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What to Expect on a Telephone Interview

Telephone Interview


A telephone interview is normally conducted by an employer and acts as a screening interview.  It is also beneficial to conduct a telephone interview when a prospective employee lives out of the commuting area or has other circumstances, such as military duty, that keeps the individual from attending an interview in person. A phone interview also gives the hiring official or team an opportunity to speak to candidates that they might not otherwise have access to. While a face-to-face interview is always best, a telephone interviewallows the employer a chance to ask you some questions and get to know you beyond the information you provided in your resume and cover letter.  In addition this type of interview also saves the interviewing company time and money.

* Personnel: You may be interviewed by the hiring manager , Human Resource Representative or a team of interviewers. A representative from the Human Resource department, your prospective supervisor and any other related personnel will be on hand, each with their own set of questions for you.

* Introduction: The HR Representative, hiring manager or the head member of the interview team will make the introductions and lay out the format for the interview. A typical interview consists of some background information and an overview of the company, then the exact job position and salary specifications will be discussed. Each interviewer will ask you some questions about yourself, and then you’ll be allowed a chance to raise any questions or concerns of your own with the interview panel.

* Questions: Each interviewer will have an opportunity to present some questions to you to get your feedback.  These may be easy questions, such as where you went to college, what your career goals are, or what type of degree you received. Interview questions can also be more complex. Many interviewers like to present you with some quick scenarios and ask how you will handle them when they arise on the job. Don’t stress over this – answer honestly and take your time.

* Feedback: A telephone interview usually wraps up with a chance for you to ask questions of the interviewers and raise any concerns that you have. Spend some time researching the company before the interview, and read the job description thoroughly so you don’t ask any questions that have already been addressed elsewhere. If you don’t have any questions, that’s fine. But make sure to take a few moments at the end of the interview to thank the prospective employer for their time and for allowing you to interview with them.

Remember that a telephone interview is a screening interview that is used to determine if you are a candidate that meets the criteria of being called in for another interview with Human Resources, and other hiring personnel in the company.  Following your telephone interview, it is good form to send a thank you letter to the company, thanking them for their time and consideration, and letting them know that you look forward to hearing back from them.  Sample telephone interview questions are available in our blog article titled  Types of Interviews:  Phone Interview Questions.


7 responses to “What to Expect on a Telephone Interview”

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