Telephone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for face to face interviews. They are also used as a way to minimise the expenses involved in interviewing International candidates.
- Be Flexible – While you’re actively job searching, it’s important to be flexible on the timings for a phone interview, especially with International positions on different time zones.
- Be Ready – You never know when a recruiter or a potential employer might call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk.
- Be Prepared – 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 phone interview questions. In addition, plan on being prepared for a phone conversation about your background and skills.
- Keep your CV handy in front of you so it’s at your fingertips when you need to answer any questions.
- Have a short list of your projects & accomplishments available to review.
- Have a pen and paper handy for note taking.
- Turn call-waiting off so your call isn’t interrupted.
- If the time isn’t convenient, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives.
- Clear the room – evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door.
- Unless you’re sure your cell phone service is going to be perfect, consider using a landline rather than your cell phone to avoid a dropped call or static on the line
Dos & Don’ts
- Do keep a glass of water handy, in case you get a dry mouth.
- Don’t smoke, chew gum or eat.
- Do Smile. Smiling will change the tone of your voice and project a positive image to the listener.
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
- Do speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
- Don’t talk too much – be short and concise with enough detail for the employer to understand
- Do use the person’s title (Mr. or Ms. and their last name.) Only use a first name if they ask you to.
- Do take your time – it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts.
- Do remember 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.