The Phone Interview
More and more employers use the efficiency of
the telephone to do their initial screening of candidates
prior to committing valuable project time for a face to face
meeting. This process has been found to being extremely time
efficient and an effective use of management’s time.
Although from many
perspectives many applicants consider the phone interview a
major win, it does carry its own pitfalls.
On the win side, the image you project, the clothes you
wear, the physical impression you make, are totally
eliminated. You can take the interview from the comfort of
your own home avoiding traffic jams and or public
transportation challenges. The downside of the phone
interview is that you can judge the interviewers reactions
to your answers, you can’t tell whether they are so much as
paying attention to you and their impression is simply based
on your verbal communication, the energy with which you
answer questions and any other visual impressions which
could readily tell as to how well the interview is going.
Preparation, both content and delivery is extremely critical
to the process. Keep in mind
that your objective is to get an in-person interview where
you can truly shine by properly presenting your skills, your
interest in the position and your abilities as both team
member and a potential leader.
To prepare yourself please consider the following
as much about the company as you can.
Comprehensive information about your potential employer can
be found on their corporate website or if they are a
publicly traded company from the various write-ups published
by brokerage firms. If their web site is properly
maintained, you will most likely find the job description of
the position in question. Review it, assess it, and compose
questions relevant to the position. The objective is to
sound informed and intelligent should the topics arise.
some notes to remind yourself of points that
you may want to make or about things that you might forget.
Sometimes people get nervous, just like they do in person.
By having a few notes nearby about your role,
responsibilities and accomplishments are helpful reminders.
Remember, they can't see if you have a manual open to
something you might be a little rusty in! They can't see
that you have your resume in front of you!
Ask a friend to call you and listen to you speak. Have that
friend give you a critique as to how you sound over the
phone. Are you too loud, too soft, speaking too fast or too
slow, does your phone work properly, maybe you need to
switch from a cordless to a base phone. Don’t be offended
with the critique but take corrective actions.
sure that the place where you
intend to the interview is quiet and that you
are afforded uninterruptible slice of time. Shut off the
stereo, TV, and other sound making devices, like your
computer. If you have small children, ask your spouse to
occupy them while you are on the phone to make sure that
your concentration and that of the interviewer is not
a pad of paper and a pen
in front of you during the interview to take
notes about the company, interviewer, team and other
relevant issues. Write down questions ahead of time to ask
at the end of the interview. Stays focused at all times and
do not loose your direction.
way you communicate is paramount! Keep in mind that the way
you communicate is the interviewer’s only point of reference
regarding your capabilities.
Your voice is your only sales tool. Don't
allow yourself to sound tired or disinterested. Make sure
you sound energetic and excited, regardless of questions
Practice, Practice. It is
critical to your success to rehearse your phone skills.