What is the correct etiquette for telephone interviews

Get some great phone interview tips

While looking for a job, it is important that you have prepared for a short-term telephone interview. Many companies start the interview process with a phone call to speak to a prospective employee about the job opportunity, to determine if the candidate is a good fit, and to assess their interest in the job.

In many cases, your interview will be scheduled in advance by email or phone. In other cases, you may get a surprise call.

You never know when a recruiter or network contact will call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk on the phone. So you should always make professional calls, especially if the phone number is unknown. You should also make sure that your outgoing voicemail message is professional.

Why companies use phone interviews

Why do companies use telephone interviews? Employers use telephone interviews to find and recruit candidates for employment. Telephone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who are invited for face-to-face interviews.

They also serve to minimize the expense of interviewing candidates outside of the city. For remote positions, a phone interview may be the only thing you have.

How to set up a phone interview

Before going on the phone to interview for a job, review these phone interview tips and techniques so that you can grab the interview and make it to the next round.

Prepare for a telephone interview as you would a regular face-to-face meeting. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and a list of answers to typical telephone interview questions. Also, provide a list of questions to ask the interviewer.

If you have an interview advance notice, check the job description and do a little research on the company.

Take the time to compare your qualifications against the job description so you can speak out why you are a strong candidate for the position. Check your resume too. Know when you held each job and what your responsibilities were.

You should feel comfortable and ready to confidently discuss your background and skills over the phone.

Practice interview

Calling on the phone is not as easy as it seems. As with a face-to-face interview, practice can be helpful. Not only will this help you rehearse answers to common telephone interview questions, but it will also help you identify if you are having a lot of verbal tics, not speaking, or speaking too fast or too slowly.

Have a friend or family member do a mock interview to try and write it down so you can see you ring the phone. Once you have a recording, you'll hear your "ums" and "uhs" and "okays" and then practice cutting them down from your conversational language. Listening to the recording can also help you find answers that you can improve upon.

Get ready for the call

Before you call, confirm all the details, including the date, time and contact person. Make sure you know if the interviewer is calling you or if you need to make the call.

Use a quiet, comfortable, and private space with no distractions so you can focus on the interview.

Telephone interview tips

Follow these tips for a successful phone interview:

  • Make a checklist. Review the job posting and make a list of how your qualifications match the hiring criteria. Leave the list available so you can see it during the interview.
  • Keep your resume open on the desk or stick it on the wall near the phone. So you always have access to your questions.
  • Have a pen and paper handy to take notes.
  • Turn off call waiting so that your call is not interrupted.
  • If the time is not right, ask if there will be another time for you to speak and suggest alternatives.
  • Clear the room - drive away the children and pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Shut the door.
  • If you have a landline, use it instead of your cell phone. This way you will eliminate the possibility of poor reception or dropped calls.

Do's and don'ts during the telephone interview

  • Use the person's title (Mr or Ms and their last name). Only use their first name when they ask you to.
  • Not smoke, chew gum, eat or drink.
  • Have a glass of water ready. It's not much worse than a tickle in the throat or a cough starting when you have to talk on the phone. Have a glass of water handy so you can take a quick sip if your mouth is dry or if you have a throat in the throat.
  • Smile. Smiling projects a positive image for the listener and changes the tone of your voice. It can also be helpful to stand during the interview as it usually gives your voice more energy and enthusiasm.
  • Concentrate you , listen and publish. Focusing on the interview is important, and this can be harder on the phone than in person. Be sure to listen to the question, ask for clarification if you are not sure what the interviewer is asking, and speak slowly, carefully, and clearly as you answer. It's okay to take a few seconds to compose your thoughts before responding.
  • Don't interrupt the interviewer.
  • Take your time - it's perfectly fine to take a moment to collect your thoughts.
  • Make take notes. It's hard to remember what you discussed afterwards, so take brief notes during the interview.
  • Give short answers.
  • Do you have Questions to ask the interviewer. Be prepared to respond if the interview asks if you have any questions for him. Review these questions to ask the interviewer and prepare a few ahead of time.
  • They think Remember, your goal is to have a face-to-face conversation. At the end of the conversation, after thanking the interviewer, ask if it would be possible to meet in person.

Check out more phone interviews that you should and shouldn't be doing.

Proper telephone interview etiquette

Review these guidelines for appropriate telephone interview etiquette to help you make the best impression on your interviewer.

Answer the phone yourself , let family members and / or roommates know that you are expecting a call. When you answer the phone, answer by name, e.g. Jane Doe (with a perverted tone) so the interviewer knows he has reached the right person.

use while talking the title of the interviewer (Mr or Ms and their surname). Only use a first name when prompted. Otherwise, use the formal title.

Listen carefully to the interviewer and don't start speaking until the interviewer has finished the question. When you have something you want to say, write it down on your notepad and mention it when it's your turn.

If it takes a few seconds to think about a reaction, don't worry but don't leave too much dead air. If you need the interviewer to repeat the question, ask.

Follow up after the interview

When the interview is over, you should thank the interviewer. Ask for the interviewer's email address if you don't already have it. Send an email with a thank you, thanking the interviewer and reiterating your interest in the job. Also, use your thank you note as a way to provide information about your qualifications that you weren't able to mention during the phone interview.

Once the interview is over, carefully review any notes you were able to take during the interview. Make a note of the type of questions you were asked, how you answered, and any other questions you have when given the opportunity for a face-to-face or telephone second-round interview.