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Telephone Interviewing

Telephone interviewing has some compelling advantages. It is cost effective and often convenient and expedient. As an added benefit it is free from appearance-based bias. Often telephone interviews are used as one of the series of steps leading up to a face-to-face interview. In particular common uses include initial candidate screening, to differentiate similar applicants and to obtain missing or more in-depth information, often of a technical nature. Some organizations use the phone interview to ensure complete understanding by the job candidate of the job description.


Applicants should be sure to set-up a properly created interview space for the interview:

  • Secure a quiet area and a cleared, uncluttered space
  • Have the job description, your resume and transcript in front of you
  • Create prompting cards and key phrases you hope to use
  • Dress professionally (this affects your attitude and demeanor)
  • Take notes when needed including the names of those interviewing you (so as to be able to follow-up and call them by name).
  • You may prefer to also have your computer present with the organizations website accessible.

What Employers Want to Hear in a Telephone Interview:

  • Clear Greeting (Hello, Mary speaking…)
  • Appropriate Conclusion (Thank you for interviewing me…)
  • Enthusiasm-excitement about the job and the company
  • Knowledge of the position and the organization
  • A few substantive questions for the interviewer (not salary, benefits…)

Employers Don’t Want to Hear:

  • An unprofessional message on your answering machine
  • Eating, chewing gum, smoking, sniffling, typing or background noises
  • Being placed on Hold

Don’t forget to keep a log of job titles and organizations to which you have applied. This way you will be better prepared if you are called unexpectedly. Usually, when a call is unscheduled it is best to try to arrange a scheduled time so you can do your homework in the mean time.

Finally, if you would like to schedule a mock interview with Career Services you can do so by calling 410-543-6075 or Emailing careerservices@salisbury.edu . Indicate if you would like a mock interview of a phone interview

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