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You Rang? Strong Phone Interview Skills Help in the Job Search


March 12, 2001 (SmartPros) If you're in the job market, chances are you've been brushing up on your interviewing skills. But what if your first interview is on the phone? In an Accountemps survey, 58 percent of chief financial officers polled said that screening prospective employees by telephone prior to meeting them is an important stage in the hiring process. Are you prepared?



Hiring managers are investing more time in telephone screenings to maximize the effectiveness of face-to-face interviews. In addition to verifying relevant abilities and experience, phone interviews are used to evaluate an applicant's interest and enthusiasm for the position.

Following are some tips for interviewing well over the phone:

  • Get your thoughts in order. Be prepared to tell the prospective employer why you want the job, and why you are qualified for it. Use the opportunity to gather more information about the opening and the company.  
  • Do your homework. Take time to conduct preliminary research on prospective employers. This will allow you to ask targeted questions during your conversation and give you a competitive edge when it comes to securing an opportunity to interview in person.
  • Be prepared. Create a "hot sheet" for every job for which you apply, and keep it close to the phone for easy accessibility. Your list should include the name of the hiring authority, questions you want to ask and points you'd like to make during the interview. Also, have a copy of your resume on hand.
  • Speak formally. Approach the phone interview with the same business etiquette as you would a face-to-face interview.  And smile as you answer questions, so that you come across as friendly and enthusiastic.
  • Listen carefully. You'll show the interviewer you have good communication skills, and it will give you time to decide how you want to answer a given question.

 

2001, Smartpros Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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