It’s important to handle a telephone interview properly. Recruiters and hiring managers are all managing heavy schedules. A telephone interview is a great way to see if a candidate ‘fits’ before scheduling all the formal interviews. It’s a cost-effective and efficient way to screen candidates. It also gives the candidate the opportunity to see if a job is a good fit.
When your phone interview is scheduled, remember:
1. Use a landline if possible to get the best reception. If you will be using a cell phone, make sure you are in a private, quiet room.
2. Do research on the company and the position. Review the job description.
3. Set up your space 15 minutes before the interview. Have your resume, cover letter and list of questions to ask in front of you. Have a pen and paper to take notes. A sheet with your skills vs. the skills needed and your accomplishments is also a good idea. It will help remind you of what you want to say.
4. On the call, speak clearly and slowly. Ask if everyone on the call can hear you clearly. Answer questions with emotion. Since you can’t be seen, your voice must do the work. If you need to stop and think about an answer, let the interviewer know. Otherwise, it’s just dead air.
5. Refer to your list of questions at the end of the interview. Make sure all of them have been answered.
6. Make notes. These will come in handy for your thank you note.
7. Before ending the call, state your interest in the position. It’s also acceptable to say that you are not interested. No one wants to waste time.
8. Ask for contact information so you can send a ‘thank you.”
Be well-prepared, show enthusiasm and get that in-person interview!