How Do I Win the Dreaded Telephone Interview?

telephone interviewThat phone is going to ring any moment now and the voice at the other end of the line is going to hold my future in his or her hands. What can I say or do to make sure that I get the option to take the next step in my search for the perfect job?

We all have faced the challenge of the telephone interview. Some are one on one, some have a team of people sitting around a conference call listening for the knocking of my knees or the stutter in my voice. It is sheer torment, and I know that there must be a way to prepare myself for this challenge.

How about this? I call it 20 Questions. I put myself into the role of “interviewer “, rather than “interviewee” and write down 20 questions that I might ask if I were interviewing me for this job. After writing those questions down, I then go back and write the answers to those 20 questions.

Two things happen. I have the time, with no pressure, to organize my thoughts and get the answers down in a complete manner, that I want to share with my interviewer or interviewers. And secondly, and most importantly, I get the opportunity to walk away from the list for a while and allow the dynamic of, “wow, I wish I had said that” to occur. In having time for that familiar dynamic, I can then get the list out and add that thought to my answer.

Experience tells me that over 60% of these questions will be asked during the interview. After all, I know what the job entails and I know the skills necessary to win such a position. In knowing that, I know what I would want to know about a prospective candidate. The key is writing these down.

And you know what? Because I did something proactive to prepare, I can take the call in a much more relaxed and confident manner. I sound better, I respond better, and I am going to win this interview.

What other techniques do you use to prepare for a telephone interview?

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