• November 17, 2009

How to prepare for a telephone interview: a few tips and tricks

The telephone interview is a crucial stage of the selection process. Lots of companies consider it an effective form of pre-screening. If you applied for a specific role the recruit er will contact you to make an appointment to talk at a specific time and date, so you will have time to prepare. Here are some simple tips to help you perform during your telephone interviews. communications_3_lores

Preparation for a telephone interview is as important as preparation before any other form of interview or meeting. The impression you create in the opening moments, and the manner with which you present yourself will determine whether or not you will be successful.

Find out as much as you can about the company and the job description. The company websites are one of the best sources of information. Find out about the size and structure of the company, its products and its markets.

Make a note of any questions you would like to ask. Ask questions about items that are important to you, especially if your decision whether to proceed depends upon the answers (for example: will I have to relocate? (if that is something you do not wish to do!). Otherwise, ask broad questions such as: What training will be given? What opportunities are there for advancement? Have these questions written down.

Have a notepad and pen ready, along with your diary. Have your CV at hand. In all probability the hiring manager will have a copy of it too, so you probably won't be asked to describe your background in detail.

The main rules are:

  • Sound interesting/interested, energetic and enthusiastic
  • Be succinct (don't waffle)
  • Ask open-ended questions (beginning with who, what, when, why, where, how: these all ask for information, and keep the ball in the other person's court). Be prepared that they will do exactly the same!
  • Don't use jargon
  • Be polite
  • Use the other person's name regularly throughout the conversation (but not all the time). Also, use the company name a few times.

Prepare to answer these questions

You can't prepare for every possible question, but there are a few which frequently come up:

  • Tell me about yourself!
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What are you looking for?
  • What would you like to know about us? (A good opportunity to ask your prepared questions)
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What else would you like to know? (An ideal opportunity to 'close' - see below)

Closing the telephone interview

Part of the purpose of the telephone interview (from the recruiter or hiring manager's perspective) is to find out how keen you are, and (especially in the case of sales jobs) whether you have natural closing ability. As soon as it seems appropriate during the conversation, ask for a date to meet for a face-to-face interview. Say something like 'I'd really like to visit you to show you what I can do for you. When can you meet me?'

If you are invited for a face-to-face interview, thank the recruiter, and discuss the details:

  • When?
  • Where?
  • With whom?
  • What should you take to the interview?
  • What will the procedure or next steps be?
  • Will they be able to make a decision after the next interview? If not, what will happen after that?
  • How many people are you up against?
  • What is the most important thing the company is looking for?

Don't worry if you don't feel able to ask all these questions. The first three questions are the most important obviously. Here you can find tips and tricks about how to handle your body language during a face-to-face interview.

If you have any questions related to this article feel free to contact vanesa.rodriguez@oracle.com. You can find our job opportunities via http://campus.oracle.com

Join the discussion

Comments ( 18 )
  • runescape man Sunday, December 6, 2009
    I really true. i think your site is very nice . thanks for the story
  • virus protection programs Saturday, December 12, 2009
    I absolutely adore this article! totally going to have to remember to put this on the list.
  • Lilly Pulitzer Friday, November 19, 2010
    Intimately, the post is in reality the greatest on this valuable topic. I agree with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your incoming updates. Just saying thanks will not just be enough, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Admirable work and much success in your business enterprise!
  • Marylou Yowell Friday, December 10, 2010
    Wow, that's a time saver!
  • Linda Billus Tuesday, December 14, 2010
    This is really interesting. Thanks for posting it. By the looks of the comments, many others think so too.
  • Elliott Bolt Sunday, January 2, 2011
    Getting a good idea about this . Maybe this would work for me. Thank you!
  • Leonado Saturday, January 8, 2011
    This is one very interesting post. I like the way you write and I will bookmark your blog to my favorites.
  • naseer Tuesday, February 8, 2011
    its realy good
  • live cricket streaming Monday, July 25, 2011

    Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care

  • pampers gifts to grow Saturday, September 10, 2011

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers...

  • guest Tuesday, November 22, 2011
  • gabriel harrison Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    its really interesting

  • Pradeep Chauhan Monday, March 26, 2012

    very nice article! thank you!

  • Mohamed Taman Sunday, October 14, 2012

    Really thank you very much for sharing such valuable information.

  • Ruma ali Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    Thanks a lot to giving me such a fantastic suggesion

  • guest Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    That's pretty cool!!!

  • Peggy McKee Thursday, November 7, 2013

    This article is very helpful.

    Here is a series of articles with tips for a fantastic phone interview.


    Thank you.

  • NervousGuy Saturday, May 17, 2014

    Much appreciated, more than helpful.

Please enter your name.Please provide a valid email address.Please enter a comment.CAPTCHA challenge response provided was incorrect. Please try again.