Telephone Interviews:

The following tips have been created by CSI to assist in successful interviews!  

Here are some suggestions to help in preparation for your interviews. We ask that you review them carefully. Feel free to print these lists out to review at your convenience. We hope that you find something here that will help make your interviews more successful.

The Five "P's":

For successful career development, always be:  

  • Punctual
  • Polite
  • Professional
  • Positive
  • Pro-Active
  • Employers conduct telephone interviews to field candidates from around the country and to help them determine whom they should invite into their offices to seriously discuss employment opportunities. If the job is in your area, you should attempt to schedule a face-to-face interview if possible, because you will be able to give a more vivid first impression than you ever could over the phone.

    A successful telephone interview requires preparation. Don’t try to wing it. The night before the interview, ready yourself by doing the following six things:

    • Go over your resume or write out a written data sheet on yourself—Even though the interviewer is probably looking at your resume, you need to have a copy, too. Under pressure, people have even forgotten their own names! The resume or data sheet should include a chronological listing of all of employment data with specific job duties. Also, prepare your notes with key accomplishments and past achievements to highlight. These accomplishments can include employee-of-the-month awards, scholarships, high school or college honors received, or details about a successful work project. Write it all down.
    • Make a list of your top five strengths—Interviewers often ask what candidates believe their strengths are. So, prepare yourself with your top five and be ready to explain them.
    • Make a list of five weaknesses—By the same token, you may be asked what your weaknesses are. Begin talking about them by saying “I feel the areas that I would like to improve on are…”
    • List out your specific qualifications for the position being discussed—Ultimately, what the interviewer truly wants to know is if you’ll be able to excel at the job for which you’re applying. Prepare a list of five to ten specific qualifications you have for the particular position being discussed. Think analytically of how your past experience relates to this position.
    • Prepare questions for the interviewer—Just as the interviewer wants to learn if you’re a good fit for the job, you need to determine if the job is a good fit for you. Ask about things that are important to you. Your questions could be about the size of the company, its growth potential, your future opportunities, why the position is open, your potential boss’s history and goals with the company, and why he or she likes the company. It is not wise to bring up salary or benefits this early in the interviewing process. If the interviewer asks about your desired salary, answer carefully.
    • Write down a closing statement—You want to be able close out your interview on a positive note. Having something written down will also help in case the interviewer says something that catches you off guard at the conversation’s end. Possible statements are: “Thanks for giving me the opportunity to discuss this position with you. What’s the next step in the interview process?” or “I am very interested in joining your team in this position. Do you need any additional information from me or from CSI?” or “I know I can do a good job for you. Is it possible to discuss the position in person soon?”