Employers conduct telephone interviews before an in-person interview to determine your communication skills, telephone skills and your ability to handle stress. The employer will use telephone interviews as a screening device to reduce the number of candidates to interview in-person, which saves time and money.
The Surprise Telephone Interview
A surprise telephone interview is when an employer calls your to ask a few questions. To be prepared always have:
- Your resume near the telephone
- A list of companies you have sent your resume to
- A quiet environment clear of other people, pets and noise
The Scheduled Telephone Interview
As with in-person interviews, you want to research the company, have questions prepared for the employer and match your skills to what the employer wants.
- Pretend the employer can “see” you; stand up, do not lie on the couch
- Know your resume. Do not assume the employer knows a lot about your background
- Demonstrate how your accomplishments are a match between your background and the position you applied for
- Listen carefully to questions to understand thoroughly, repeat the question to confirm understanding
- Have questions prepared that illustrate your knowledge and interest in the company
- Smile-the employer can tell the difference in your voice, a positive attitude can make a major difference
- Know your salary requirements
- At the end of the interview, indicate interest in the position and ask what the next steps are in the interview process