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Telephone Interview Preparation

Telephone Interview Preparation – 5 Areas to Prepare

The military have a wise phrase. They say that “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” In few situations is that more true than with telephone interview preparation.

Some candidates are tempted to ‘wing it’, to turn up and simply ‘be themselves’ on the day. While you should certainly be yourself, its hard to imagine a situation where an interview wouldn’t be benefited by thorough planning ahead of time.

In this introduction to telephone interview preparation we explore 5 areas you should spend time on to ensure your readiness:

Telephone Interview Preparation Area #1: Know Your CV

Telephone Interview Preparation

Telephone Interview Preparation - Know Your CV or Application Form

Too many candidates send a version of their CV or complete an application form and fail to keep a record of it. You should know exactly what you’ve sent your prospective employer. When it comes to interviewing you, what you have sent them will most likely form the basis of some of their questions.

Keep track of what you have sent to whom. As a minimum read it through before your interview. To find out how to use the “Interview Doctor Method” of preparation download your copy of The Essential Guide to Telephone Interview Success.

Telephone Interview Preparation Area #2: Prepare Your Answers

Almost every interview contain the same questions. This means there is no excuse for failing to prepare your answers to the most common lines of enquiry:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why would you be good at this job?
  • Why would you fit in?

Telephone Interview Preparation Area #3: Research The Organisation

Telephone Interview Preparation

Telephone Interview Preparation - It's not enough to have 'looked at their website' - you need detailed organisational understanding

Another area that candidates these days are usually woefully underprepared for is questions on the organisation they are looking to join.

Fair warning: It is not enough to say, “Ah yes, I had a look at your website.” That is frankly pathetic these days. Successful candidates will have fully explored the news around the company, its performance, its products and services, its competitors, its people and its key challenges.

Candidates arriving with less knowledge than that are simply not serious about joining a company.

Telephone Interview Preparation Area #4: Research Your Interviewer

These days, with the internet, it’s relatively easy to investigate people online. While you may not know the name of your interviewer, if you do, you should look them up in Google.com as a minimum. Better still, take a look at their career profile on LinkedIn.com – armed with knowledge of their history, you are better placed to know their frame of reference and answer their questions.

In a telephone interview you may even be able to do this when they introduce themselves at the beginning of the call? But don’t started getting side tracked in LinkedIn – your focus and attention needs to be on your telephone interview and his or her questions.

Telephone Interview Preparation Area #5 Prepare Your Environment

Telephone Interview Preparation

Telephone Interview Preparation - make sure your environment is set up to support your telephone interview

This means ensuring you’ve shared your landline (not your mobile) with your interviewer. It means making sure that you can remove all other distractions (Facebook, email, SMS, IM, Twitter, kids, colleagues, etc.) from your telephone interview environment.

Try to find a quiet office where you can sit, undisturbed and focus. Ideally you will have a copy of your CV / application form in front of you. Also for a telephone interview you can have your notes in front of you. Finally, make sure you also have a pad of paper and a pen to take notes on your call. With luck, you’ll need to write down the time and location of your next round interview!


Pam Wood
Telephone Interview Expert - Author of "The Essential Guide to Telephone Interview Success" and "7 Insider Telephone Interview Tips" as seen at www.telephoneinterview.net