Telephone Interview
Six Steps to Acing It!

Telephone interviews are becoming more popular these days.

Sometimes they're used as a simple pre-screening technique; other times they are an invaluable way for companies to consider candidates who live far away.

Some employers hope to catch you unprepared in order to see if you can think on your feet and if you have superior communication skills.

So, if you are prepared for the call, you'll ace the test. If you are invited to participate in a telephone interview, here are six tips for acing it.

  1. Take the call when you're ready. If an employer calls and wants to do the interview when you're not expecting it and you are completely unprepared, excuse yourself politely ("I'm just finishing something right now. May I please call you back in 10 minutes?") This will give you time to prepare.

  2. Get rid of distractions. Take the call on a phone in a quiet room - away from radio, television, family, roommates, or anything else that may make noise or take your attention away from your task.

  3. Gather your tools by the phone. These include:

    • Your resume
    • Pen and paper to jot down notes, including the interviewer's name
    • Company research (with relevant information highlighted)
    • Questions to ask about the company and position
    • A list of your selling points to mention and items to cover as you talk about the position. These include your best qualities, specific experience and skills related to the position, and personal traits such as dedication, enthusiasm, and team-building skills.

  4. Stand up to talk. Your position affects the quality of your voice. If you are sitting down relaxing, you don't project the same enthusiasm and intensity as you do if you're standing up. Also, smile as you're talking. It will come through in your voice. If you think it will help you speak more professionally (and many people do believe this), dress like you would if you were in a face-to-face job interview).

  5. Make a professional sales presentation. You are selling yourself, so make sure you do it well... Just as you would during an in-person interview. Ensure that you've covered all the selling points on your list. (You do have a list, don't you?)

  6. Let the employer end the interview. When it's obvious the conversation is over, don't try to drag it on. Say "Thank you for your time," reiterate your interest in the position, and ask what the next step will be.

Follow these steps, perform well on the telephone, and you'll be invited to an on-site interview with the hiring manager! has a great page about Telephone Interviews, too.

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Additional Job Interview Q&A; Info

For even more information about job interview questions and how to answer them, consider the "Job Interview Success System."

One of the 5 key components of this system is a 31-page report entitled "How to Give Job-Winning Answers to Interview Questions." In addition to giving more tips and strategies on general answering techniques, it lists 45 of the easiest, toughest, silliest and most common job interview questions as well as how to respond to them.