Phone Interviews: How Important Are They?

Many of our customers prefer to conduct phone interviews today in order to save time before deciding to bring a candidate in for a face-to-face interview.  Clearly there are many do’s and don’ts relating to in-person interviews, but few known how-to’s for phone interviews.

Below is a list of solid ideas to keep in mind during a phone interview. Remember them and you will surely get ahead of the competition!

  1. BE ON TIME: Just like an in-person interview, you want to be ON TIME to either receive or make the phone call.   The whole idea behind this type of interview is to save time. Nothing is worse for an employer than to make a phone call to the candidate and then have to leave a voicemail.  Plan accordingly!  If the interview time is set for a certain time, be ready at that time!
  2. PARK IT: Do not make or receive the call from your car while you are driving.  You may be distracted while driving which could prove disastrous.   If you must take the call in your car, park it! Our customers have told us they prefer conducting the interview phone to phone, so avoid using Bluetooth or Aux cables which connect to a car’s stereo.
  3. BE PREPARED: The same rules apply here as in face-to-face interviews.  Do your homework!  Look up the company on the web and find out what you can.  Formulate at least one question about the company so if you are asked if you have any questions, you have one at the ready!
  4. KNOW WHEN IT’S OVER: Unlike an in-person interview, you will have no body language to read from the interviewer.  Generally, you can tell when an interview is wrapping up when papers are shuffled or stacked, a file jacket is closed or when a hand is extended for a final handshake.  In a phone interview, your senses must be sharp enough to know when the interviewer is finished.  Don’t try to keep it going, just for the sake of extending the interview.  The interviewer will respect you for respecting his or her time.
  5. NO SMOKING: Although this might be a stressful time for you, do not light up while talking to the interviewer.  The time it takes for you to inhale or exhale can be detected by a seasoned interviewer and could be viewed as a negative.   Additionally, do not eat while interviewing.  You don’t want to risk the chance of trying to clear your throat or chew your food when you should be answering a question.
  6. SMILE: A smile can be translated during a phone conversation and will help convey your friendly personality.
  7. STAND UP: This will keep you focused on the interview and help you maintain a conversational style.
  8. TAKE NOTES IF YOU CAN!: This will help you for the the in-person interview by mentioning some of the topics you discussed in your previous phone interview.

The last thing to remember regarding a phone interview is its importance.  The interviewer is quickly trying to decide if you are someone they should move to the next step of the interviewing process.  Take this interview as seriously as you would if you were sitting in this person’s office.

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Phone Interviews: How Important Are They?

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