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The best jobs receive a high volume of applications, so employers often screen candidates using a first-round phone interview. Cost-efficient and easy, this approach helps companies quickly weed out those not right for the job.

Many candidates make the mistake of taking a relaxed approach to the phone screening, causing them to fall flat. Anything but a formality, if you don’t make a great impression during this stage, you won’t score an in-person meeting with the hiring manager.

Poise yourself for success by steering clear of these five phone interview offenses.

  1. Don’t Take the Call While Lounging

Lounging lowers your guard, which isn’t the proper state of mind for a job interview. You need to be alert and engaged during the phone screening, and that’s not going to happen if you’re lying on the couch. Clear a space at your desk or table, pull up a non-cushy chair and hold court with both feet firmly planted on the floor.

  1. Don’t Wear Your Pajamas

Since the person on the other end of the line can’t see what you’re wearing, it might seem crazy to dress up for a phone interview, but it will help. Wearing professional attire makes you feel confident, allowing you to deliver poised responses. Sweatpants are certainly cozier than standard interview attire, but this isn’t a situation where you’re supposed to be completely at ease.

  1. Don’t Interview From Your Current Job

There’s a good chance the company will want to schedule your phone interview during work hours. If you have an office or a secluded cubicle, you might think you can get away with taking the call at your desk, but this is too risky. Someone might walk in and interrupt the call or overhear you and figure out what’s going on. Try to arrange the call for a time you’ll be home, but if you can’t, plan it during your lunch hour and find a quiet place away from the office to chat.

  1. Don’t Choose a Spot Where Your Connection is Unreliable

Landlines tend to have the most reliable connections, so if you have one, use this for your phone interview. There’s no need to panic if you only have a cell phone, but make sure you’re in a spot where your signal is strong. Find this area before the day of the call, so you can test it out in advance and not have to worry about getting cut off during the discussion.

  1. Don’t Allow Distractions to Capture Your Attention

During a phone interview, your only focus should be the voice on the other end of the line. Shut yourself away in a quiet spot away from your children, pets, the television and anything else that will break your concentration. It won’t sit well if you have to ask an interviewer to repeat themselves because you weren’t listening.

You deserve a great new job, so allow PrideStaff North Dallas to help you find the perfect fit. Whether you’re looking for temporary, temp-to-hire or direct hire employment, you can count on us to connect you with a top employer. Get started today!