Telephone Interview Preparation
Congratulations, although we are still in the initial stages of the interview process you and AQS have completed several steps. Your investigation of the company, position, and location resulted in a desire to find out more. The company s review of your skills, education, and achievements have created a favorable impression and they would like to investigate further by scheduling a telephone interview. The goal of the telephone interview is to allow both the candidate and the company gain a better idea of the personality, interests, and other factors that are not conveyed well by a piece of paper. If all goes as we expect, the next step will be a site interview.
Successful interviews require careful preparation and that is the purpose of this review, to assist you in presenting yourself and your skills to your best advantage. Although you may have heard many of these recommendations before, consider the information carefully with the understanding that these proven techniques are presented to ensure your success.
Please be prepared to implement these suggestions.
We have covered general preparation and interviewing skills that are applicable to all interviews on the general interview page. The information below is presented to guide you in a telephone interview. Information specific to the questions you should be ready to ask or answer are covered in more depth on a seperate page you will find by clicking the link.
Pre Interview Preparation
- Company Website - Make another review of the company s web site, making notes of information that would be relevant to your prospective position.
- Other Resources - Make use of any other sources of information available such as network contacts, industry resources, your recruiter s knowledge, etc.
- Resume - Review the information on yur resume. It is the tool that attracted the company's interest and the source of most of their knowledge of you to date. Nothing is more embarrassing (or potentially fatal to your candidacy) than being quizzed on some aspect of your background that appears on the bottom of page two and not being able to remember the details.
- Questions - Begin your list of questions, remember some of these questions will be to gain information while others will be asked for effect. The interviewer does not know the extent of your investigation, the time and effort you have spent to learn about them. Ask questions regarding some technical aspect of a process or procedure that will powerfully demonstrate the extent of your knowledge.
During the Phone Interview
- 1st Impressions - Keep in mind that first impressions are critical. In a telephone conversation you do not have the benefit of body language to help you know what the other person is thinking. Therefore the clarity of your speech and energy/excitement in you voice is very important. The interviewer only has the inflection of your voice to gauge your interest in the position.
- Do not smoke, drink, eat, or chew gum during your interview. Choose a location where the background noise will be minimal and the phone connection will be clear and steady.
- Do not multi-task during this conversation. If your full attention is focused on the interviewer you will create a better impression and a blunder caused by your attention drifting so you miss a key detail is hard to recover from.
- It is not only what you say but how you say it that is important. As each interviewer tries to determine your rightness for the position, be prepared to answer a number of question about the opportunity and how your experience relates to the company s present and future needs. A good method of preparation is to write down points you would like to make and/or relevant answers to questions that will likely be asked.
- Have the questions you compiled in your pre interview preparation with you during the interview - refer to them and make notes as the conversation progresses. Questions to include are What is the next step? , or When is a good time for me to visit with you in person?
- Call AQS as soon as the phone conversation is over. This is important. We followup with the interviewer after the phone contact. With your feedback we can address any point that requires clarification, answer questions, etc.
Keep in mind the tips on the general interview page, especially:
- It is VERY IMPORTANT to always remember that the interviewer is the one who asked the question. So you should tailor your answer to what (s)he needs to know, without a lot of extraneous rambling or superfluous explanation. Why waste time and create a negative impression by giving a sermon when a short prayer would do just fine?
- DO NOT under any circumstances ask any questions regarding salary or benefits. On some occasions interviewers have asked about current salary and expectations. Be honest about your current compensation (my base is__, my bonus is __, my next raise is expected__). In reference to you expectations your answer should be I expect to consider your best offer based on my education and experience, but right now tell me about. . ." The temptation to discuss salary/benefits too soon in the interview process is one of the biggest interviewing traps. There are many reasons the candidate should not set a number. We will cover this several times in our conversations.
Other Points to remember:
- Maintain a positive attitude at all times. An unexpected event, delay, or unusual circumstance might be an excellent opportunity to show the way you operate under pressure, resolve difficulties, and are able to implement creative, workable solutions.
- We are judged by the quality of the questions we pose, they show you possess the knowledge, interest, and expertise to ask them.
- Keep in mind that although interviewing styles may vary, few interviewers can resist a candidate who is obviously excited by the opportunity presented - so, approach the whole process with a positive, enthusiastic, and confident attitude.
- DO NOT say any thing negative about your current or past employers. Remain focused on the positive reasons for change and the goals you are striving for.
- ASK FOR THE SITE VISIT!!!.