Saturday, January 12, 2013

Career Employment Telephone Screening Interviews

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Cell phones are great if you are out on the prowl looking for a job or advancing your career. You can be contacted anywhere at any time. You are available 24/7. It almost impossible for that one phone call that you have been patiently or not patiently arrive the one time you dashed out to the store or went for a much need relaxation walk. All true on the other hand the cell phone can also ring at the most inopportune times for you to present yourself properly and professionally to clinch that job offer or provide much needed information. How can you best prepare, be prepared and present yourself properly as a clear cut candidate for that job? More and more companies are opting your phone interviews. It's efficient for them, less expensive; more candidates can be contacted and screened. Yet you want to be the one to "get that job". What can you best do to present yourself in the best manner for the "telephone interview" or interviews when the cell phone or even landline rings?

First and foremost be prepared. You know your location the interviewer does not. No need to inform the other party necessarily. If you are on the move, perhaps in traffic, you will not be able to answer questions safely and fully. Simply ask the interviewer, or if need be explain that you are on a cell phone , that you are in traffic, it would be unsafe and indeed dangerous to conduct the interview at this very moment and predicament. Just explain and ask if you can call the interviewer back promptly as soon as you pull over. Try to be specific on the request on when to call back. Ensure that you call back promptly and as promised. Otherwise it is a poor indicator of your work ethic as well as personal attention to detail. If it is not possible for you to call inbound to the interviewer - practical logistics on the part of the interviewer, their phone system or call center it is next best to arrange a specific time for the interviewer to call you again.

It need not be said that you should be ready, willing and available at that given time.

You've already had one strike. It is not always a case of three strikes and you're out.

Two may be enough - why chance it.

Preparation is everything when it comes to first impressions in telephone interviews. Always answer the phone politely. If the phone is answered at home - either on the cell phone or on a land line instruct relatives, family and friends to be always be polite and helpful when answering the phone. Always have the phone answered. Caller id can be of help in determining callers yet you may not know that number out of the blue, that odd number may be an interviewer, a receptionist from a head hunter. That blocked out or "private" number what caller id is allowed to reveal of a corporate executive, private entrepreneur or perhaps a call from a medical center or clinic.

For similar reasons call blocking and screening systems are not a good idea. On top of that an impolite relative or parent has inadvertently dashed the chances of more than one job seeker.

You have to be ready to give your "spiel" on the drop of a hat. Not only that but the delivery has to flow, be professional and be convincing. Cirlux or professionally bind your resume and other materials in an easy to read and coordinate tabbed binder.

Practice your delivery in front a mirror, in front of friends or relatives or into a tape recorder for later evaluation. A toastmaster group or Dale Carnegie course can better improve your spoken and verbal communication skills. One can always improve their communication skills. Everything in life is communication.

Lastly after this whole intimidating process and you have answered the interviewer's questions along with a few well chosen questions of your own listen for closing cues. Good signs are signals are a promise of a face to face interview appointment or a definite appointment for a follow up additional phone interview.

Ditto that with requests for specific information to be provided or forwarded by you to the firm or organization which is doing the hiring. If there are no closing signals then take the time and courage to ask for follow-up and / or another interview. Always be courteous. At the worst they can say no and you are no worse off than when you first started your job seeking.

If there is one phrase to summarize the job employment screening interview it is to be prepared, and be polite.

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