Winning at Telephone Interviews

Our ‘Winning at Telephone Interviews’ E-book will explain how these interviews are conducted and show you how to maximise your chances of success.

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or read the Introduction below FREE of charge before you decide to buy the book!

Why Telephone Interviews?

Telephone interviews are becoming more popular with organisations because they are cheap and quick. Organisations can sub-contract them out to recruitment agencies and HR consultants and so avoid their own staff being involved in lots of face-to-face interviews.

There are two types of telephone interview although both are used for screening or pre-screening candidates. The first is the classic headhunter type interview trying to establish suitability to their brief and level of interest prior to a face-to-face interview. The second type of telephone interview, which more people will experience, is the structured competency based interview often used by large employers who because of expansion or high staff turnover need to fill a large number of positions.

This ebook focuses on the structured competency based telephone interview.

The first thing to realise is that this type of interview is used to screen people out of the recruitment process. The questions will have been devised on that basis. Later I will give detailed examples of two telephone interviews and you will see how the rating mechanism works. At this stage it is enough to know that the recruiting organisation can limit the number of candidates it sees by simply ‘raising the bar’.

For example, with a scoring system from 1 to 5 for each competency the interviewer would use a rating chart like this:


Please circle your overall evidence rating

1 No evidence or responses fail to meet requirements
2 Some evidence of competency shown, but gaps or further development needed
3 Evidence meets competency requirements
4 Evidence meets and sometimes exceeds the competency requirements
5 Evidence constantly exceeds competency requirements


Clearly someone who is rated with all threes meets the job competency requirements. But suppose there are 200 people who meet this standard. Will the organisation interview all 200? Not unless they have 200 jobs they won’t. Instead they will ‘raise the bar’ for selection to those rated four. Still too many to interview; then ‘raise the bar’ again to five.

You can begin to see why organisations are learning to love the telephone interview. The result of this for you, the candidate, is not so good. You can meet all the criteria and exceed some of the criteria and still not get through to the next stage.

So, it is important for you to perform well during the 30 minutes (average) time you have.

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* How to Write A Winning CV (FREE)
* How to Win at Interview (FREE)

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Make sure you check out our other popular e-books:

* Winning at Competency Based Interview
* Winning at Telephone Interviews
* Winning at Assessment Centres

Read the first chapter before you buy.

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I need more help!

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This might seem weird, but six in 10 interview candidates wear lucky pants to ease them through an interview, according to new research.

The research, by employment law firm Peninsula, found that 84% adorn themselves with a ‘lucky’ item, with six in 10 opting for lucky pants.

Advice is also taken from a horoscope reading of the day for 73% of respondents.

The top 10 lucky charms are:

* Lucky underwear (sometimes unwashed!)
* Lucky jewellery
* Brooch
* Lucky shoes
* An object from childhood, e.g. blanket/teddy
* Four-leaf clover
* Key ring
* Lucky stone
* Lucky pen/pencil
* Lucky photograph of someone e.g. boyfriend/relative

Peter Done, managing director at Peninsula said: "Union Jack underwear is not guaranteed to get you the job, so get prepared, turn up early for the interview, dress smartly and sell yourself. Leave the lucky underwear at home. I'm amazed at how superstitious people are, one employee we spoke to took wearing lucky underwear to the extreme, claiming his briefs are so lucky that he refuses to wash them."

"There are so many applicants who submit CVs which are below par and will not make it past recruiters' inboxes. There is an ongoing concern that graduates are limiting their chances of success at the first hurdle."
Sunil Duggal, MD Just IT Recruitment.