By Ralph Canape
Before you can get your foot in the door, you must make a good impression over the phone. All phone interviews must be taken seriously; it is not just a phone screen, but the first formal contact with the employer. Here are some abbreviated tips from my web book, Best Interview Period, for making that phone interview count:
• Work to impress everyone you speak with. Initially, you may talk with a recruiter or someone from human resources. They may make the decision to pass you on to the next level, so treat them as if they are senior management.
• If your phone rings at an inconvenient moment, schedule an appointment. Perhaps you gave out your cell phone number and a call comes in while you are not in a place where you can talk – arrange another time for the interview. Once a time has been set, make sure you do not miss the call. Most phone interviews last anywhere form thirty to sixty minutes.
• Stand up during the phone interview. A person who stands while talking exudes more energy and comes across as being more assertive.
• Have your resume in front of you.
• Be more inclined to listen. In one survey, employers said that candidates talk too much and do not listen enough. During a phone call, you may have the urge to fill every silence with chatter. Be aware that the interviewer may be using that interval to take notes. Wait, and then ask if the interviewer has more questions for you.
• Before the call ends, make sure the interviewer has all your contact information-address, phone number, e-mail address.
• When you send that follow up e-mail, restate your interest in the position and why you are the perfect candidate for the job. Close with saying that you will be in touch in a few days to inquire about the next step. That sends the message that you gave the Best Interview Period!
Editor’s Note: The above outline is a condensed version of the telephone tips offered in Canape’s e-book. For anyone about to interview, the book is a must read. In it, the author not only talks about the obvious things a candidate needs to do initially, such as excelling in a telephone interview, a good first impression, and readiness to answer the tricky, pink elephant and the gotcha questions, but shares ideas and items he has learned in thirty years of hiring and managing a national sales force and later personally recruiting high caliber individuals. Things candidates need to do to succeed and receive offers. Items discussed are rare indeed but very powerful and separates one from the vast candidate pool. Things such as reversing the reference game to one’s advantage, preparing a 90 Day plan to allay the employer’s fears of a long learning curve, and an exercise at the end with a unique follow-up that clinches the deal.
The e-book is available for purchase at www.bestinterviewperiod.com.