Telephone Interview Tips for Job Seekers

Remember this and you’ll do better than 95% of the people who receive calls….

  1. Be informed about the company and its products. This means do homework (research) on target companies BEFORE they call for an interview. Be enthusiastic and positive. “I’m glad you called. XYZ is the best medical facility in the county, and I’m excited about the chance to be a part of your team!”
  2. Ask questions in a proactive manner without waiting until the end of the interview to be asked if you have any questions. “What do you see as the major challenge facing your department?” or “What are the most important attributes the person you plan to hire should possess?”
  3. Do not ramble. Stay within a few clear and descriptive sentences that address the topic.
  4. Provide answers that tell a vivid story, not just vague descriptors of your value. Always try to give a concrete example – who, what, where, when, how, and with what result.

Handling The First 5 Minutes Of The Call

  1. Answer the phone with a happy, upbeat voice. Don’t answer sleepy-sounding or grumpy, and perk up upon learning it’s someone calling about a job. Too late, you already turned the caller off.
  2. Be in a quiet place with time to talk. Sound composed, confident, and enthusiastic with knowledge of the company.
  3. Take the lead in the conversation. Open with a sincere appreciation – “so glad you called,” etc. Show enthusiasm for the company, what you’ve heard, seen, used, etc.
  4. Continue to take the initiative after being told who/why is calling. Don’t sit and wait for the assault. Ask questions first to avoid rambling on about details of yourself or sounding desperate. “Before I start telling you about myself, could you describe to me your ideal candidate for the position?”…“What are you looking for this person to achieve?”…“What is the long-term focus of the company?”…”What are your biggest challenges?”…“Is this a growth position?”
  5. Be sure to have a notepad, the resume/letter you sent, and the job description at hand from the start.

Ending The Call

  1. Ask if there is anything else they would like to know that you did not provide with your answers.
  2. Ask what happens next and what you might expect.
  3. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and reiterate your interest in the opportunity.

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