Interview Tips Vol. 1

I still get butterflies in my stomach when I call sources. I find that to be a good thing. It keeps me on my toes.

With a phone interview, I always make sure to jot down a few notes or questions so that I can start the interview off right away. Depending on your relationship with the source, the actual interview may not start right away. If you are on deadline, however, you have to get rid of the chitchat.

Having the questions will help you move the interview along, while ensuring you are getting each question answered. You are calling that person for a reason and there’s nothing worse than forgetting to ask a source a question and having to call them back.

That actually happens all the time, but it’s a good practice to get all the information you need the first time.

I’ve always said it pays to be organized. I’ve warned you.

For calling police and fire departments it’s crucial because they are usually hard to get a hold of and they have limited amounts of time to talk. So, having the notes and questions available makes your job easier and much less stressful.

Phone interviews can be tough, though.

Since you can’t see any facial expressions or body language you have to listen much harder. It’s not easy to do when you have a scanner going off above your desk or co-workers talking on the phone themselves. It’s an acquired skill.

You have to listen for sighs, laughs and whatever else we say in our daily lives. Most interviews don’t need that kind of treatment, but the tough talks will certainly require it.

Sources willing to pick up the phone, knowing you are calling, have to be prodded, at times. You are going to have to ask tough questions that require tough answers. You have to be ready for that and you have to make sure you are paying attention. People can tell when you aren’t listening to them.

No matter who you are talking to, you have to show everyone respect. You have your job to do.

Jonathan

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2 Responses to Interview Tips Vol. 1

  1. Pingback: Interview Tips Vol. 2 « Just Starting Out

  2. Pingback: Interview Tips Vol. 3 « Just Starting Out

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