone interview.
1. Have all your "stories" laid out so you can tell specific success stories.
2. Sheets of paper and a pen (no kidding, some people don't) so you can write down the questions
3. Be patient when talking - it can be difficult not to talk on top of each other
4. Like all interviews, manage the time. You could even use a stopwatch since it is not in person, to ensure your answers are 3-4 minutes long.
5. Using names can show you are a STAR. Write down their names to start, then when they ask a question, answer them. "Well, Brian, when I produced a series of reports on...." and you can also thank them by name at the end too.
6. Have the laptop/ipad/desktop ready for quick googling.
7. Avoid distractions. Watch out for dogs barking, doorbells, other phones...I have had a
few that I could hear the TV
8. Don't take the cordless into the bathroom with you - seriously, again it happens more than you think.
9. Use some transition type phrases once and a while - Would you like to hear more, am I speaking to fast?, I could go into more detail if you would like... since you can't see them, it can be difficult to know what is going on over there.
10. Practice. Look at the job ad and create a few questions you might ask someone.
Let's face it - a phone interview is like an open book exam. Prepare and you should be able to handle the normal questions with ease and professionalism