|Pre-stage the Telephone Interview
The telephone interview is a formal part of the job interview process. It should not be treated lightly or casually. If properly scheduled, the telephone interview should have been set for a specific time and a specific date. In that manner, both parties are given sufficient opportunity to:
The Telephone Interview Should be a Brief, Introductory Process
The telephone interview should be a brief, "getting-to-know-you" process. One should not attempt to become involved in too much detail. Your motive should be at directed at re-affirming the information (perhaps shared by a recruiter) at hand, gaining answers to a brief set of "need-to-know" questions, and establishing positive rapport with the other party.
The Objective of a Telephone Interview: a Site Visit
The only objective of a telephone interview should be to gain a Site Visit Confirmation. That is, if you like what you hear and you like the way the telephone interview is proceeding, your objective should be to arrange for a meeting with the other party.
Evaluating the Telephone Conversation
After the telephone conversation is completed, the content and results should be evaluated as soon as possible. This evaluation will serve to:
Some questions you may want to ask yourself are:
When a Telephone Interview Goes Badly
We all know what impact first impressions can have. A telephone interview is a first impression opportunity, that, if it goes sour, can mean an up-hill battle if a match is to occur.
The worst telephone interview is one that doesn't happen. Seventy-five per cent of telephone interviews that are planned do not take place! And, when a planned telephone interview does not take place, it reflects negatively on both parties. This is not they way to initiate the basis for a solid relationship.
Telephone interviews typically do not occur because:
When a telephone interview does occur, and goes badly, the reasons are generally:
How do you recover from a bad telephone interview?
You recover from a bad telephone interview by calling the other party back and starting over; sending a letter suggesting continued interest and a willingness to take the next step; or calling upon your recruiter to jump in to attempt a 'save'. We all have good and bad days.
The 'Pre-Season' Approach to Interviewing
Most of us are rather uncomfortable with the interview process. As a candidate seeking a job opportunity or as an Employer seeking to hire an individual, we are involved in a process that we will likely not repeat excessively over the course of our professional career. Our interview skills may be non-existent or rusty.
Just as baseball players go through a pre-season of preliminary, warm-up games, so too, may you. You may want to go through an interview or two on the telephone to freshen or refreshen your interview skills before you seriously look for that 'ideal match'.
The process will help to formalize and fine-tune your interview skills; allow for a meaningful set of questions to be developed; help to hone in on objectives; and improve overall interview skills.