Seven Steps to Screen You In, Not Out

Telephone interviews are on the rise these days because companies are under pressure to do more with less and they are trying to cope with the ever increasing stream of resumes.

Telephone interviews are a way for companies to quickly determine which candidates warrant more time, attention and consideration.

Master the telephone interview and you will significantly improve your odds at landing your next position.


Step 1. Be on time. Phone interviews are scheduled by appointment, so treat it like an in-person interview and be on time.

Step 2. Select a quiet place and use a land line (if possible). No barking dogs or noisy kids in the background. You want silence and privacy. Close the door to the room and answer the phone yourself. Wear a headset to free your hands for taking notes. Land-lines are preferred over cell phones for consistency and quality of the connection.

Step 3. Do your homework. Study the job description and the company website. Anticipate questions; write them down along with your answers. Have your resume, your questions and a pad of paper in front of you during the interview. Write the names of the interview panel down as they introduce themselves to you.

Step 4. Smile. There is a reason that everyone suggests it: it works! Stand-up if it will help you transfer more energy into your voice. To prepare, role play with a friend or your spouse and try recording your voice to see how you sound.

Step 5. Listen. Connections can be challenging and the interviewer who is the furthest away from the speakerphone can be hard to hear. Focus on what you’re being asked and request clarification if you’re uncertain.

Step 6. Speak Clearly. Remember that on most conference lines, one person cuts out if two people speak at once. Always wait a second before you start speaking to make certain the other person has finished.

Step 7. Follow up. It is important to send a follow-up note or e-mail to each person on the telephone interview panel as soon as the interview is over. You’ll need to collect the contact information and titles for the interviewers.

Mastering the Telephone Interview: Seven Steps to Screen You In Not Out

Connie Dorigan, Founder and Director of Recruiting, sees the food processing industry as the link between good living and good people. She’s the west coast’s most experienced and trusted food processing recruiter. She also provides Executive and Career Coaching and lots of free job search tools. Once you’ve connected with Connie, you’ll always be connected.

© 2018 Connie Dorigan. All rights reserved.

This is a general interest article and does not constitute specific or legal advice.

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