The Telephone Interview – 3 Tips to Success
In today’s virtual world, many companies will opt for a phone interview before meeting their short list of candidates in person. Here are 3 tips to help you succeed at that step of the interview process.
#1. Make sure your voicemail message is professional. Here’s an example to use as a guideline: “Hi, you have reached Ellyn Enisman. Your call is important to me, so please leave your name and number and I will return your call as soon as possible.”
#2. Be Prepared! If an employer calls unexpectedly and asks if you have time to interview at that very moment, ask to reschedule. You want to have everything you need in front of you and be prepared. It is okay to say that you are not in a place where you can speak openly and ask to schedule a time and date that would be convenient for them.
#3. Set the Stage. Be sure you’re in a quiet place with no distractions. You’ll want to have a glass of water nearby and to sit at a desk and have your resume, interview prep notes and the job descriptions readily available to you at all times. Be sure to dress the part! Take the time to put on your business suit just as you would for an in-person interview. This will prepare you mentally and physically to be at your very best.
A word of caution: Be Fully Prepared! Ideally, you should have a file folder for each job you have applied to. In that file should be a copy of the job description and your four-column list of what they are looking for, how you match that skill, and scenarios to back up your answers. I cover this extensively in my book, “Job Interview Skills 101” (in the section on preparing for the interview). Your resume should be out as well, along with a pen and blank paper. Any other information about the company should be taken out of the file and placed on the desk as well, in case you need to access it. Also, have your list of questions to ask the employer already prepared and at your fingertips. Ideally, a few sessions with a great Interview Coach will prepare you better than anything else for this step in your process. Making the time and investment in that coach could be the most important decision of your life.
Ellyn Small Enisman, LCSW, Certified Coach
Author of the highly acclaimed book, “Job Interview Skills 101”
PS: To receive more great tips and advice on getting the interview and sidestepping some of the most classic mistakes, sign up for my newsletter at http://CollegeToCareerCoaching.com