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Telephone interviews are most commonly used for first level screening. Companies use them to determine if they should invest in an air ticket to fly you down to their office and meet with executives. The dynamics of interviews and your level of preparation should remain the same for telephone interviews. But there are some extra things to take care of because of the long distance and technology involved. Lack of face-to-face interaction makes people a bit nervous on telephone. Practice is the only answer.


        Make sure you give the right number to the interviewer to call

        Make sure that both parties are clear about the timing for the interview (EST, CST, PST etc is a source of confusion)

        When the interviewer calls, be present to pick up the phone

        Dress up for the telephone interview just the way you would for face-to-face interview. It will make you feel confident and prepared.

        Sit on a comfortable desk and chair while interviewing. Do not sit on your comfy bed.

        Make sure you are away from all disturbances like TV, neighbors, children, spouse entertaining guests, traffic noise etc.

        Sit with a glass of water in case you need it

        Disable incoming call beeps during the interview

        Have your resume, scratch pad, pen, calculator etc handy

        Have the name of your interviewer handy for greetings and remember the name throughout the interview

        If you do not understand the question, request it to be repeated. Donít answer the wrong question

        Make sure you speak clearly and loudly in the phone. A good practice is to record your voice and hear it back to make sure you know get the right pace and volume for your voice.

        Keep the interviewer engaged while you are working on the problem. Long pauses and silence are not very comfortable on the telephone. Just speak out loud as you work on the problem Ė it will keep the interviewer involved.

        Thank the interviewer for taking time out to call you.


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