12 Success Telephone Interview Tips
Often you are given the opportunity to prepare for a telephone interview, but sometimes they come out of the blue when you answer your phone!
Since you may not know when to expect the telephone interview, it is critical that you do not wait to prepare for the interview until you have the interview scheduled. You have to accomplish your goal – selling yourself, your skills, your experience, and your value – with nothing but what comes out of your mouth. What can you do?
1. Do your Research
If the interview is scheduled in advance, know as much as you can about the employer and the opportunity before the interview, just as you would for an in-person
Re-read the job posting, and make notes of where you meet or exceed the requirements (and where you don’t).
Review the organization’s website (if any) to see what they do, where they are, and the latest news they may have posted.
Look for a LinkedIn “Company Profile” to see what information they post, as well as other job openings they might have.
Google the company and the product/service names.
Check a site like Glassdoor.com to see the job interview questions commonly asked by this employer as well as the salary ranges.
Based on your research, have questions to ask if the opportunity arises or you risk looking uninterested and unprepared (not good!).
This research will help you to succeed in the face-to-face interview later, hopefully. It should also help you to
determine if you really want to work for this employer.
2. Know whether you can take the call when it comes.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to schedule the call for a time when you can focus completely. Be in a quiet place where you are comfortable and unlikely to be interrupted (or overheard, if you are not at home).
If you currently have a job, do NOT take this call in your workplace! Your boss or a co-worker may interrupt and may also discover your job search. NOT GOOD! Go outside, assuming it’s relatively quiet, or finds some place private and a good environment for a phone call.
Sometimes you can’t schedule the call. So, if you are driving the kids to school or dripping outside the shower, ask if you could schedule a later time. Of course, you need to feel the interviewer out; if he or she hesitates to schedule another time, you might want to plunge forward and do the best you can, considering you might not be getting another opportunity to present yourself.
3. Have the documentation you need at your fingertips.
Having easy access to the company and job information will allow you to confidently respond to questions without fumbling regarding which job you are talking about. So have a copy of both the job description and a copy of the resume or application you submitted in front of you before the interview starts.
4. Take Notes
If possible, take notes during and immediately after the call. Focus on giving good answers rather than writing copious notes, and you can write most of the notes after the call. Note the date and time of the call and, if scheduled, whether they were on time. Then:
During the call, write the name and job title of the person who called. If they don’t volunteer it, ask, and confirm the correct spelling of their name.
During the call, write down any commitments you make for after the call, like sending a sample of your work or following up with the answer to a question that you couldn’t answer during the call. Do be careful not to put a current or former employer’s confidential information at risk.
At the end of the call, be sure make note of the answers to the questions in #11 below.
Note anything about you that seemed particularly important to them, indicated by the interviewer asking you several follow-on questions about that topic.
Note anything about you that seemed to disappoint