While there was a time when phone interviews were nearly unheard of, the ever-evolving and expanding job climate throughout the United States has ushered in a large increase of telephone-based job interviews. Some phone interviews may serve only as an introductory consultation, while others may be used to make a final determination regarding your future with a company. In either case, you’ll want to make sure you are ready and able to treat the telephone interview with the same amount of enthusiasm and professionalism as a face-to-face interview.
Prepare Yourself and Your Space
Just like with a traditional, face-to-face interview, preparedness is crucial to the success of a phone-based interview. Have a full copy of your resume in front of you as well as a list of any references you may have. Some may even write down a list of primary selling points, which you will use to underscore your usefulness to the interviewer.
Furthermore, don’t hesitate to load up the company’s website on your computer. You can refer to this throughout the interview to help you answer questions and to ensure that your responses are in alignment with the mission statement and goals of the company in question. Since this is a phone-based interview, this can be done without the interviewer ever knowing.
You’ll also want to make sure that your space is prepared and ready for a phone interview. Try to choose an area that is tidy, quiet and free from distractions. Whether this constitutes a secluded area of your home, a local coffee shop or somewhere else is entirely up to you, but make sure to select a spot where you will be able to complete your interview with the utmost level of professionalism.
A rather standardized process, the initial introduction gives you a chance to provide your full name and, if necessary, your contact information. If needed, offer to spell out your name for the interviewer. Conversely, don’t hesitate to ask for the spelling of your interviewer’s name, as well as their official title, as this information can be used in your follow-up communications after the phone interview.
Provide Relevant Information
Since telephone interviews are typically more limited in time than face-to-face interviews, it’s important that you stress your experience, credentials and education that apply specifically to the job in question. Obviously you’ll want to provide comprehensive answers to any questions the interviewer may ask, even if these questions pertain to lesser or unrelated roles, but you don’t need to spend a lot of time doing so. Ideally, the interviewer will have a copy of your resume to view at their leisure, and this will give them the chance to become acquainted with your other, unrelated roles.
Reiterate Your Intentions
You should always reiterate your intentions before ending a phone interview. Don’t hesitate to remind the interviewer of the exact position you are seeking. You can also take this time to notify them of your intentions regarding post-interview or follow-up communications.
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