Job application telephone interview tips for teenagers and high school students
Some companies and organizations, particularly the large ones, may use telephone interviews as part of their hiring process. The telephone interview stage is usually the second stage of the process, with the first stage being the review of your job application and resume.
Reasons for telephone interviews
Many potential employers prefer telephone interviews as the initial interview because it is a convenient way to expedite the selection process for the job and to cull applicants.
Employers also use telephone interviews to assess the applicant’s verbal communication strengths and weaknesses and to check that the applicant has the appropriate qualifications and skills for the job.
Telephone interviews benefit applicants since there is no need to waste time travelling to and from the employer’s office or location.
Finding a quiet place for the telephone interview
You may either receive a call out of the blue and you are expected to hold a conversation for a few minutes or your call may have been arranged in advance.
If you get the call with no prior notice, do make sure that you ask the caller to hold on while you find a quiet place to have the interview. Likewise, if you know of the call in advance, you need to make sure that you receive the call and talk to the interviewer at a place where no interruptions are likely.
Preparing for the telephone interview
Here are a few tips and recommendations to prepare for the interview:
- Be ready: Firstly, always be ready for the call or be on standby particularly if you have applied to many organizations. Even if the call is made for the purpose of asking you to meet the interviewer for a face-to-face interview, you are assessed from the time you pick the phone up.
- Be organized: Keep a pen, paper or notebook, your resume and a copy of the job application with you and make sure that you know exactly what you have written on your resume and the application form before you answer the call.
- Know the employer: Do not forget the organization’s name and if the call has been arranged in advance, the interviewer’s name if you know it. You would be amazed at the number of times job hunters get organization names mixed up and inadvertently mention the name of a competitor for example.
- Be prepared for the interview:Read our tips on answering interview questions for more guidance. For telephone interviews, you need to remember that the interviewer can only assess you based on how well you speak and how articulate you are in the absence of any body or hand gestures you may make to express yourself.
- Be attuned to the interviewer: Since you cannot see the interviewer and the interviewer’s body language, you need to pay complete attention to what the interviewer is saying to you and any pauses the interviewer makes.
- Do not do anything else: It goes without saying that you should focus on the interview. Do not eat or drink or watch television during the interview. The interviewer can sense whether you are giving him or her your full attention.
Ending the telephone interview
The objective of the interview is to convince the interviewer that you should progress to the next stage of the hiring process. This is usually to secure a face-to-face interview. This means that you should end the call by asking the interviewer about the next step of the process. Sound enthusiastic and most importantly, sound like someone who really wants the job.