The Telephone Interview

You are dressed and ready for that interview but things change at the last minute. The company decides on a telephone interview, rather than in person. OK, so much for the brief panic attack but you can handle it, I promise.
The telephone interview is, perhaps, the most difficult and intimidating interview known to the industry because your voice is the only focal point on the Marquee; however, it can also be a fun challenge with the correct preparation.
Some employers prefer the phone interview as the initial screening or, perhaps consider it as the entire interview, depending on their requirements. Your telephone presentation is just as important as your initial appearance; if not more so.
Prior to the interview, depending on how much notification you are given, try recording your voice on a small cassette or, a cell phone that offers the Voice Recorder Feature.
This gives you an idea of how your voice sounds to others and how it will come across to the interviewer. Remember your voice sounds different in person than it does on the telephone.
If time permits, you might want to try a test run phone interview. Ask a family member or, friend to participate in this recorded session. Chances are they will also be interested to hear how their voice comes across, as well.
Your Checklist will include the following:
  •  Quiet room or, area
  •  Land-line telephone (works best – disable the call-waiting feature. Do not use cell phones since they tend to drop calls)
  •  Glass of water
  •  Pen or, pencil and paper for taking notes. The notes should be attached to the resume  for later back-referencing
  •  Copy of Resume and a list of professional references
  •  Questions you have regarding the company
Most important, remember to:
Sit while the interviewer is speaking; then stand while giving your response. If you recall how many times you stand while chatting on the phone to emphasize a point.
Standing reinforces and strengthens your voice while making a statement. Good diction and vocabulary is very important; speak clearly at all times
Avoid using the “um” word. This often happens when the brain goes blank and cannot produce the next word. It is better to pause for a few seconds, giving your brain a chance to catch up then complete your sentence.
Why the glass of water?
During any long conversation, the palate becomes parched. The last thing you need or, want is to be choking or, coughing extensively and having to apologize for this human disruption.
While the interviewer speaks, sip a few drops of water slowly and quietly to moisten your palate. No gulping, please – this is not feeding time at the zoo.
Lastly, always follow up with a handwritten Thank You Note to the interviewer. Penmanship is considered the “Lost Art”, yet also defines one’s character more so than the resume.
While Hallmark Crown cards say it all, the blank Thank You Note with your handwritten appreciation is the most impressive and will be integrated into your profile.
Okay – the phone just rang – It’s Showtime!
Good Luck!

Image Credit: NEC Corporation of America - CreativeCommons