From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

June 2020
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Telephone Interview Preparation
Filed under: Interviewing
Posted by: site admin @ 11:02 am

Hi Dan,

Thanks for getting back! The HR manager of a company from Orange County, CA called me about an hour ago. I had sent them my resume about 2 weeks ago. We spoke for about a half hour. She said she liked my resume. She asked me why I had left my last position…

She will have a scientist contact me at 6 PM EDT on Friday for a second phone interview. I will spend a good bit of Thursday reading interview preparation books, however, I do think it also in my interest to fit in a couple of hours doing something soothing for relaxation. If you have any ideas please feel free to pass them on.

Thanks for all your help!


2 Responses to “Telephone Interview Preparation”

  1. site admin Says:
    Hi R,
    Why am I not surprised by your getting a screening interview?

    Be patient and focused on what you are trying to accomplish, my friend.

    My suggestion for preparation is to have a check list of things to have prepared and ready before the interview.
    Have the things ready from the checklist at the phone you wish to receive the call a couple of hours before the call.

    Do something that you like to do that occupies your limbic system– walking, running, swimming, whatever, for about an hour.

    Get comfortable and have things ready before the call comes.
    If the call comes when you are not ready, ask if you can set up another time. Remember this is your interview chance and you are able to influence this part. R, have fun with this interview.

    Be an enjoyable person.
    Thank her for the chance to talk with her about joining her company. (not about her time, remember your focus…) Give this your best shot.


    PS Please see the following comment for more details.
  2. site admin Says:

    Telephone Interview Suggestions
    On the quick…
    The most important things you can do for a phone interview is to:
    –keep your answers quick, concise and to-the-point,
    –speak clearly and avoid long explanations unless asked to clarfy,
    –don’t yell into the phone, but do keep your voice strong and confident,
    –avoid saying ‘uhh’ of ‘umm’ to often, as it makes one sound unfocused,
    –make sure you have a mirror in view. Because I would like you to look into that mirror consistently throughout the phone call. And smile.

    Some details…
    1. Do some research
    Try to find out who will be interviewing you.
    Will there be multiple people on the call? (If possible, get their names and titles.)
    Try to get some background on the interviewer. You might be able to tailor your message by knowing this.

    2. Organize your thoughts
    Make a list of your accomplishments, goals and strengths.
    Have a sheet of ‘compelling stories’ on topics that are likely.
    On another list write your weaknesses and what you are doing about them
    On a third, write down why you are interested in the company.

    Think carefully about these topics. They often arise in interviews. Only write key ideas in your notes, not full paragraphs.

    3. Sound check.
    Do a mock interview. Have a colleague listen to your clarity, rate, and tone.
    Are you speaking slowly and clearly, do you sound confident and enthusiastic?

    4. Location.
    Stake out a quiet space to occupy during the interview, where you can spread out your papers and are likely not to be interupted.

    5. Set up your papers.
    Have a hard copy of your documents.
    Take out those lists you made while organizing your thoughts.
    Keep notes realting to the company that may be helpful.

    6. Wrting tools.
    Have materials to quickly jot down important information during the conversation.
    Names, numbers, emails, topics raised, things to follow up on.

    7. Distractions.
    Ensure distractions are powered down.
    Do not disturb signs, disable call waiting.

    8. Control the situation.
    Take the call only when you feel ready.
    If it comes at the wrong time or when you are not prepared, ask for a better time to talk. you will have a stronger chance to convince them you are the right person to bring in for an interview.



    To know the road ahead, ask those coming back…Miss Dot

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