Telephone Screening Interviews

Have you ever had a telephone interview and then regretted doing it at the spur of the moment? Maybe you wished you would have asked to schedule the appointment, instead of being caught off guard when the kids were screaming and the dog was barking in the background? Rule number one, “try” to defer the call so you are not put on the spot. Decide on a time that will work for them, but also for you. You need to be able to fully concentrate on the interview and the responses you give. The telephone screening is a quick way to sift through candidates; they are probing for reasons to weed people out of the hiring process. Your key objective is to convince the interviewer you are qualified for the job, and achieve a face-to-face interview. Here are a few pointers.

  • Use a landline. In my opinion they are more reliable that cell phones.
  • If you have call waiting, figure out how you can eliminate it for that period of time.
  • If you have frequent regular visitors, let them know of your interview and not to knock on the door.
  • Get someone to baby sit the kids and the dog.
  • Treat this interview like you would a face-to-face interview. In other words, research the position and the company to which you are interviewing with.
  • Create some notes that include your greatest strengths that are relevant to the position and accomplishments. Have examples to back up your strengths, which should match the competencies of the position.
  • Make sure you have your resume, notes, pad of paper, and a few pencils ready when the interviewer calls.
  • Consider dressing formally like a face-to-face interview. Many individuals tend to act casual when they are dressed casual.
  • The tone of your voice is critical; you need to come across as a passionate and enthusiastic candidate.

The same rules apply as an in-person interview. Make sure you are prepared and can answer the questions including: Why do you want to work for us? or What do you know about or company? Have a few questions ready to ask the interviewer; make sure they are relevant to the job and/or company.

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