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INTERVIEWS

TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS

Many employers conduct telephone interviews to screen candidates for basic qualifications. It is also an alternative when it is not practical to invite an out-of-area candidate to the office.

Telephone interviews can be challenging because it is more difficult to gain rapport with the interviewer because you cannot see the interviewer's non-verbal reactions and cues. Conversely, the interviewer cannot see your enthusiastic expressions or professional appearance. This places all the weight on your phone manners, clarity of speech, voice tone and the content of your answers.

Here is a quick tip list for excelling at a telephone interview:

Before the Phone Interview

Talking on the phone isn't as easy as it seems. I've always found it's helpful to practice. Have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview and tape record it so you can see how you sound over the phone. Any cassette recorder will work. You'll be able to hear your "ums" and "uhs" and "okays" and you can practice reducing them from your conversational speech. Also rehearse answers to those typical questions you'll be asked.

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Conduct a mock telephone interview with a friend to gain feedback on your voice quality and speech.

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Before the interview, prepare talking points for the call including value you bring to the company and specific questions.

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Keep your resume in clear view, on the top of your desk, or tape it to the wall near the phone, so it's at your fingertips when you need to answer questions.

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Turn call-waiting off so your call isn't interrupted.

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If the time isn't convenient, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives.

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Clear the room - evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door.

During the Phone Interview

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Treat the phone interview as you would a face-to-face interview.

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Don't smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink.

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Do keep a glass of water handy, in case you need to wet your mouth.

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Select a quiet, private room with a telephone in good working condition.

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Arrange the following items: your resume, cover letter, copy of application if you submitted one, highlights of corporate information and brief talking points.

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Have a short list of your accomplishments available to review.

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Use the person's title (Mr. or Ms. and their last name.) Only use a first name if they ask you to.

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Write down the full names and titles of each call participant.

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Breathe deeply and relax. Speak slowly, clearly and with purpose. Enunciate clearly.

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Smile, it changes your speech and the person on the other end can sense it.

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Be courteous and try not to speak over the interviewer. If you do, apologize and let the interviewer continue.

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Take your time - it's perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts.

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Give short answers.

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Dress in business attire.

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Have a pen and paper handy for note taking.

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Support your statements with detailed examples of accomplishments when possible. It is easy for someone to get distracted on a phone call, so paint a vivid picture to keep the interviewer interested.

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Explain any pauses in your speech to ponder a question or take notes.

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If you think of a question or comment while the interviewer is speaking, jot a note on your talking points list, so you remember it later.

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During the interview, if the interviewer inadvertently answers a question from your prepared list, cross it off. If you forget and ask it, it will seem as if you were not listening.

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Offer to provide additional information or answer other questions.

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Use your talking points list of specific skills and accomplishments; cross them off as you work them into the conversation. At the end, if you have some uncrossed items, you might say something like, "I thought you might be interested to know I led a major conversion project, quite similar to what you are planning. I managed a $2.5 million budget and completed it 45 days early, saving over $48,000."

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Before ending the call, be sure you know the next step in the process, and offer to provide any additional information needed.

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Remember your goal is to set-up a face-to-face interview. After you thank the interviewer ask if it would be possible to meet in person.

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Do not hang up until the interviewer has hung up.

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Promptly send a formal follow-up / thank you letter, just as you would for a face-to-face interview.

After the Interview

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Take notes about what you were asked and how you answered.

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Remember to say "thank you." Follow with a thank you note which reiterates your interest in the job.

http://www.seekingsuccess.com/articles/art167.php3
http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/interviews/a/phoneinterview.htm


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Behavioural Interviews

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Types of Interviews

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Sample Questions

Behavioural Interview Questions    Traditional Interview Questions    Case Interview Questions
Education    Previous Jobs    Company / Job    Questions determining your Competence
Questions on Wages / Salaries    Personal Characteristics    Your Community Involvement

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Questions You Can Ask

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Questions Not to Ask


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5 employer concerns

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Before the interview
    
Commonly asked questions in a traditional interview
    Commonly asked questions in a behavioural interview
    Questions to Ask
    Questions Not to Ask
    References
    Dress for the Interview
    Anxiety

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Researching before your interview

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During the interview

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After the interview
     Thank You Letters

Interviews