Many recruiters start to vet potential new employees with a phone interview. As a first round interview, it usually determines whether you get to have a face-to-face interview next. The next round could also be another phone interview or a video interview. Interviewing over the phone always has the potential to be nerve-wracking. You can’t see your interviewer’s face, so you don’t really know how they’re reacting to what you’re saying. However, a phone interview can also offer some advantages. You can be more prepared and have a few notes to read from, which you can’t really do face-to-face. If you want to nail your phone interview, try these tips.

Get Set Up

Start your phone interview on the right foot, by ensuring you have the right environment. You need a quiet space, where you won’t be interrupted. If you’re at home, try not to have any packages delivered on the same day and make sure no one is going to drop by unexpectedly. It’s also important to make sure you have a strong signal or connection. You need to be able to hear your interviewer clearly, and they need to hear you.

Make Notes, But Don’t Rely on Them

A phone interview allows you to have notes, your CV and other helpful information in front of you. Making a few notes before your interview can help to ensure you don’t go blank when your interviewer asks a question. You can research the company and perhaps write down a few scenarios you can use to demonstrate your competency. However, try not to rely on your notes too much. You don’t want to leave long pauses because you’re reading them.

Keep Answers Concise

One of the mistakes you can make during a phone interview is to talk too much. You can especially start to babble if you feel like there’s an uncomfortable pause that you need to fill. But keeping your answers short and to the point is better. If there’s a pause in between your answer and a response from your interviewer, don’t feel that you have to keep talking. Wait until your interviewer responds, either by acknowledging your answer or asking another question.

Have a Positive Attitude

Coming across in the right way during a phone interview can be tough. You need to convey your attitude through your words and tone of voice alone, since your interviewer can’t see your expressions or body language. Staying upbeat can help you to come across positively. Try to smile through your interview and it will help you to sound positive too.

Prepare Questions

Asking questions during your interview is a way to show that you’re interested and engaged. However, it’s not the time to ask about compensation or holidays. Prepare some questions about day-to-day duties and how you’ll fit into the company, from who you’ll be working with to how you’ll be working.

Get your first round telephone interview right, and boost your chances of moving to the next stage. When you attend a face-to-face interview, you’ll be able to really show off your suitability for the role.