Phone interviews have become a common tool for narrowing down the candidate pool, especially when hiring managers have a large number of applicants who look similar on paper. The phone interview can be tricky, though, because you can't make eye contact or observe the interviewer's body language. Read these tips about phone interview etiquette and other ways to make a favorable impression when participating in a preliminary interview over the phone.

Here are six tips for improving your phone interview etiquette:

1. Use a land line for the phone interview

If possible, use a land line when answering a call from a hiring manager for a phone interview. It demonstrates that you've made an effort to carve out a special time and place for the call, and you'll probably have a better connection for your phone interview.

2. Observe quiet

Phone interviews require the utmost concentration. Do your best to remove all distractions and background noise, such as barking dogs, the sound of kids playing, ringing cell phones and doorbells.

3. Refer to notes

Keep notes at your fingertips during the phone interview and jot things down as the interviewer talks. Also, have some questions of your own ready to ask.

4. Speak clearly

Make sure your interviewer can hear you plainly by speaking directly into your phone or headset. Phone interview etiquette dictates you let him or her finish speaking before you respond.

5. Smile

This may sound like odd advice, but if you smile when you respond, you'll come across as more energetic and positive. Some people even suggest putting a mirror in front of you during phone interviews to help you remember to smile and be engaging.

6. Use proper phone interview etiquette: Send a thank you

After the phone interview, etiquette says you should send a note thanking the interviewer and reiterating your key points

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