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Recently, I received more than a normal level of questions from my clients about what to do on a telephone interview. How is a phone interview similar or different to an in-person interview? How should I prepare?


What's The Purpose Of A Phone Interview?

If you have asked the same questions, here are the basics to a successful telephone interview.

The Basics

What is the purpose of a telephone interview? A recruiter or HR manager schedules telephone interviews for the sole purpose of deciding who will come in for an in person interview or who will be cut from the hiring process. This is an initial screening of the candidates whose resume made the cut thus far. What is my goal in a telephone interview? Your goal is to build a relationship with the interviewer which brings them to the point of wanting you to come in for a full interview. You will build a relationship and explain why you bring value to the company and position. Find something in common you both have. Explain what excites you about the opportunity at XYZ company. Sell the interviewer. Tell them what strengths you bring to the table that will help XYZ company grow their business. See my article on buying motivators. What is similar in a telephone interview versus an in-person interview? Preparation for the interview, selling yourself, and building connection are the three areas that are similar between the two forms of interviews. How should I prepare? Your preparation is similar to that of an in-person interview. You should still research the company on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, their website, and company press releases. You should know about their business and the challenges or opportunities they are facing in the market. Have key interview questions prepared and ready to answer just as you would for an in-person interview. Be prepared to explain why you are interested in this company, and position, and what sparks you about their company. Have your questions ready to ask as well. Find out what the next steps are in the process to hire for this position. Finally, ask for the in-person meeting! Make a statement such as, “I would love to discuss the XXX (topic you just went over) in person. When can we set up a meeting?” Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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