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Phone Interviews: Tips And Secrets

Aug 17, 2007
Phone interviews are not much different from face to face interviews, but some employers do continue the practice for pre screening candidates for actual interviews. But the candidates' perspective varies and many of them get unnecessarily tense about this because of sudden adrenalin shoot up.

You can turn the table around in your favor, if you take it in the right spirit and face it positively. Following tips help you understand the anatomy and ways to handle phone interviews successfully.

Tips And Secrets Of Successful Phone Interviews

One major difference between phone interviews and face to face interviews is that you can't see each other. Secondly, phone etiquette differs from that of personal interview etiquette. Here are some tips to phone interviews that help ensure that you get a call for the actual interview.

1. When you indicate your willingness for phone interview specify the time that suits you. This allows you to avoid cell phone conversations. Using a cell phone for an interview is a dicey proposition, because of the possibility of dropped calls, bad connections, etc.

2. If you sense trouble with telephone interview, do a rehearsal or a mock phone interview with a friend.

3. Ensure that you are available at the chosen time and that your voicemail or answering machine is turned off. If your answering machine comes on, you might annoy the interviewer.

4. Be prepared at the specified time with your resume, a list of your achievements, and pen & pad for taking notes nearby.

5. Make sure the kids go out; turn off TV or stereo.

Since you can't see each other face to face, short pauses can become uncomfortable. The interviewer might be thinking of an additional question related to the previous one. Be patient unless you have to ask something about the question.

Additional Etiquette tips are listed below:

Phone Interview Etiquette

1. Don't do anything that could disrupt the interview. Eating, drinking, smoking or over enthusiastic talking all cause unnecessary interruptions.

2. Never miss the call. If you are not home at the appointed time, a human voice (relative) would be better as an answering machine might annoy the caller. If you think that you will miss the call for some reason, ALWAYS call the interviewer before they call and realize that you are not available.

3. Ask for the caller's name and confirm it is for the interview. If you have genuine reasons to reschedule the interview, explain it at this stage and suggest a new time.

4. Use the person's title with his or her last name.

5. It is fine to take a moment to think about your answers. Enunciate clearly, making your answers short and to the point.

6. Avoid sneezing and coughing while on the phone and when you can't avoid it, say 'excuse me'.

7. Your smile can be heard over the phone. Smile as you would do in an actual interview.

8. Avoid answering in short yes or no answers. Always elaborate if you can.

9. Discuss the salary issue only if brought up by the interviewer first.

10. At no point in time should you get into an argument with the interviewer over any issue.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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