Phone interviews can be difficult. When you’re not setting up the right lighting and ensuring that the room is perfectly quiet, you’re likely worrying about how you’ll impress the interviewer in a brief phone call.

For IT candidates, this can be particularly harrowing. It’s often difficult to quickly and concisely convey your technical skills and still showcase your professional and social capabilities. These skills don’t have to be mutually exclusive, however. Your IT skills can actually help you ace your phone interview, and here’s how.

Use the Right Vocabulary

In many IT industries, you can prove your knowledge simply by speaking the language. Not only will this reassure the interviewer that you aren’t faking your credentials, but it will lend your answers an air of technical expertise that they will likely find appealing. If you’re relatively new to the field, avoid common jargon mistakes (for instance, if you’re applying for a developer position, know how to pronounce C# and don’t confuse Java and JavaScript).

Discuss the Practical Use of Your Skills

Don’t just rattle off a list of your technical skills; describe ways that you’ve used them in the past and ways that you might use them with this company. Discuss some of the projects included in your portfolio or that you’ve worked on in other positions. By doing so, you’ll provide real, concrete evidence of your experience and industry knowledge (and draw attention to your past experience).

Familiarize Yourself with What They Do

Before any interview, you should do plenty of research. But with IT positions, you should take that a step further. Learn everything you can about the company, and then extrapolate ways that your IT skills could help them do what they do better. If your phone interview is with someone in your field, you should be able to get an idea of what software or hardware they use, so this should help you direct the conversation and suggest creative solutions for the company’s needs. This will not only highlight your IT skills, but it will also show that you’re a problem solver and deeply interested in their business.

Show Off Your Soft Skills

For IT candidates, soft skills can often be inextricably linked to your technical skills. If you have an innate ability to learn coding languages and you’re a natural self-starter, explain this to the interviewer. Even if you don’t have experience with every language they require, your soft skills may convince them that you have what it takes to learn.

By blending your hard and soft skills into one cohesive image, you can convey your technical qualifications without bluntly stating your credentials. The initial phone interview is designed to make quick impression, so keep your answers succinct and to the point. By following each of these tips, you can prove our expertise and your professionalism in the span of a short telephone conversation.

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