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Interview Tips for Jobseekers- Top Tips for Telephone Interviews

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

Telephone (and skype) interviews are frequently being used as part of the hiring process – not just by agencies but also by employers who are  looking to save time and expense in the early stages of the recruitment process.

Any telephone interviews should be taken just as seriously as a face to face interview as they are an important step in the route to getting the job offer- here are some useful tips to ensure that you get the most out of the experience.

1. Prepare ahead of time. Research the company just as you would if you were going to attend a face to face interview.
2. Check to see if the interviewer has a profile on Linkedin or Facebook- it always helps to know something about the person you will be speaking with.
3. Go through the job description in detail beforehand and think about any aspects which you haven’t covered in your  CV – be prepared to clarify how your experience matches any obvious gaps.
4. Have a complete breakdown of your existing remuneration package to hand – don’t give approximate numbers- be precise if asked.
5. Think ahead about likely questions- make notes- think about budgets, numbers etc which you may need to quote- list them!
6. Have any useful documents in a file on your pc- just in case its useful to email them over to the interviewer as part of your discussion
7. Make sure you have the same version of your CV in front of you as the interviewer in case it is referred to.
8. Have examples of your achievements well thought out in advance.

The Telephone Interview  itself

9. Make sure you arrange to take the call for the Telephone Interview somewhere quiet and private where you won’t be disturbed.
10. Try to take call on a landline- if you must take on a mobile then ensure your phone is fully charged! You would be amazed at the number of telephone interviews I have conducted which have been cut short due to phone batteries of interviewees running out!
11. Don’t be afraid to ask questions- the telephone interview is a 2 way information gathering call!
12. Let your personality come through- the interviewer wants to gain a sense of the person as well as just fact finding.
13. Give relevant detail in your answers.
14. Always ask what the next steps are and the anticipated timescales
15. Follow up with a thank you email- you can always add any points which you feel you may not have got across in the call

Note: If you haven’t previously been interviewed over the phone – ask a friend to do a ‘dummy run’ with you  beforehand to help build up your confidence!

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Shona Easton

    April 22, 2012

    Fabulous post! Lots of things to remember – not only for interview calls – but for any business calls! Be prepared! Thanks Ceri!

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