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Phoning it in: Tips for long-distance job interviews

June 5, 2009

Job interviews conducted via phone used to be brief, consisting of a few softball questions and an almost automatic offer of a face-to-face meeting.

Today, though, with an increase in viable job candidates and the growing need to save on recruiting costs, phone interviews are becoming much more intensive, Sarah Needleman reports for The Wall Street Journal.


Therefore, the questions asked in this preliminary stage are more specific to discern whether the candidate is a fit before even meeting in person. As Needleman notes, reserve at least an hour for the interview, and expect thorough questioning regarding your professional background.


Among the tips the Journal provided for acing your phone interview:


  • Prepare for a phone interview as seriously as if it were an in-person interview.
  • Set up a list of key statistics and abbreviated answers to field more complex questions.
  • Mind your phone etiquette — don’t put the recruiter on hold or order a drive–through lunch.
  • Stay on topic.
  • Don’t rush to answer the recruiter’s question until they’ve finished speaking.


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