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Telephone Job Interview Skills-How to Get to the Next Level!

Telephone interview skills preparation


telephone interview skills guideThe telephone job interview in the job hunt is the critical threshold that you have to successfully cross to get the job.

You’ve spent time researching the desired job, you’ve learned a lot about the prospective employer and your resume and cover letter would win awards. Congratulations, you’ve made the cut perhaps out of hundreds of resumes you are in the top 20 or 30. But what do you have to do to earn a face-to-face interview? The best way is to strengthen your telephone interview skills through preparation and effective communication.

Reasons for the telephone interview in the job hunting process

First, let’s look at the reason for the telephone interview. If the employer had face-to-face interviews with everyone who had the basic qualifications for the job hunting process would take weeks and perhaps months longer to complete. The telephone interview is a quick and efficient way to winnow the probable list down to a manageable group.

A smaller group that can be interviewed in a few days, the face-to-face interviews scheduled in a week or so and a hiring decision made and the person brought on board in a few weeks. Therefore it's imperative that you pass this test with superior telephone interview skills.

The first steps in a great telephone interview

So when you receive the call for the telephone interview and are asked if now would be a good time for the interview? Please don’t say right now. You have to prepare for the interview. You have to be in the right place with your reference materials in front of you.

So if you are sharpest in the morning set it up for the morning, etc. Have the employer call your good cell phone (be sure the battery is 100% charged) or a land line. Or if possible set a time when you’ll call them. Then be prompt in making the call.

Get the name and title of the person calling. Since you’ve sent out dozens of resumes, also learn the name of the company, the job and their location.

Key job interview research and preparation

Now you have some additional job interview skills to build on and company research to do. Reintroduce yourself to the job, the company and the industry. If the job is located in another area some study of that area is in order. Don't overlook this step in honing your job interview skills, stumble on this step and you can kiss this job opportunity goodbye.

Make a list of the top five qualifications and required experiences listed for the job. In each category list your achievements.

Draft a short (20-30 second) story on each accomplishment. In summary-what was the situation, what were your asked to do, what actions you took and what difficulties were overcome and what were the results.

Always look for way to quantify the results. Remember 19.2% is accurate, while 20% is an estimate. The interviewer will normally place greater value on an accurate amount.

Google the name of the interviewer. You never know when something interesting will pop-up. If you have an impressive page or two in Google; you’ve written published articles, issued press releases, gave a speech or otherwise had something positive mentioned about you on the internet be sure to weave it into your telephone interview.

Mock job interview preparation

Have a friend call you and ask 10-20 relevant questions. Record the interview. In the play back did you exhibit energy, was there a smile in your voice, and was your tone calm and business-like? If there were any problems work to get them fixed. If necessary, post reminders in front of you, when you do the interview. Use these key job interview skills to make the right impression.

A good technique is to make the call with a mirror in front of you to remind you to frequently smile during the interview.

Job interview presentation skills

Now you’re in a quit area, you’ve make arrangements not to be disturbed, and you’re ready to do a great job on the telephone interview. Also, have at hand 4-6 questions about the challenges of the job, the department and the company. The answers to these questions will help you with framing your answers.

At the conclusion of the interview, ask for the probable schedule of the face-to-face interviews and when it’s appropriate and who to follow-up with.

And don’t forget the all important thank-you letter to reinforce you comments that you are excited about the job and its challenges. The thank-you letter also allows you to expand on any answers that may have been weak or incomplete.

With this study and preparation for the telephone job interview is there any doubt that you will qualify for the next level?

For more information on preparing for the all important face-to-face interview go to job interviewing skills.   And if you need help in dealing with the different and unusual interview question we have you covered in preparing for the off the wall job interview question.

Another good exercise in to review the start of your job hunting journey by taking another look at your career planning after 50. This information is valid from someone in their 20's and just starting and someone in midlife. There is valuable career planning information here for everyone.



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