Tips for phone interview?

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by kar57, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. kar57

    kar57 Member

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    Just found out DS received a text message from Senator X’s office notifying him that he had been granted a nomination interview – by phone – since DS is out of state at his USNA Foundation prep school. This same senator granted him an interview last year when he was applying to USNA as a high school senior – and that interview was done in person by a panel of folks. DS did not receive a nomination from that Senator (he received one from the Congressman though). At any rate, all I told DS was “That’s awesome to get an interview from Senator X!” But as for anything else in the way of parental, been-there-done-that kind of wisdom – nada! What are some pitfalls to watch out for in a telephone interview?
     
  2. time2

    time2 Member

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    I would make sure to use a good quality house phone line (NOT a cell phone) in a quiet part of your house. Nothing more annoying on the phone then a terrible cell phone connection with random noises, interference or you can't hear what the other party is saying. Someplace quiet where the TV isn't playing, the dog not barking or the noise of small children (where applicable) are also good prep ideas.

    For the interview itself, I doubt it would be much different from what he experienced last year in terms of content and expectations.
     
  3. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    One more suggestion - I was on two senator panels last year and did a couple phone interviews. It is a bit harder because you can't read visual cues. Tell him NOT to have his resume in front of him - the other candidates won't and at least one candidate we interviewed I swear was determined to read every single thing on the resume to us without pausing for a breath when we asked about extracurriculars. I'd recommend answering questions briefly in a couple sentences, then asking if further clarification or information is needed. Honestly in the room we were laughing and rolling our eyes as we weren't given a chance to speak. Similarly if he replies and is met with silence, he can alway ask if the interviewers would like him to expand on his answer since he can't see if they're just taking notes, dealing with someone else in the room, or wondering why he didn't say more.
     
  4. kar57

    kar57 Member

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    Time2: Great tip regarding NOT using a cell phone – I’ll pass it along to DS ASAP since his cell phone is all he has living in the barracks where there are no land lines for cadet use. Maybe he should request use of a phone in the administration building… although the Senator’s text message indicated phone interviews are only done on Saturdays (wonder if the Admin. Offices are even open on weekends?) …at any rate, the TLA (Troop Leadership Advisor) or the Prep Director – I bet both of them will have a solution for MOC nomination phone interviews. DS will sort it out.
    Marciemi: Also great tips – no resume reading and answer questions briefly. I’ll pass this along as well. And your description of the interview with the “I’m-on-a-roll-now” candidate…priceless – I can just picture it! And I agree, not being able to read visual cues puts a phone interview in a way different ball park. Those all-important non-verbal cues that say so much in a face to face interview, poof, not there in a phone interview – so much room for misinterpreting, misconstruing on both ends of the phone line – definitely something to be aware of and prepared for! Thanks for sharing your experience.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Remember to that the "More Comfortable" a person is, the better chance of speaking to "Familiar". I.e. If you are sitting at home in a phone interview in pajamas, coffee in front of you, etc... you are more apt to speak too "Personally". e.g. Saying "Like", "Ya know", poor sense of humor, etc...

    I recommend "Feeling" like you are in an interview. If you feel you're in an interview, you'll ACT like you're in an interview. Wear dress clothes, to include a shirt and tie. Sit in a regular chair with the phone. Not on the couch. Not on a bar stool at the kitchen counter. No in your bedroom on the bed. Dress like you're at an interview; sit like you're at an interview; and ACT like you're at an interview. Best of luck. Mike....
     

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