Many companies receive thousands of profiles each day; they don’t have time or enough manpower to call each and every candidate to the office. Instead they filter the candidates by resume quality, matching skills with the job opening and telephone interview. Generally, initial telephone interview is conducted by a Human Resource specialist who may not have any expertise in your area of experience. Once you have passed the initial HR screening, you may have another Telephone interview with someone from the Department you are going to work in before they call you in for a personal interview.
Before we go into the possible questions that can be asked during a telephone interview, let’s see how you need to prepare for the telephone interview.
- Set up yourself in a quiet place. If you are using your mobile, make sure you are in an area with good signal strength. If you are taking the call on your landline request your family members to maintain silence or leave the place for yourself for the interview duration. Keep away from all the distractions you can.
- Keep a copy of your updated cover letter and resume that you have used to apply for the job handy.
- Keep a copy of your elevator pitch handy.
- Have a notepad and a pen handy.
- Have a glass of water handy – if you feel parched, excuse yourself gently (if they are speaking, use your mute button) to take a sip.
- Make sure you have had a good energy snack before the interview, sometimes the calls can go long (which is a good thing in a way) and you don’t want to be low on energy during the call.
Always have a copy of the job description (if available) handy. Prepare for technical interview questions in the skill set posted for the position. If you have prior experience, keep list of the most exciting and/or challenging projects you have been part of and how that helped you grow as a professional (this will help you in case you forget things due to nervousness).