PREPARING FOR THE TELEPHONE INTERVIEW


  • The goal of a phone interview is to be invited in for a “face to face” interview. Nothing more, nothing less
  • Allow the interviewer to control the interview; if you don’t, you win the battle  and most assuredly lose the war
  • The interviewer has a “need.” The need may be different for an HR person doing the interview than for the hiring manager. Listen carefully to identify that need and  then tailor your answers to meet the hiring manager’s need
  • Review your own resume as if you were the interviewer. Pretend you don’t know the writer and identify all areas that would have to be    satisfactorily answered before a candidate was asked to come to a face-to-face interview
  • Stay on a “last name basis” until requested to change


  • Before the interview get to a good spot physically where you are comfortable and try to make sure that you are on a land line
  • Don’t take the call when there is too much noise in the background
  • Don’t walk from one place to another because the breathlessness that comes from walking and talking at the same time subconsciously conveys  lack of authority
  • Have paper and pen (as well as your resume) with you to write down notes or follow up items or for points to address in your thank you note


  • No kidding. You’ll sound more self confident and dynamic if you stand while you speak than if you sit. If your body is confined, your speech sounds different
  • Using hand gestures is very natural for talking, so allow yourself to use them, even though you’re on the phone. You don’t have to force it. They will just come, as long as your hands are free. And you want to sound natural on the phone because authentic is more likeable. 


  • Why are you looking to make a change now? (one reason, one sentence, only)
  • What do you like about your present company? (one reason, one sentence, only)
  • What do you like about your present position? (one reason, one sentence, only)
  • What don’t you like about your present company? (one reason, one sentence, only)
  • What don’t you like about your present position? (one reason, one sentence, only)
  • What have you accomplished in your last position? In the one before? (one  reason, one sentence, only)
  • What new skills have you acquired? You will probably get questions asking you to show that you actually have the skills    to  accomplish the goals for the open position. Be prepared to give organized, rehearsed examples of how you have performed at work in the  past in order to show your skill set
  • Why do you think that you are ready to move ahead? (one reason, one sentence, only)


  • Determine what are the employers short term concerns. "How can I make an immediate impact on the job?" Tailor the balance of your responses to examples where you resolved similar concerns.
  • Ask about the company, its performance expectations, and the culture. In other words, show interest!.
  • What are the major responsibilities of the position?


An interview is about selling yourself and the best salespeople are closers. Your goal for a phone interview is to get an in-person interview. So don’t get off the phone until you have made some efforts to get to that step. Don’t barrage the interviewer with questions in this regard, but do tell the interviewer that your are interested (if you are) in the company and the position and hope that you will be favorably considered for the next step in the process. And don’t forget a key component of a successful interview -is an email thank you.









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