With so job seekers expanding their search area, the telephone interview is fast becoming the new “norm”. The ability to sell yourself to an interviewer over the phone can be much more difficult because you are unable to pick up on non-verbal cues. Preparation is key.
One advantage to telephone interviews is the opportunity to have everything you need to reference right in front of you. Gather your documents ahead of time. By having everything you need right at hand, you can respond easily to the questions. In-person interviews do not allow you the same freedom.
What documents should you have in front of you during the interview?
Have a copy of your resume. Interviews tend to make people nervous. As a result, they tend to forget important facts. Having a resume copy enables you to refer back to it based on the questions. Since you may have different versions of your resume highlighting different skills, make sure it’s the resume you sent to the company.
Have paper and multiple pens or pencils. Don’t spend precious interview time scrambling to find a pen and paper to jot notes. Have a working pen in front of you so you can write down pertinent information. It also allows you to write down any phone numbers or addresses the interviewer may ask you to call following the interview. This will also make you appear to be extremely organized when they ask, “do you have something to write with?”
Have a list of prepared questions you want to ask the interviewer. At the end of the interview you will be asked if you have any questions. Having your list of questions in advance will make the moment much less stressful. For easier review after the interview, leave enough space after each question to write the interviewer’s response.
Finally, use a land-line phone. In a world when cellphones dominate, a land-line is still the best instrument to use for a telephone interview. Cell phones have a tendency to lose signal, become static or even lose battery power at the most inopportune moments. Imagine the impression you would leave if you lost the call right in the middle of the interview.
Interviews are very different when it comes to in-person versus telephone interviewing. As more employers are accommodating nationwide job-seekers, you need to continually step up your interview game. Next time you have a telephone interview, be ready!