Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lessons about Phone Interviews

So I had another interview yesterday. And it was again with University of Dreams, but this time I was applying for a position as one of their summer staff programs. And unlike my previous interview, I had it over the phone.

Phone interviews...ya...there not exactly as easy as it sounds. Sure you don't have to "suit up" (a little saying from Neil Patrick Harris in How I Met Your Mother), or worry about getting there on time (in this case they will call you). But you don't see the person's face and you have to make sure your phone reception is good. I much prefer face to face interview, it makes it somehow more personal and easier for both parties (I think). Somehow I feel like I don't do well on phone interviews, we shall see. I won't hear back from them till the end of January.

But interviews do happen over the phone and here are some tips, some of which I realised afterwards I should have done. But that is why I have this blog.

7 Phone Interview Tips:

1) Be in a good, quiet area where you will not be disturbed. As a precautionary, tell others in your apartment/house that you are going to have a phone interview at whatever time, so they know not to disturb you. And where ever you are, make sure your phone is working. You don't want your phone to have static problems and all of the sudden it ends the call.

2) Phone interviews usually last up to 30 min. or maybe an hour (mine took only about 15-20 min), so make sure you have enough minutes on your cell phone (if that is the number you gave them).

3) Write down the questions they ask, so you can answer them easily and if you sort of ramble, it will help you get back on track.

4) Try not to say "...., so yeah," after your done answering a question. Instead just paraphrase the question (Ex: "So that is why I think its important....". FYI: This is where #3 comes in handy.

5) Take a brief moment before answering the question, so you can gather up your thoughts and not jump in so quickly.

6) Don't talk too fast because chances are the person is writing down some of the things you say. And don't interrupt them in the middle of the question, let them finish first.

7) At the end of the interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. After you asked your questions or if you you don't have any, try to tell them something that they don't already know about you and something that might be beneficial.

And before the end of the day, yes, send them a "thank you letter" (see previous blog).

For follow ups on the interview, see the previous blog as well.

TIP of the BLOG: Don't do anything else during the interview (ie: check your e-mail, clean your room, etc) you might get distracted.

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