The Buzzz September 2011

In this issue:

Career Advice

How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

By Christy Eichelberger

There are many occasions when a company may need to conduct phone interviews prior to or instead of in-person interviews. Phone interviews are often used if the company is interviewing candidates who live outside of driving distance or if they have received a large number of applicants and they want to rule some out before arranging in-person interviews.

Conducting phone interviews can save companies a lot of money as well as time. Instead of flying a candidate in from another state, for example, a company may choose to first interview him/her over the phone to make sure they are someone they would consider hiring. Once a candidate passes the phone interview, they will typically be asked to come in for an in-person interview before receiving a formal job offer.

Unless you are applying for a position in another state or country, you may not expect to be asked to interview by phone. However, since you never know if a company will choose to go this route, it's important to be prepared for and comfortable with the idea of having a phone interview just in case.

Preparing for a phone interview is much the same as preparing for an in-person interview. You should have a copy of your cover letter and resume with you to refer back to during the interview. You should also be prepared to answer common interview questions and practice your responses ahead of time with a friend or family member.

There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for a phone interview that you might not think about for an in-person interview. While you don't have to worry about dressing up for a phone interview, you do have to be more careful with how you are speaking. It is more difficult to understand someone over the phone without being able to use physical cues or without the aid of seeing expressions and even lip reading. This makes it more important to speak more slowly and more clearly. Also, make sure when you are arranging the interview that there will be no distractions or interruptions. Being interrupted by a barking dog or loud kids will not leave a good impression with interviewers.

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