It is not uncommon for an employer to set up several rounds of interviews before making a final decision on hiring an applicant. After reviewing all of the submitted applications and resumes, you may receive word from the potential employer that a phone interview is being requested. It is important that you respond to the phone interview promptly and begin making preparations for it. A good impression during the phone interview could lead to a face-to-face interview.
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Call the prospective employer back within 24 hours with your calendar in hand. Be ready to rearrange your schedule so that you are available when the employer wants to conduct the interview. Some appointments can't be helped, but errands can always be run around the interview. If you have to work, try scheduling the interview during a lunch break or before or after your shift.
Speak to the potential employer with both confidence and enthusiasm. This will help you stand out among the other applicants. This important when you respond to schedule the interview and when you participate in the actual interview.
Mention one or two qualifications that make you the best candidate for the job. Slide this in the conversation naturally; don't force it. You will have a chance to speak about all of your qualifications during the interview itself. Again, you just want to make a good impression that will make the employer look forward to the actual interview.
Select the date and time that work best for both parties and repeat that date and time to the employer. This lets the potential employer know you are detail-oriented and that you are serious about making yourself available at the designated time.
Thank the employer for the opportunity to be interviewed further and let him know that you enjoyed speaking with him briefly to arrange the phone interview. This lets you end the conversation on a good note.
Prepare for the phone interview by researching the company and coming up with a few questions of your own. Employers aren't just looking for employees who can answer questions about themselves; they are looking for an individual who is interested in becoming a part of their company.
Tips and warnings
- Keep your resume handy so that can reference and expand on certain points during your phone interview.
- Dressing as if you were meeting the employer in person is a great way to make yourself feel like a confident professional, which should carry over to the phone conversation.
- Do not chew gum, smoke a cigarette or take a sip of a drink during the telephone interview. This is not professional, and the potential employer will be able to hear you doing these things through the phone.
- Never respond with just a "yes" or a "no." Always expand on your answers so the potential employer can get a better feel for who you are and what you would bring to the company.
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