The telephone can open the door to exciting professional opportunities. But, you need to prepared before you pick up that phone. Here are seven things you need to prepare for your telephone interview.
1. The Job Posting.
If you don’t have a copy of the employer’s job posting in front of you, you won’t be able to reference specific details of the job, you won’t be able to ask specific questions about the job, and you will only know what your interviewer tells you about the job. It is vital to have a copy of the job posting in your hands when you interview.
2. Your Resume.
Just as the job posting contains the highlights of the job posting, your resume contains the highlights of your professional life. By having your resume in front of you, you will be able to present a consistent timeline of your career, have talking points to cover your work history and accomplishments, and you won’t forget to mention important experiences.
3. A Notepad and Pencil.
During a phone screening, you will learn many noteworthy things about your potential new job. You’ll want to be able to jot down key information about the job, major responsibilities, the salary range, potential interview dates and start dates, and the names of other managers and future interviewers that you may meet with.
4. A List of Questions.
A telephone interview is not a one way street. You’ll need to learn more about your prospective employer. You’ll want to ferret out anything that may make the prospective position less attractive. For example, you’ll need to know what percentage of travel is required in your new position. You’ll also be able to have specific questions based upon your research about the company.
5. A Bottle of Water.
Talk. Talk. Talk. It can make you thirsty. You’ll want to have a bottle of water readily available in case you start to lose your voice or cough. A quick swig of water can lubricate your throat, give you a quick pause to gather your thoughts, and help you keep sharp during your telephone interview.
6. Talking Points.
A phone interview is often compressed into 30 minutes or less. You should have your elevator speech, a list of your most notable accomplishments, and some quick stories to highlight your accomplishments. While you don’t want to be shuffling paper during your interview, it’s nice to have some reference material readily available.
7. A Quiet Private Place.
Finally, it’s hard to conduct a telephone interview from your cube or while pacing around outside your office. You’ll need to identify a quiet, private place, with good cell phone reception for your telephone interview. If you interview is going to take a long time, you’ll probably want to schedule a day off. But, for short phone screenings, you can often conduct the whole screening from your car in a parking lot away from your place of employment. Just make sure that you’ve tested your cell phone reception from your chosen interview location.
Now, get your stuff together in a nice organized folio, make sure your cell phone is charged up, and go knock ’em their socks off.