8 ways to deliver a better phone interview

Are you sitting down when you talk to someone on the phone? Big mistake. Get up and move around! Follow this tip and seven others for better ‘phoners.’

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Sure, they talk on the phone with their family, friends, and business contacts every day. But the telephone habits they use during those calls are radically different from the ones they need for print or radio interviews conducted by phone, known as “phoners.”

So forget everything you (think) you know and remember these eight tips the next time you have a phoner:

1. Get out of your office: Don’t sit at your desk, where you can become easily distracted by incoming emails, phone calls, and office visitors. Find an empty conference room with no distractions, and tape a “Do Not Disturb—Interview in Progress” sign on the door.

2. Bring your notes: It’s OK to have notes in front of you during phone interviews. Be careful not to “read” them to the reporter but to use them only as memory triggers.

3. Get a headset: Telephone headsets are terrific gadgets for phone interviews. They allow you to use both of your hands to gesture, which adds emphasis to your voice, and they free you from cradling a phone to your neck in case you need to jot down a few notes during your call.

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