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Mastering the Phone Interview

Mastering the Phone Interview

The phone interview is more common today.
As employers are inundated with resumes, it is a way to "screen" out people who look good on paper but they want to determine if they are good.  Also, it is less costly and less time consuming for the employer.
Employers are testing you out to see how you can conduct yourself on the phone because that is the ways a lot of people do business today.

How to Prepare

  1. Treat it as you would a regular "in person" interview
  2.  Do your research on the company
  3.  Have your notes in front of you
  4.  Have your "talking points" on yourself why you are so great for the job
  5.  Have your follow-up questions ready for the end of the conversation

When Is the Best Time in the Day to Plan for a Telephone Interview

If you are able to schedule your telephone interview; be sure it is a time and place where you can lock yourself away in a room so it is quiet; a place where there are no kids bugging you, no barking dog, and no interruptions.
Try to use a "landline" telephone if your cell phone has shaky reception.  If you use a cordless landline, be sure the phone is charged and batteries will not run out. 

How Do You Stand Out in a Telephone Interview?

Often, a telephone interview is more challenging than it is in person. 
When doing the telephone interview:

  1. Stand up during your phone interview.  By doing this your voice will sound stronger  and you will be more focused (no pacing the floor)
  2. Be sure to smile during the whole conversation; that really comes thru when having that conversation and it will make you sound more upbeat
  3. Let the interviewer dictate the conversation.  When the end of the conversation is coming to a conclusion, if they have not brought up "next steps", be sure to ask, "What is the next step?"  For example, you can say, "You are enthusiastic about the job, but can I meet with someone in person about the job?"  Also, "What is the timing for this job?" Also, be sure you obtain that person's contact information as well.
  4. Send a "thank you".  If most of the communication has been by email then an email "thank you" is appropriate.  However, a handwritten thank you is always a way to stand out as fewer people will do this.  Again, restating why you are so great for the job.