Telephone Interview Tips
by Nathan Newberger - 24/05/2010
"Telephone interviews are quite common in today’s job market. They are offered for a variety of reasons including cost savings, screening of candidates and out-of-town applicants. "
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW BACKGROUND
Telephone interviews are quite common in today’s job market. They are offered for a variety of reasons including cost savings, screening of candidates and out-of-town applicants. To successfully navigate the phone interview, it is important to have a solid game plan in place for preparation.
The following 8 quick telephone interview tips will help prepare yourself for a successful call.
1. DO SOME RESEARCH
Try to find out who will be interviewing you. Will there be multiple people on the call? If possible get their names and titles. Become familiar with these before the call and you will have one less thing to worry about during the call. Try and get some background on the interviewer. Any insight you can gain about him/her will allow you to better tailor your responses to make the best possible impression.
2. ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS
Make a list of your accomplishments, goals and strengths. On another list write out your weaknesses and what you are doing to overcome them. On a third sheet write down why you are interested in the company. Think carefully about all of these items as they often come up in interviews.
3. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Never forget that a telephone interview is still an interview. Take time to practice interview questions with friends or family. Ask them to provide honest feedback so you can improve your responses. Mock interview questions can easily be found on the internet or the bookstore. If you get stuck on a question, sample answers to these questions are often provided as well.
4. DO A SOUND CHECK
During the mock interview, have your friend ask you questions both over the phone and in person. Make sure that he/she listens not only for content, but also tone, rate and clarity of your speech. If possible, record yourself speaking. Are you speaking slowly and clearly? Can you easily be heard? Is your voice portraying you as a confident and enthusiastic candidate? If not continue to practice until you are comfortable.
5. FIND YOUR LOCATION
Stake out a quiet space to occupy during your interview. Ideally, there should be a comfortable place to sit as well as a table to lay out your papers. Try and find a low-traffic spot where members of the household are un-likely to disturb you.
6. ORGANIZE YOUR PAPERS
Have a copy of your resume and cover letter close at hand. Take out those lists you made while organizing your thoughts. In addition keep any notes related to the company that you feel may be helpful during the call. Spread these items out across your table so they are easy to access. Only keep what is truly necessary. Too much paper can be a distraction.
7. GATHER YOUR WRITING TOOLS
Place a notepad and several pens or pencils on the table. These will be helpful in writing down notes, questions and most importantly, your interviewer's names.
8. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
As the appointed hour draws near, make sure that the television and the radio are turned off. Exit your email and turn off your computer screen. If possible, disable your call-waiting. Let your family or roommates know about the timing of the interview so they do not accidentally disturb you. Place a do not disturb sign on your door as a gentle reminder.
By following these 8 basic tips, you are making a great impression and on your way to the onsite interview. Remember, the phone interview is very important and you should plan and prepare for it carefully.