Interview Tips By Phone

Preparation is the key to success!

Congratulations, you have been asked to participate in a telephone interview.

Companies use a telephone interview to pre-screen candidates and narrow the overall size of the candidate pool. Qualified candidates are generally invited to participate in the next stage of the hiring process, the in-person interview. For a prospective employer, the telephone interview is his or her first impression of your confidence, enthusiasm and personality. Without the face-to-face interaction of conventional interviewing, a telephone interview requires you to diligently prepare and take into consideration different factors for success. The following items have been compiled to help you prepare for your upcoming telephone interview. If you have participated in a telephone interview before, please use this to refresh your interviewing skills.

Preparing for the interview:

  • Research the company. Perform a thorough review of the company’s website and any other available information. Company research will help you prepare thoughtful questions for the interviewer.
  • Know your audience.  Identify and understand the title and role of the interviewer. Review the interviewer’s biography on the company website and supplement, where necessary, with details from LinkedIn or other social networking sites.
  • Prepare a short list of your qualifications and/or accomplishments. Ensure that the list is not only relevant to the job opportunity but, provide examples that showcase a variety of attributes.
  • Compose 3 questions for the interviewer.  Remember to compose questions that are specific to the interviewer(s). For instance, questions for HR personnel should differ from those questions composed for interviewers with a legal background. At this point in the interview process, it is best to ask general questions about job responsibilities and/or goals.
  • Ensure that your online presence is in order.
  • Review your resume. It is likely that you will be asked to fill-in details from your resume on items such as gaps in work history, job moves or experience. Print a hard copy to have on-hand for the interview.
  • Know your schedule.
  • Bring the proper supplies to the interview. Have several working pens and paper available to take notes during the interview. A glass of water should be kept on-hand if needed for a dry throat or coughing.
  • Find a quiet room for the interview where you will not be distracted or interrupted.  Ensure that your cell phone has clear reception in the room or that there is a landline available.

During the interview:

  • Answer the call in a friendly and confident tone using your name, e.g. “ This is John Doe”.
  • Speak slowly and articulate clearly.
  • Remember to smile during the interview.  Although the interviewer cannot see you, a smile will resonate through your voice in a positive way.
  • If your energy declines, stand up.
  • Do not eat or chew gum during the interview.  Drink only if you need a small sip of water for a dry throat.
  • Do not interrupt the interviewer.
  • Remain professional but, show enthusiasm and interest in the position.
  • Do not bring up compensation.
  • At the end of the interview, ask about next steps and express your interest in the position.

After the interview:

  • Send a short thank you note to each interviewer, by email if possible.

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