Face time, of course, is best if you’re interviewing for a job. However, headhunters and many companies schedule introductory telephone interviews.

Pat yourself on the back. Even if it’s not an in-person meeting, a telephone interview is a good omen. The employer already thinks enough of you to schedule a discussion.

It’s an opportunity to confidently discuss your background and experience while displaying your personality — your suitability to fit in the company’s culture.

So, your professionalism is really important — what you say and how you say it, your voice tone and pitch, as well as your conviction and passion for the job and industry.

Here are telephone-interview tips:

– Prepare for the interview. When asked to be interviewed, find out who the interviewer will be and how long the person wants to talk with you.

Review the job description. Take notes so that you’ll be able to mention your successes that address the company’s objectives.

Be ready with your notes, and your cover letter and resume so you can refer to them — whether it’s an interview on the phone (or in-person later).

– Confirm the appointment. If you have the person’s e-mail address, e-mail a confirmation or do so in a telephone message. This will keep you focused. It will show you’re organized.

It will also constitute an opportunity for you — the more positive contacts you have with an employer, the more you increase your odds for success. Typically, five positive contacts will increase your chances.

– Manage the interview process. Avoid extemporaneous interviews. If you’re surprised by a phone call to ask you questions, empathize and thank the person but don’t submit to an interview.

Ask for a later time for a telephone discussion. This will buy you time to prepare — to review your thoughts about the opening, the company, and what you hope to contribute as an employee. 

Think up several questions — preferably five or so — to ask the interviewer. This will help you to shine vs. your competing applicants. 

– Speak well in the interview. You’re likely to be nervous so before answering the phone, take deep breaths. During the discussion, talk from your diaphragm while standing. Yes, stand during the interview. 

This will help you to sound confident, which is a major attraction for good employers. (Just don’t walk around, as your footsteps and heavier breathing will likely be a distraction for the interviewer.)

Take your time in answering questions. If you’re unsure about how to answer a question, ask that it be repeated. This will give you additional time to refer to your materials or to think and answer the question strategically.

– Conclusion steps. When it’s obvious the interview has ended, ask what you can expect in the next steps. Without gushing, sincerely express your appreciation for the interview opportunity and your desire to work in the company’s desired role, if the firm feels you’re suitable.

Handwrite a thank you note. Thank the person, mention a topic or two from the telephone chat that you appreciate, offer your personal branding statement (why you’re a good a fit for their job description-expectations) and a buyer’s remorse statement (how pleased they’ll be after hiring you).

Immediately head to the post office before the last mail dispatch, so that your note goes out right away. Make every attempt to make certain your thank-you note arrives the next day.

From the Coach’s Corner, related content:

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HR – Interviewers Give Higher Marks to Applicants Interviewed Early in the Day — Interviewers often mistakenly give higher ratings to job seekers – whom they interview early in the day – at the expense of other applicants.

Is Your Career Stalled? Turbo Charge Your Personal Brand — Perhaps you’re struggling in a job search. You’re ambitious but underemployed, or worse – unemployed. You’re not alone. Millions of professionals are trying to solve similar puzzles.

7 Tips to Tweet Your Way to a Great New Job – Seriously — If you play it smart, you can take advantage of the 500-million Twitter account-holders to get a new job or career. Sure, it’s a daunting task, but the potential for success is terrific.

5 Tips to Shine in Your Online Job Application — As a job-hunter you know that a significant number of companies, nonprofits and public-sector agencies use a tracking system to screen out applicants. It cuts down on their paper work and saves them time. 

Whatever happens, understand that it’s not others who determine what you can do — it’s you.


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.