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Preparing for Interviews - Overview - Areas of Expertise - Employee Testimonials - FAQs
  • ALWAYS treat the phone interview as seriously as you would a face-to-face interview. A phone interview may seem informal on the surface, but it is your only opportunity to progress the hiring process. Not preparing for it as well as you would for a face-to-face interview will result in the loss of an opportunity. Do your homework. Research the company, ask your Recruiter and account manager questions, study the job description, know your resume, and practice your responses to anticipated questions.
  • Phone interviews can be tricky, especially since you aren’t able to read or convey non-verbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions. The key is preparation. The goal of a phone interview is to either obtain an invitation for a face-to-face interview, or be extended an offer.
  • Where will you be when you take the phone call? It should be a quiet place, where there are NO interruptions! If the call is at home, make sure it is at a place where distractions such as children, door bells, TV, etc. will not be an issue. If it is at work, make sure that you will be in a place, where you can speak freely without fear of a co-worker or the boss walking in. If this means scheduling a conference room, then do so.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum! If you have call waiting, turn it off, or if that is not possible – don’t answer it! Keep the computer screen turned off. All of your attention should be focused on the interview, just as you would focus on a face-to-face interview. Turn off your pager, or keep it out of sight. Turn off pagers and cell phones. Do not take other calls.
  • Use a high-quality phone. Keep the phone a good distance from your mouth so that you aren’t muffled.
  • It is important that you speak louder, clearer, and slower than you normally would. You don’t have opportunity for non-verbal communication. Clear verbal communication is important. The person interviewing you must be able to understand you.
  • Never use a speakerphone! If your interviewers have you on a speakerphone, remember to speak louder, slower, and clearer than normal. It’s acceptable to ask someone to repeat a question or statement during the interview. If there are multiple interviewers, it is also acceptable to ask which person is speaking.
  • Remember to let your interviewers finish their statements. On speakerphones, when you both talk at the same time, no one can hear.
  • Never use a cell phone, and if at all possible, don’t use a cordless phone. This isn’t the time to use a phone that cuts in and out, which may make it difficult for you to hear and understand each other.
  • Sit up straight, or better still, stand up while speaking, and you may even want to walk around. Research has shown that there is a psychological advantage to standing, which makes you feel more knowledgeable and confident. Additionally, standing up and walking around makes you sound clearer, and more energetic.
  • Don’t leave a note pad in front of you. If you like to doodle, you might get distracted. If you take too many notes, you might not listen to the questions. Once you have completed the phone call, you may jot down all you can remember, and follow up with more questions later.
  • Have a copy of your resume in front of you. You might also want to prepare supporting materials that relate to information in your resume, such as documents you’ve designed or written or a portfolio of your various projects. (Tip: don’t have too many distracting documents in front of you. You may want to highlight or make bullet points of relevant experience, and lay them out the night before).
  • Make a cheat sheet. In a face-to-face interview, you do not have this opportunity, so take advantage of it. You might want to write down a few notes about the most critical points you want to make, and certain skills and experiences you would like to emphasize. If the interviewer has not given you an opportunity to discuss them during the course of the interview, you may want to bring them up at the end of the session, when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, or additional comments.
  • You might want to shower and dress up just as you would for a face-to-face interview. Focusing on a professional appearance will have a positive psychological impact.
  • Try to make sure that most of your questions are answered before ending the interview.
  • The goal of most phone interviews is to get a face-to-face interview, or obtain an offer. Show interest in moving to the next step. The difference between getting to the next interview and obtaining an offer could be the level of enthusiasm you show.
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