Interview Styles Series – #5 Telephone Interviews

By One2One Resumes

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Telephone interviews are becoming increasingly common. However, the mere thought of them make some people literally quiver at the knees! Here are a few suggestions to help make your preparation and hopefully, experience of telephone interviews, a little more pleasant.

Employers and recruiters use phone interviews as a means of narrowing down the number of candidates who will be given a face to face interview. They are just as important as traditional interviews and you should be prepared.

Remember, this is your first point of contact, aside from your resume, with the employer. Your telephone manner, tone of voice and overall professionalism will be monitored and you want to make the interaction a positive one. This is your chance to shine – to add a touch of ‘you’ to your application, to build rapport, get more information on the role and present highlights of your background; all of which could land you a face to face interview.

Smile! Yes, no one can see you, but I guarantee they will hear your smile. This will also increase your confidence and settle the nerves.

Make sure you are in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted. You don’t want background noise, screaming kids or traffic in the background. Try to use a landline if you can to overcome the potential for poor reception or drop outs.

Keep a glass of water with you.

Don’t forget the pleasantries. Just because you’re not in front of the person doesn’t mean manners don’t count. Be polite. Listen attentively to what is being said or asked and try not to interrupt to make a point. Wait until the person has finished and then put forth your answers.

In many ways a telephone interview can be easier because you can have a ‘cheat-sheet’ in front of you. Write down what you want to say so you have a list of key points which you won’t forget in the event of nerves.

Questions are impressive. If you’ve done your research and have some well thought out, intelligent questions to ask, you come across as someone with initiative who is well prepared and interested. Don’t read them verbatim because you risk sounding stiff, but have them in front of you to use as a prompt.

Make sure you have your diary nearby in case you are asked for an interview at the end of the call – you don’t want to appear unorganised.

No matter how the call ends, always thank the person warmly for their time and consideration.

We hope this makes preparing for a telephone interview a little easier. Good luck!


© Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant

E: [email protected]


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