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Telephone Screening Interviews:

Telephone interviews can take a variety of forms and it is important to be ready for them. Employers and recruitment agencies use telephone interviews as part of their initial screening process before arranging appointments with the most promising candidates.

Who uses telephone interviews and why?

Potential employers Recruiters/staffing agencies Job seekers

What‘s different from a face to face interview?

Face to Face:

55% body language

38% tone of voice

7% words used


82% tone of voice

18% words used

Common Telephone Screening Questions:

-Why are you interested in working for this company?

-What in this position interests you the most?

-How did your most recent position support the accomplishment of the mission of your organization?

-In your previous position, what do you consider your greatest accomplishment(s)?

-Why and when did you leave your most recent position?

-Describe your educational background and experience.

-Not to limit you or commit you to a certain dollar figure, but what’s the minimum salary you’d consider right now to accept another position?

-How have you spent your time since you left your most recent position?

-How would your supervisor and coworkers describe your work?

-When would you be available to start work, if hired?

Questions targeted to a specific position:

How many years of inventory management experience do you have?

            (Used to determine past experience)

                                    Tell me about your experience with an inventory of over half a million parts.

                                                (Used to determine experience specific to their needs)

Face to Face Interviews (Adapted from:

Acing your Interview:

Interview Preparation

  • Obtain the name and title of the interviewer(s).
  1. Always ask if more than one person will interview you.
  • Know the position for which you are interviewing.
  1. Obtain a job description if possible.
  • Ask as many questions as possible before the interview to learn as much as you can about the process.
  • Research the organization. Use information obtained through networking, company websites, and the library.
  • Know what you have to offer the employer and what you want.
  • Prepare answers to common questions and practice your responses.
  • Compile questions you need to ask.
  • Pack a briefcase or neat folder:
  1. resumes,
  2. references,
  3. writing tablet,
  4. any additional items you have been asked to bring to the interview

At the Interview

  • Greet any staff you encounter with respect.
  1. They may have more power over your future than you might expect.
  • Avoid discussing specifics about salary too early in the process.
  • Don’t let a poor interviewer ruin the interview, be proactive.
  • Give specific examples of how your previous work experience and training would apply to this job.
  1. Use SCAR stories.
  • Ask appropriate questions you have during the interview instead of asking them all at the end of the interview.
  • Show interest in the company and any problems they have and how you can help solve them (previous experiences).
  • Don’t elaborate on the negative or point out weaknesses that would disqualify you for the job.
  • Ask when they are going to make a decision, when it would be convenient to call back and who you should contact.

After The Interview

  • Send a thank you letter within 24 hours.
  • Don’t make assumptions about anything.
  • Follow up with phone calls to check on the status of the opening and/or other available positions.
  1. Always ask for an update to when a decision will be made regarding the position for which you interviewed.


Thank-you Notes

Thanking people in your job search is one of the most important things you can do! Here are some ideas about writing thank-you notes from the book The Resume Solution by David Swanson.


You can thank an employer for several reasons: After the initial phone call, you can thank them for their kindness.

  • After the interview, you can thank them for their time, tour, information, etc.
  • After the job offer, thank the initial interviewer and the manager of the department in which you now work.
  • After a rejection, thank the employer for whatever you can. (Something that was positive and helpful for you in the interview and consideration process.)
  • If you have nice handwriting, hand-write a note card or use personal stationary that is neutral - cream, white or light gray and conservative.
  • If your handwriting is hard to read, print the note or type it on a business-sized sheet of paper and mail it in a matching envelope.

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