Preparing for a Phone Interview - Check List - Do’s & Don’ts

Congratulations on getting to the very important first step of a Phone Interview with our client company.  This is a significant step to have achieved and you should be as prepared as possible for it.  Therefore, please review the list below of tips and suggestions: 

  1. Isolate Yourself - Phone interviews place you at a disadvantage because you only have one tool of communication, your voice. The interviewer's impression of you is shaped by all the sounds coming through the phone. Insulate yourself from distractions and background noises. Do not have your phone interview when you are surrounded by a lot of noise like an outdoor cafe at a busy intersection. If the call is on your cell phone make sure the caller can hear you clearly.

  2. Make sure you are ready for the phone interview when scheduled.  (Preferably be by your phone 15 minutes early)  If there is an emergency or you do not get a call within 15 minutes of the planned time, try calling either the Company Interviewer or myself.

  3. Allow enough time for the full interview and don’t rush to cut it short. (Usually 20-45 minutes).  Be ready to schedule a second phone interview if asked.
  1. Visit the client company’s Web Site and become familiar with who they are and what they produce or make.  Also note any recent news developments that may be pertinent.

  2. Be flexible and positive - Even though you are only on a phone interview, there may be additional people brought in to the call.  Strive to make the best impression with all people that you talk to as you never know who the key influencers are.  A good rule of thumb is to always be positive with everyone you talk with in any interview situation.

  3. Get the Names and Titles - Focus on getting the name(s) and title(s) correct when you talk to any person(s) on an interview.  Confirm you have it right if not certain.

  4. Remember to have a smile - When you talk, it comes across the phone believe it or not!  During the call you can standup, walk around and smile. All these things make a big difference in the projection and quality of your voice.

  5. Listen fully - Wait until the complete question is asked before you answer it.  Do not interrupt.

  6. Toot your Horn Tactfully - No matter how successful you have been, try not to blow your own horn too much.  Be careful not to project arrogance, as it is a real turn-off in the interview.  However, when appropriate, do not be afraid to describe your successes and accomplishments.  (Delivery is everything)

  7. Be Prepared to Ask Good Questions - Most interviewers will be positively impressed when you ask meaningful and good questions that show you are selective and interested in knowing about the actual position, company’s future direction and past history of success.  You should also reference Interview Questions a Candidate Might Ask a Company.

  8. Be prepared to Answer Questions - There are some questions that you almost expect in any interview such as where you see yourself being career-wise in five years possibly even ten years.  You should also reference Interview Questions a Company Might Ask a Candidate.

  9. Be prepared to answer the question of what are your greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses.  Have a good weakness such as I work too hard at times, or I am so competitive that I just don’t give up etc…

  10. Be prepared to discuss your income expectations if it comes up.  In most cases will not in a phone interview but just in case be prepared.   (We will give the company an idea of your comfort zone)

  11. Express your interest – Let the interviewer know that you are interested in the position and in pursuing the opportunity to the next.   (Many times the person getting an on site interview where there are two equally strong candidates is the one who wants it the most by expressing a genuine interest.

  12. State your ability and desire to do the job if you are truly interested in it.

  13. Ask what the next step will be – You should ask what the time parameters are going to be before an actual On-Site interview and hiring decisions will be made.  You have the right to know and they need to know that you are an expandable commodity in demand by others.

  14. Be prepared with a copy of your resume – Have a copy of the same resume that we submitted for you available that you can reference.  This is in case the interviewer starts asking questions that pertain to it.

  15. Make the best possible impression - Even on a phone interview, be striving to make the best impression.   You may not yet be 100% sold on the job, but you never know the future!  Burned bridges are hard to repair and you always want to have the ball in your court. 

  16. Do Your Best & Don’t Make Assumptions.  If not sure of something, ask a clarifying question.  If you think the other person has misunderstood you, clarify and re-state your thoughts and meaning.

  17. Be Positive, Enthusiastic and above all Honest to a “T”, it always pays off!

  18. Ask What's Next? - At the conclusion, it is ok to ask the interviewer about next steps and timing of their hiring process.  Remember that your objective (during the phone interview) is to secure a face-to-face interview.

  19. Facebook Caution - If you use Facebook or any other public social media profile, please make sure that there is nothing on it that that you would not want a prospective employer to see or learn about.  Many Employers do reference and review these sites and the content they see should be as positive as possible.

  20. Even though this is a phone interview and not an on-site one, here is an excellent video that offers some excellent Tips and Guidelines for having a great interview that may well apply.

Thank you again for allowing me to work with and for you and I look forward to your feedback after your interview.  Please don't hesitate to call me if you have any additional questions and have a great interview!

Quality Search, 1820 Graham Drive • Chesterton • IN • 46304-1627 • (219) 926-7772 (HQ)

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