Telephone interview

Many companies screen applicants over the telephone. How well you do will depend on your preparation for such calls and the impression you make. Here are some tips:

1. Any telephone calls or videophone calls during your job search could be an employer. Answer the phone appropriately every time; first impressions are important.

2. Some employers may e-mail you to set up a specific time for a telephone interview.  There are a few ways you can handle this: 

  • Now might be a good time to inform the employer that you are deaf or hard of hearing if the employer does not already know.
  • You can give the employer representative your phone or VP number and let them call you or
  • We recommend that you ask the representative for a phone number so you can initiate the call.  The advantages to this are you can take time to become comfortable with the interpreter, tell the interpreter it is a real interview situation, consider getting a same-sex interpreter,  take time to discuss technical vocabulary and allow the interpreter to become accustomed to your signing so the interpreter can represent you well.
  • Here is an example of what you could say to explain your telecommunication choice:  “To make communication easier, I would like to take advantage of a video relay service.  I will be happy to initiate the call to you using this service.  When the phone connection is made, you will receive a normal phone call.  You will hear the voice of a relay operator voicing for me, and I will see him or her signing for you on my videophone.”  (In a similar way, you could explain online relay, VCO or captioned telephone.).  For assistance see  Telecommunications and Relay Services  

3. Keep the following items next to your telephone, computer or videophone: paper, pen, copy of your resume, date book, a log of companies you have contacted, your own course schedule including major exams/projects,  a copy of the job description and questions ready to ask based on your research.

4. At the beginning of the interview be sure to let the interviewer know that for VRS, Captioned telephone or online relay, there may be a slight time lag before he or she receives your response from the relay operator.

5. Use your response to express energy and enthusiasm.

6. It’s okay to take a little bit of time to think about what you will answer or ask next.

7. Don't hang up before you know the next step and thank the interviewer for the interview.

8. Be sure to get the interviewer's title and other contact information for follow up.

9. For questions, contact your NCE employment advisor .