Mastering the Telephone Interview.

by, Lisa Cove, RN, MSN, NP  Lisa Cove

    ✔ You’ve made it though the resume criteria search. 
    ✔ Your information has been made it through phase one of the interview process. 
    ✔ You get a call from a coordinator who will set up your telephone interview with one of the recruiters. 
    ✔ The time and date for the interview has been set. 

Now what? How do you prepare for this very first (and very important) phase of the interview process?

The telephone interview is a very important part of the hiring process.  If you are not recommended to move forward after this interview, then you are no longer a viable candidate. These simple steps will provide you with the best chance of moving forward and being hired:

Be available at the time scheduled for you to interview. Be sure to arrange for a quiet environment for your interview. Although you may very well be calling in from your home, be sure to prevent children, babies, dogs, doorbells, or visitors from interrupting. There should be no background noise (TV, radio, or cell phone noise).

Be prepared with common interview questions. Preparation is the key to success. Knowing common interview questions and practicing the answers to these questions will provide you with confidence (

Smile! Wearing a happy face, even though the interviewer cannot see you, will register in your voice and will indicate that you see yourself in a positive light ( And positive people are hirable people!

Use voice inflection. You are one of many being interviewed for this position. Stand out by modulating your voice to give your speaking tone variety and to emphasize your individuality (

Don’t repeat what is already on your resume. Telephone interviewers have numerous candidates to talk to. Don’t waste their time reciting what is already on your resume. They will have reviewed your resume before your phone interview. However, if there is something you want to elaborate on, then refer them to that section of your resume and go into more detail.

Ask questions. One of the most memorable candidates I ever interviewed was a woman who started asking me questions during the interview. I was very impressed with her interest in knowing more about our company. She was confident and assertive enough to interview the interviewer!

Be willing to accept challenges. Employers want positive employees who think outside the box. Present yourself as always willing to try even in the face of the most challenging circumstances.

Don’t talk too much! Part of being an effective employee is the ability to listen. If you are too busy talking, you will come across as someone who doesn’t care to hear the requests, suggestions, or  questions of others (

Follow up with a thank you. Thanking the interviewer for his or her time, at the end of your telephone conversation, is not just appreciated but expected. A post-interview email or letter is necessary for gaining that additional moment of recognition in the mind of the interviewer (