Much advice is given on how to handle face-to-face interviews but, unless you nail the preliminary phone interview, you won’t even reach that second stage.
More and more companies use the phone approach to screen candidates before the more costly (in time and personnel) in-person interviews. Once you have done your homework—learned all you can about the company and your interviewer, listed the questions you will likely be asked and prepared your answers—take some tips from interviewing skills training advisers on how to impress over the phone.
- No interruptions (barking dogs, etc.). Land lines are better but, if you use a cell, charge it up and get the interviewer’s number in case you are cut off.
- No distractions. Clear your desk of all but your notes for the call and focus only on what the interviewer is saying.
- No lengthy speeches. Phone interviews are usually short. Without visual clues as to the interest of your interviewer, it is better to encourage follow-up, clarifying questions that to bore.
- No dropping the ball. Follow the interview with a note of thanks for the opportunity and a summary of the conversation.