With careers, as in our lives, the greatest fear can be fear itself. Anxiety frequently sabotages interviews, preventing qualified professionals from thriving. These tips will help minimize fear, maximize confidence, and help get you your dream job:

Documentation Prep

Assemble all documents that could possibly help during the interview including letters of recommendation, and any visual aids that will demonstrate your accomplishments.

Simulation Exercise

Have a friend conduct a simulated interview before the real one. Not only will this help you practice your answers, but it will also make you more accustomed to the interview environment.

Deal With Distractions

The flexibility of a phone interview is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’re free to speak from whatever location is best for you. On the other, you’re responsible for choosing a location with no loud sounds or distractions. If you fail to avoid disruptions on your end, the interviewer will consider it poor planning, making you less likely to get the job. So, before you begin a phone interview, find a quiet location where you will not be disturbed.

Consider Call Quality

In addition to seeking silence, you must also give the interview from a location with reliable phone service. As with distractions, the interviewer may interpret a poor signal as evidence that you did not plan ahead. If you cannot find reliable service, let your interviewer know ahead of time and suggest alternatives, such as conducting the interview over Skype or Zoom.

Have Research Ready

Research is critical for any interview, yet candidates often assume that if they are not giving the interview in person, they can look up facts as they need them. Conducting your research on the fly, however, means that you will not have time to absorb and interpret it properly. Worse yet, if you pause after each question to look up information, your interviewer will view you as unprepared. Instead, research all the facts ahead of time and make a list of everything you need to know so you can quickly consult your notes.

Seek Intelligent Speech

‘Ums’, ‘uhs’, ‘likes’, and ‘you knows’; reflect informal, unfocused speech. You’re more likely to slip into them over the phone. Be especially vigilant against casual phrasings. Consider practicing with a friend before the interview.

Practice Positivity

One trick to give your voice a positive sound is to smile while you’re speaking. Even though the other party will not see it, smiling is a catalyst for other happy habits, including an upbeat, excited pattern of speech. Smiling will also make you feel happier, helping you to remain calm in the face of a high-stakes interview.

Write Wisely

Take notes throughout the interview, writing down every key fact about the job and organization. This will help you stay focused and remember everything the interviewer says.

Though many of these tips are likely to reduce fear and stress, addressing anxiety is ultimately an individual matter. The key is to find a strategy that works for you, follow it, and persevere.