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Improve Your Telephone Interview Performance
by Dave Dolak, Sr. Consultant, DMD Enterprises.
Have you had any telephone interviews lately? How do you think you performed? Could you have done better? This month, I want you to maximize your opportunities during telephone interviews. You can drastically improve your presentation over the telephone by practicing!

There are many aspects that you can practice in preparation for telephone interviews. First, hone your speaking skills and be aware of your vocal patterns. Enunciate your words so you speak very clearly. Try this:

Put a pencil between your teeth and start talking out loud. Speak the answers that you would normally give during an interview. Difficult, isn't it? If you are doing this right, you will notice that you are forming your words carefully, speaking more slowly, and consciously enunciating every word. Now remove the pencil and speak with that same level of awareness. It will be a pleasure to be able to speak without any obstacles in your way, however, keep speaking as though the pencil were still there. Perform this simple exercise before your next telephone interview and you will be speaking more clearly.

Possibly the best way to improve your vocal presentation is to have a friend or family member hold a mock interview with you. Have them ask you typical interview questions and then answer them Simple, right? Sure it is.. but I want you to record the entire session on tape. Any old cassette tape recorder will do. Answer each question as though you are in an actual interview. When finished, play back the tape. When you are listening, you will become very aware of any imperfections in your speech pattern. Do you have any "uh's" or "err's"? Do you use throw-away phases such as, "frankly..to be honest..actually..needless to say"? If so, eliminate these immediately from your vocabulary. Learn to speak as concisely and as clearly as possible. The more you practice, the better you will become at telephone interviews.

Practice these two simple drills and you will drastically improve your telephone interviewing performance. Not only will you be speaking more clearly and professionally but you will also find that your everyday speech will improve and be much more effective. Who knows, you might even get that job a little faster!
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2001-7-3 -04:00
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