Tips for Telephone Interviews

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report

July 2019 – Issue 233

Tips for Telephone Interviews

A telephone interview is usually short — allowing just enough time for a recruiter to form a general impression of a job candidate — so the focus is on questions that help to evaluate someone quickly. The candidate’s goal is to turn the phone call into a face-to-face meeting, so answers to questions need to be concise. As a rule of thumb, keep answers to less than two minutes; if an interviewer wants to know more, he or she will ask.

Here are some are typical questions/discussion topics covered in telephone interviews, along with guidance and insight on making the interview successful:

  1. Tell me a little about yourself. Interviewers often pose this first. They don’t want your life story, but rather want to know if meeting you would be a good use of their time. Answer with a brief work history showing how each project and job helped prepare you for this job; then give a profile of the “professional you,” addressing your skills as they relate to doing this job well.
  2. What experience do you have?Make any discussion of your experience relevant to this job, and the specific skills you will bring to executing it well. At its core, everything you do professionally is concerned with the identification, prevention and solution of problems within your area of responsibility.

Your answers can show this awareness by saying that this is always part of your thinking and, by giving examples, of preventing or solving problems common to your area of responsibility.

  1. What are your strengths? Slant your answer toward the specific skill requirements of the job, your problem prevention and solution headset, and your possession of the transferable professional skills such as multi-tasking, critical thinking, and some key communication skills that can underlie success in every job.
  2. What are your weaknesses? You can safely, and honestly, say that your greatest weakness is finding time to stay current with all the new technologies/skills required in your work, because it’s a challenge everyone experiences. Then you can give an example(s) of how you have made time to develop an in-demand new skill.
  3. How much do you want? If the interviewer asks about money, say that at this point you don’t know enough about the company or the job to answer accurately, “I have no real understanding of the job, your company or the different benefits that could come from joining your team, so obviously my discussion of salary without this knowledge can’t be entirely accurate.

However, you can add that after an analysis of employment sites, salary calculators and talking with colleagues, you would be looking at a salary in a particular range (which you would provide).

The telephone interview comes to an end when you are asked whether you have any questions. The article pointed out that if you have not already been invited to meet the interviewer, now is the time to take the initiative by asking: “The most pressing question I have is when we can meet?”

In closing your conversation, take care to find out the correct spelling and pronunciation of the interviewer’s name for your follow-up email, which should ideally be sent the same day as the interview.

NEWS FROM BLK

We are pleased to announce that our new phone systems has been implemented allowing for seamless communications for remote workers.  We thank all for your support during this transition.

As the stock market continues to lead in a positive direction, as international trade gyrates and as the job market continues to expand.  We are Berman Larson Kane continue to move positively as the market continues to improve for job-seekers.

We thank all for your support and having the confidence to allow us to assist wit h your hiring challenges and career enhancement programs.  Enjoy the Sumer Months.

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