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The Telephone Interview

Do not underestimate the importance of the telephone interview, as this could make or break your chance for the all important in-person interview. The main goal of the telephone interview is to secure an in-person interview, thus you must prepare yourself carefully for the call.

The Preparation

1) Keep the following items ready and within reach during the interview :

  • RESUME - source where most of the questions will be based upon, so keep it handy.
  • COMPANY PROFILE - reflects your interest, desire, and enthusiasm to work for them.
  • PEN AND PAPER - so you can list down important information during the interview, such as name of caller/interviewer (title and position), schedule of actual interview (if granted), person to look for (name and title), address/directions to site of interview, other documents necessary to bring during interview, and general interview notes.

2) The interviewer may call when you least expect it, such as in the evening or early morning. So be ready with the items mentioned above.

3) Keep the interview as private and as disturbance-free as possible. Turn off the TV, radio, call-waiting and other noise-makers. Lock yourself in a room if necessary.

4) There are NO restroom breaks during the interview. If possible make sure that you do not need to go during that time.

5) Warm-up / clear your voice while before lifting the phone or making the call.

6) Have a cup of water handy to wet your mouth, in case the conversation lasts more than 30 minutes.

7) Prepare some note cards with information you really want to convey or answers to questions you anticipate. When you use these, make sure you don't sound like you are reading them. You may have to practice reciting these ideas or answering the questions beforehand so as to sound natural.

8) Do not eat, smoke, chew gum, belch or any other activity that may hinder your speech.


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