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8 Simple Rules for Telephone Interviewing

Posted by Jillian Roberson, Recruitment & Marketing Specialist

12/18/15 12:52 PM

8 Simple Rules for Telephone Interviewing


You've found what you think might be the perfect opportunity. You've spoken to the position's recruiter and they agree... this could be a match. Before a face-to-face interview takes place, however, the emergency medicine group you're interested in has decided they'd like to speak with you over the phone. Simple enough, right? Yes, but you still need to properly prepare yourself to ensure that you make a strong impression and secure a site interview.

Telephone screening offers an introduction and gives some level of assurance that you are appropriate for the opportunity. Remember the impression you make during the telephone interview determines if there will be a site visit. Unqualified candidates are screened out over the telephone. If you are unprepared or ill-mannered on the phone, you may not have an opportunity to go to the next step.

Key Things to Remember

  1. Always Sound Alert and Interested
Enthusiasm will increase your chances of landing an all-important site interview.

  1. Eliminate Background Noise
You may be perceived unprofessional or inattentive if there is background noise such as radio, television or children. Avoid any unnecessary disruptions. Do not answer other phone calls.

  1. Write Down the Caller's Name and the Group/Organization
Refer to the group and the caller by name during the conversation. Follow up with an email, even if you have only had a phone discussion.

  1. Be Prepared
Know what is important to you in a career. Keep your CV, appointment book and a list of questions you have near the phone. Focus on high level questions to gauge interest in interviewing. 

  1. Ask Questions
Ask questions to show interest. Stay focused on the opportunity. Do not ask about salary or benefits. Focus on why physicians choose to join.

  1. Give Concise Answers
Think of questions that might be asked beforehand. Don't waste the caller's time by being unprepared and rambling. Be honest about background issues.

  1. Inquire About the Next Step
At the end of the conversation always ask what the next step will be. Ask for an interview and know your availability. Remember the telephone not only helps impress potential employers but also allows you to explore various opportunities without taking time off.

  1. Be Flexible in Scheduling an On-Site Meeting
If you have impressed them enough to get an interview, maintain the positive image and momentum by being readily available.|

The ability to project who you are and what you are looking for over the phone is key to landing the site interview.  Being prepared is half the battle, and all your effort here will be well-rewarded in a site interview invitation from the group.  
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