Posted on Feb 24, 2012 @[email protected]

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a Phone Interview

More and more recruiting teams are picking up the phone in order to conduct their first round of interviews.  It is much more cost efficient for a company to  screen a candidate over the phone prior to meeting them in person.  This means that a phone interview is your first chance to make a good impression.  Alternatively if you under perform in a phone interview you’ll quickly find your potential job opportunity disappears.  Allison Doyle of about.com has a few tips.

Before your interview you should put in quite a bit of prep work.  Like any interview you should prepare and practice responses to commonly asked questions.  It is also important that you research the company and position you are interviewing for.   You should also make sure that your resume is easily accessible during your phone interview enabling you to respond quickly to technical questions.  In addition to your resume you should have a list of recent accomplishments and any relevant data they may ask you about.  The room you choose to conduct your interview in should be quiet and able to be closed off.  They’re should be no pets or children anywhere around you while you’re on the phone.   You should also use a room in which you have access to a land line because cell phones are likely to cut out.  Make sure call waiting is turned off so there is no beeping during your conversation.  Additionally you may want a pen and a piece of paper to write down questions they ask you.

During the interview make sure to maintain a professional attitude.  Don’t eat, drink or chew gum while on the phone, it is rude and will be taken a sign that you don’t care about the position.  Have a glass of water ready in case you get a cough or your mouth gets dry.  Speak even slower than you would in person as it is more difficult to communicate with somebody over the phone and there is bound to be more ambiguities.  Don’t interrupt the interviewer, this can be tricky over the phone because you cannot read their facial expressions so use caution and pause for a few seconds before responding to any questions.  Give short and distinct answers, if you expand too much you’re likely to loose the attention of your interviewer.  At the same time try and allow your personality to come through at least a little bit to differentiate you from the other candidates.

After the interview behave in the same manner you would as an in person interview.  Take a few notes about what you talked about and remember to send them a thank you note.  Failure to do this may counteract an otherwise good interview.

Robert Boroff Executive Profile Managing Director Reaction Search International

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