Phone Interview Tips

You may be familiar with the so-called “7%-38%-55% rule”: that communication is comprised of 55% body language, 38% tone of voice, and 7% content of words.

On the phone, you don’t have visual “body language” — the largest component in most communications You must take both your surroundings and the surrounding of the person you’re calling into account. By visualizing what’s going on at the other end of the phone many times you can “imagine” the body language of the other party. You can hear what’s going on in the background if you’re “listening” for it.

On the  phone, your tone and pitch are hypercritical.  If you speak:

Too fast –you’ll sound nervous.
Too slow — bored (and boring). Your listener may tune you out.
Too high — that nervous thing again.
Too low — your confidence could appear limited.

Strive to keep your tone and pitch at normal levels. This means to speak at a moderate pace and in a normal tone of voice. This will help you to feel and communicate confidence.

Other tips:

  • Be crisp and to the point.
  • Keep your voice naturally animated
  • Be sure enunciate your words
  • Your vocabulary must be correct: we’re often judged by the words we use and the kind of grammar we speak
  • Don’t ever use words you don’t know the meaning of. You’ll come across as strange and out of context.
  • Likewise, use small words that are easy to pronounce
  • Nobody ever complains because you made something easy to understand.

Tips for Telephone Interviews

Tips for Telephone Interviews

Because you’re working (mostly) without visual “body language” — the largest component in most communications — your pace, tone and pitch on the telephone are critical.

If you speak too fast, you’ll sound nervous. If you are too slow, you’ll sound disinterested.

Your pitch needs to be moderate. If it’s too high, it may make you sound nervous. If it’s too low, it may impact how confident you seem.

Practice the “Three C’s”: Be confident, clear and concise.

Try to visualize the interviewer’s surroundings. Try to “listen” for their body language. Imagine how they are reacting to you. Don’t be reluctant to ask for clarification of what they are saying, and to confirm that what you intend to communicate is being correctly understood. Without the visual cues that may signal confusion or a misunderstanding, try to listen for nonverbal cues such as pauses or changes in their tone or pitch. You can often “hear” what’s going on in the background if you’re “listening” for it.

Stop Selling Yourself!

Nobody would deny that a job interview is essentially a sales event, but not everyone approaches that kind of situation effectively. Here’s some food for thought if you are preparing for an interview.

(Article reproduced courtesy of Art Sobczak, Business By Phone Inc. and appeared in his weekly “Tips” column.  See articles, books, audios, and other resources


Despite What You Heard, Don’t Sell Yourself.
Let People Buy You Instead.

By Jeb Blount

Most of us, at one time or another in our careers, have heard some wise trainer or manager exclaim, “You have to sell yourself.”

“If you want to get that job, son, you have to sell yourself.”

“The real key to sales is your ability to sell yourself.”

“If you want others to like you, you’ll have to sell yourself.”

The phrase sell yourself has become an easy- to-use cliché. It just rolls off the tongue. Most people will nod their heads in agreement to the statement as if some prophet on a hill had just read it from stone tablets. Then, they go forth into the world and start selling at networking events, to clients, prospects, hiring managers, and anyone else they can get to stand still for more than five minutes. You’ve heard it. These are the people who tell you all about themselves, their accomplishments, and how great they are.

But it does not work, because people like to buy, they don’t like to be sold, as Jeffrey Gitomer says. In fact, the harder you try to sell yourself to others the more you push them away. A conversation where the other person tells you all about how great they are is a turn off.

It is a features dump. You don’t walk away from that conversation thinking how much you would like to spend more time with them. Instead you think, “What a jerk,”‘, or “How boring,”, or “Wow, that guy is full of himself.”

Of course, we do love the opportunity to sell ourselves. Most of us, if given the opportunity, will talk for hours about our favorite person, oblivious to the negative impact it has on how we are viewed by others.

You cannot sell yourself to others; you have to get others to buy YOU on their terms. Even if you are preceded by a great reputation and others are anticipating meeting you, your attempts to sell yourself can backfire.

People Buy You for their reasons, not for your reasons. So when we sell people on why they should like us, it backfires. However, when they choose to buy you for their reasons, it creates a powerful connection and a relationship that makes almost anything possible.

Five Tips To Get People To Buy You

1. Be Likable: Likability is the gateway to connections and ultimately to relationships. If others don’t find you likable, then it is virtually impossible to form profitable business relationships. If you are not likable, people will not buy you or from you. Likability is responsible for first impressions because it happens in an instant, and it is responsible for ongoing impressions because it can be lost in an
instant. When people find you likable, the door opens to emotional connections, to trust, and ultimately to business relationships that help you build a successful career and income. Smile and use your positive attitude and optimism to project a cheerful, smiling, outgoing personality. People love to be around happy, optimistic people.

2. Connect: The key to connecting is listening deeply with your eyes and ears. Listen to what your customers say and observe their emotions. There are things they are passionate about. Look for common ground here. When you truly connect with someone, you take rapport to the next level. You begin to move from a business relationship to a friendship. Connecting tears down walls that tend to get in the way of real communication and understanding. When people feel connected with you they feel more comfortable telling you their real problems. With this information in hand, you have the opportunity to solve problems that really matter. This ability provides real value and engenders true loyalty. Strong connections are hard to break and are the foundation of truly prosperous, long-term business relationships.

3. Solve Problems: One of the immutable laws of the universe is that when you give to others, you are rewarded ten-fold. Problem solvers are the champions of the business world. However, it is impossible to solve problems you do not know about, which is why connecting is so critical. The essence of business is one person solving another person’s problem. A solved problem is the value that buyers pay for. It is the most important lever in the People Buy You philosophy. The most successful business people take problem solving to the next level.
These individuals are constantly on the look-out for problems they can solve-even if it has no direct impact on their business. They live by the motto, “By helping others get what they want, I will get what I want.”

4. Build Trust: Trust is the glue that holds relationships together and the foundation on which all long-term relationships rest. Trust is developed with tangible evidence that you do what you say you will do, that you keep
promises, and that you maintain a consistent commitment to excellence. It means going the extra mile in everything you do. In a world in which most people are doing just enough to get by, those business professionals who consistently do more than they have to, will stand out. Buyers appreciate and reward this commitment to excellence with repeat business, referrals, and ultimately with trust.

5. Create Positive Emotional Experiences:
Learn to make dealing with you fun, relaxing, and rewarding. You always want to leave your customers and prospects thinking about you and remembering you positively so it is imperative that you find ways to create positive emotional experiences for your customers. The key is to focus on the little things. Remember birthdays, send handwritten notes, do the unexpected. Just as an anchor is used to hold a ship in place against currents, wind, tide, and storm,; positive emotional experiences anchor your relationships. They leave people wanting more of you.

Jeb Blount is the CEO of, the most visited sale s website on the internet.
A respected thought leader on sales and sales leadership, he is author of three books,
People Buy You: The Real Secret to what Matters Most in Business, Sales Guy’s 7 Rules for
Outselling the Recession, and Power Principles. He is the author of more than 100 articles on
sales and sales leadership and the host of the top rated Sales Guy Podcast. When you buy
Jeb’s new book, People Buy You, today, you’ll also receive thousands of dollars worth of
bonus gifts from sales growth leaders. Learn more at