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Telephone interview for job tonight

Telephone interview for job tonight

Old Feb 11th 2011, 12:00 pm
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Default Telephone interview for job tonight

Any tips on anything not to say, or to say, compared to a UK interview? Any etiquette that differs between UK and US interviews?

Thanks.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Any tips on anything not to say, or to say, compared to a UK interview? Any etiquette that differs between UK and US interviews?

Thanks.
Geoff Good luck!
I had quite a few of those and some over Skype too.
I don't know how familiar you are with American culture but I would say be very gracious to just before the point of being cheesy.

Depending on how familiar the panel is with accents, your accent can be a plus or a minus. Speak with a relaxed pace. Understand that for the first few minutes they wont be listening to a word you are saying , they will just hear your neat accent.

If you have any nervous verbal ticks like "ummmm" or "like" etc try really hard to temper that.

Make sure you are comfortable, undisturbed (cell phone off, no-one in the house is going to walk into the kitchen and put the kettle on right during your interview!)

its OK to stop and think before answering a question... though that 5 seconds of silence may seem agonising...its better than babbling. You can buy time with a "let me think about that for a moment......................."

Have a few obvious questions pre-prepared "why do you want to work here?" etc. jot down a few bullet points...but DO NOT READ STRAIGHT OFF A SCRIPT"

Try to have some good questions at the end. Show you have bothered to research the company.

Be sure to thank all the interview panel for the opportunity (have a notepad and write the names down) you are interested in the position.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Smile when you talk - it comes through in your voice. Maybe not through the whole thing but definitely at the start and the end.

Know when to stop talking - in my first ever phone interview I discovered myself rambling and panicked. It didn't go well. It's better to have a solid ending to a statement then to let it blather on or trail off into nothing.

Write down the question as they're asking it, if you can manage it. I once started to answer a question and midway through forgot what they asked. I believe that led to the situation described above...

I think it's usually acceptable to ask for the names of the phone interview participants beforehand, if it's going to be a conference call. You can then look up who they are and know a little bit about them, which makes it less scary.

If you think it's at all likely that someone will ring your doorbell, put up a sign on your front door saying do not disturb.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

If this is a first round interview, it's quite possible the only person on the other end will be an HR drone. If this is for a technical job be aware that if HR is doing the interviewing they may know very little about the job itself.

Consider sending a hand written thank you note to the interviewer(s) within a day of the interview.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Consider sending a hand written thank you note to the interviewer(s) within a day of the interview.
Always a good idea, however naff it feels. Though from the UK an email would have to do.

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
Smile when you talk - it comes through in your voice.
True!

Plus....

If not too late I'd suggest getting a headset for the phone. This leaves your hands free to write, flick through papers, pull up stuff online...
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

my husband told me to be confident - and state - 'I can do that' about specific equiries, and 'what i would be able to bring to your organsisation'. They do like confidence here and are often a lot more direct - and might take the british unassuming way to be a sign of lack of confidence, or knowledge etc.

i also agree about the 'understand they wont hear anything but your accent for the first few mins' - so talk about something non critical to give THEM a chance to get over it and focus back on WHAT you are saying later on. Here in Ohio its still snowy and cold so I am starting off a lot with small talk about the weather just to give them that 1 minute of pause.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Some excellent tips there, thank you. Though I'd realised I would have to slow down because of the accent, I hadn't considered the zoning out at the start.

Although I know the names of the two people I'll be talking to, and basic information about the person who set me up, I don't know anything about the other person or the company he works for (I only got a name just today). I only know that they work together on projects and have been toying with the idea of collaborating on some rail software - and my enquiry happened to fit right into their domain at the right time. "we're glad to have chance to talk with you and see how we might all work together"

Any ideas how to pronounce "Engels" - soft G like English or hard like Angel? Though we've been using first names in emails, I'll at least start with last names - hopefully getting Mr. Engel's right first time!

I also have been asked to be in front of my PC which is a little unusual. I was planning sitting in a bland room with no distractions!

Confidence is something I'll struggle with but will have to just do my best.

Thanks again. 2.5 hours to go!
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Good luck!
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 7:29 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Any ideas how to pronounce "Engels" - soft G like English or hard like Angel? Though we've been using first names in emails, I'll at least start with last names - hopefully getting Mr. Engel's right first time!
Well if he's a distant relative of Karl Marx's buddy, it'll be a hard-g! Seriously that is most likely. Lots of German surnames in the US.

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Thanks again. 2.5 hours to go!
Good luck!
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Too late, but good luck all the same!

I found, if you ain't using the home phone, make sure your mobile is well charged and you're in a spot that is quiet and has good reception and you've got a pad of paper and pen to jot down notes, especially names.

You want your resume/CV so you know what you're talking about and don't forget exact dates.

Have a list of questions regarding the role and position in general and career growth if appropriate.

Spec up on what you've done in the past that is relevant and how it applies to what they are looking for.

Don't mumble and have dead air time, so have a glass of water for a couple of sips now and again.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Thanks for the further advice.

It's a very small company - two people: one the engineer, the other who manages the business - and the job doesn't exist as such. More of a case of them wanting to expand, ideas of how to expand, and my profile and experience kind of fits into what they need to expand further. So no role specs, salaries etc. Hopefully hear back next week.

Some fairly tough questions from the manager and I very much get the impression he doesn't take any BS whatsoever. Freely admitted to firing people if they didn't match up to his level of expectation. Nothing wrong with that but it certainly keeps you on your toes.

Although the phone line was clear, there was some echo and delays which doesn't help.

(Oh, and soft G - luckily he answered the phone with his name!)
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Sounds like you did all good. Follow up with a Thank You email tomorrow.

Don't mean to throw a spanner in the works... I'm sure folk will correct me on here if I'm wrong about this...but I think immigration laws are pretty tough for employers looking to hire a foreigner over a US citizen. They have to demonstrate that there are no US citizens that can do the job. It sounds like a specialized role, and if you are the DB's it shouldn't be a problem. But if they haven't hired foreigners before, they might not be fully aware of all the employment and immigration laws.
Just be mindful of that.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 10:57 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Don't play Space Invaders while they are trying to interview you.

Really, as said, no distractions.

I am one in favour of notes and info spread out, just in case (info on the department, people you will be speaking to - I asked who the Search Committee members wuld be beforehand). But spread out, not in piles, or they will hear you rifling through your notes (embarrassing).

But just use this for information, don't prepare pat answers to questions, just the main points (maybe a bullet list).

Some people would say wear a tie so you are in interview mood, not too slack. Personally I feel a bit of a stiff in a tie so I dress casual for a phone interview (jammies and slippers).

If there are any glitches, use that to your advantage - dont get flustered but show that you can see the funny side. I mis-heard a couple of questions and it made for a couple of funny moments.

I also asked them why they joined the company and what they like about Statesboro (that's whether the job was). I think it shows you are human.

Good luck, wear your lucky carpet slippers!
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 11:04 pm
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Don't ask about money/package.
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Old Feb 12th 2011, 8:45 am
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Default Re: Telephone interview for job tonight

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Don't ask about money/package.
Ditto. I had some sensitive questions like that but asked for a follow-up call with the Department Head (I offered to make/pay for the call). That allowed me to ask some pretty crucial questions so that if I got a follow-up interview invitation in the US, I'd know whether to accept it or not.
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