Me and telephonic interviews

I’m not an expert to tell you how well should you appear for an interview. However I’ve given and taken enough of them to list down things that you shouldn’t be doing in interviews. This post specifically refers to telephonic interviews.

Today morning I had a telephonic interview with the GM of Harbinger Group, Pune. I’m ashamed to tell that after a long time, I actually failed to impress a guy on a telephone. Taking a cue from there and also considering my small experience in grilling candidates on phone, I’m listing 5 basic but very valuable tips things. Read and enjoy.

  1. Do not eat, drink or stand in a place that will invite enough noise disturbance. Your voice is your only weapon. So it needs to go fully into the ears of the interviewer. Munching, sipping will drive him away.
  2. Do not narrate stories. Telephonic conversations are interesting only if they are with your loved ones. Keep your conversations short and to the point. If possible, try to make it interactive. Since you can’t see the person’s face, you can’t make out if the guy is enjoying, getting pissed off or even listening to you.
  3. Do not go under prepared and panic. Telephonic round helps you to keep a reference copy handy (a printed document about the company, latest news and some information about the industry). Take full advantage. If you are being called on a mobile phone, use the hands free. (For technical interviews, you can keep your books and notes open.)
  4. Discussing confidential information about previous employer (say clients, projects) is not advisable. Some companies record the calls for security and training purposes.
  5. Avoid negotiating on the phone. (Salary, profile, location etc.) Its better to discuss this in person.

I hope the points were helpful. Good luck to all hopeful.

Addendum: I have posted the exact Harbinger interview on CE. Interested readers can click here to have a look.

5 thoughts on “Me and telephonic interviews

  1. Hi ,

    I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don’t you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘mayur’s weblog’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

    BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

    This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. 🙂


  2. I have conducted some telephone interviews and what you say is very useful advise. I would just add one more ‘don’t’. Never give an interview on your mobile phone when you are in your current employer’s premises.

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