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How to Set Up a Phone Interview
Ever been told to schedule a phone interview and not known where to start? In fact, setting up a phone interview is much easier than setting up an in-person interview, for both parties. Whether you're applying for a job, hiring a new employee, or simply conducting an informational interview, read on to learn how to proceed.
Know who you want to interview.If you're an employer, carefully read over the candidate's resume and cover letter, and be familiar with any other information you have. You can even search their name online or use their LinkedIn or other social media profile to learn more. If you're an employee, try to find out who you will be talking to, and make sure to do plenty of research about the company and position you're applying for. When conducting an informational interview, research the person you will be talking to to learn about their experiences, history, and knowledge in fields related to what you'll be asking about.
Decide when you want to conduct the interview.Choose a time when you'll be free and focused; don't schedule it for 8 AM if you like to sleep in or 3 PM if that's when you're picking up kids. Plan the call for a time when you can be in a quiet location and focus on the call. Once you've decided on the time of day, be sure to check your calendar and pick a free date so that you are not rushing from one thing to another. This will help you relax before and during the call. Then pick a back up date and time. Once you've got these two alternate dates, be prepared with a 3rd one just in case the other person is not available for either of your first two choices. You may need to consider time zones if your telephone interview is with a company in another country or region.
Know what you want out of the phone interview.Whether you're an employer trying to decide to hire a candidate, an employee trying to get a job, or a reporter seeking general information about any topic, have a goal for the interview and know what kind of information you're looking for. Being specific about this will help you ask and answer questions in the most productive, directed way possible.
Contact the other party about the interview.If you will be conducting the interview, contact the person you will interview by phone or email. Request a phone interview, explain the purpose of the interview, and propose your chosen dates and times or ask when the other person will be available. If you're an employee applying for a job, the company should contact you, so respond with your availability. In either case, figure out a date and time that work for both of you, allowing enough time for a long interview, if you'll need it.
Come up with a list of questions or topics.A key advantage that a phone interview has over an in-person one is that the person you're talking to won't see any written materials you use. Jot down some notes to prepare for the interview. Write down a couple of questions that you want to ask. If you're applying for the job, come up with potential questions the interviewer might ask, and jot down your answers. You don't need to refer to your notes constantly throughout the interview - and in fact you shouldn't; instead, focus on building a rapport with the interviewer - but preparing them and having them there can give you confidence in your answers and help you if you don't know what to say.
Confirm the date and time the day before the interview.Especially if you scheduled the interview a week or more in advance, confirm the date and time by email approximately 24 hours before the interview will take place. Confirm that the date and time still work for both of you, and double check that you're all ready for the interview.
Choose a place to take the call.You'll want a quiet, calm space where you'll be able to focus completely, without distraction or interruption. Use an office or another room, and close the door. Get in position ten or fifteen minutes before the interview is scheduled to happen so that you'll be ready if the call comes a few minutes early, and have water, paper, and a pen on hand. Take a deep breath before you pick up the phone. Relax and try to enjoy the interview.
- If you are looking for a job and expecting call backs from any companies, always have a few pens and paper near to you and your telephone. Remember that pens sometimes don't work and that's why you need a few of them. Because whether or not you have a tablet to write on or you put all your notes in your phone, you're going to likely need to write something down during an 'impromptu' phone call and then after the call is complete, you can transfer that information to your phone/laptop/etc.
- Before answering a phone call, take a moment to take a deep breath. It slows the heart rate and makes you sound less rushed.
- To make a better impression on the phone, stand while you're talking to someone. Standing encourages us to breathe and to project our voices more effectively.
Video: How To Do A Phone Interview Successfully - Phone Interview Tips 2018
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