How to prepare for a telephone interview: ‘Develop an Interview Cheat Sheet’
By Maria Sandu on Sep 28, 2012
At Oracle we often do telephone interviews in different stages of the process with candidates, due to the fact that we hire native speakers into other countries. On this blog we already have an article with tips and tricks for phone interviews that can help you during the telephone interviews.
To help you prepare even better for a telephone interview we would like to introduce you the basics of developing a cheat sheet. The benefit of a telephone interview is that you will be sitting at home, at your table or desk, during the interview, and not in front of someone. So use this to your advantage.
The Monster website has some useful and interesting tips and tricks for developing a cheat sheet. Carole Martin, who wrote this article, says that a cheat sheet will help you feel more prepared and confident when speaking to managers over the phone. Important to keep in mind is that you shouldn't memorise what's on the sheet or check it off during the interview. Only use your cheat sheet to remind you of key facts.
Here are some suggestions to include on it:
• Divide a piece of paper in 2 by drawing a line. Write on one side of the paper a list of requirements as mentioned in the job description. On the other side list your qualities to fulfill the requirements of the employer. This will help you in answering questions about why you are the best candidate for the job and how you fit the role.
• Do research on the company, the industry sector and the competitors, so you will get a feeling for the company’s business and can ask more in-depth questions.
• Be prepared for the most used introduction question: “Tell me a bit about yourself”. Prepare a 60-second personal statement or pitch in which you summarise who you are and what you can offer, so you will be able to sell yourself from on the very beginning.
• Write down a minimum of 5 good examples to answer behavioral interview questions ("Tell me about a time when..." or "Give me an example of a time..." ). These questions are used by interviewers to see how you deal with similar situations as you might encounter in the job. Interviewers use this question as past behaviour is scientifically proven to be the best predictor for future behaviour.
• List five questions to ask the interviewer about the job, the company and the industry to help you get a good understanding if the role and company really fit your needs and wants. To get some inspiration check this article on inc.com
• Find out how much you are worth on the job market and determine your needs based on your living expenses, especially when moving abroad.
• Ask for permission from the people you plan to use as a reference. Also make sure you have your CV at hand and an overview of your grades.
Feel free to comment on this article and let us know what your experience is with developing a cheat sheet for a telephone interview. Good luck with the preparation of your sheet.