Employers use telephone interviews as a way of identifying and recruiting candidates for employment.
Phone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for an in-person interview.They are also used as a way to minimize the expenses involved in interviewing out-of-town candidates. Since you are in an active job search, it’s important to be prepared for a telephone interview on a moment’s notice.
Prepare for a phone interview just as you would for a regular interview.Compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as a list of answers to typical interview questions.In addition, plan on being prepared for a phone conversation about your background, experience and skills.
qKeep your resume in clear view, on the top of your desk; always have the resume at your fingertips;
qHave a short list of your accomplishments available to review;
qHave a pen and paper handy for note taking;
qTurn call-waiting off so your call isn’t interrupted.If you can’t turn it off, do not switch to another line under any circumstances;
qIf the time isn’t convenient, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives;
qFind a private place to have this phone interview.Clear the room of children and pets.Turn off the stereo and the TV.
Talking on the phone isn’t as easy as it seems.It’s always better to be proactive.Have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview and tape record it so you can see how you sound over the phone.You’ll be able to hear your “…ums” and “…uhs” and “ok’s” and you can practice eliminating them from you conversations.
DURING THE PHONE INTERVIEW
qDon’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink;
qDo keep a glass of water handy, in case you need to wet your mouth;
qSmile.Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice;
qSpeak slowly and enunciate clearly;
qTake your time.It’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts;
qGive concise, well-informed, short answers;
qRemember, your goal is to set-up a face-to-face interview.After you thank the interviewer ask if it would be possible to meet in person;
qTake notes about what you were asked and how you answered;
qRemember to say “thank you.” Follow up with a thank you note which reiterates your interest in the job.