People always talk about the resume and the face to face interview but they often forget about a key step in the process - the phone interview. It is now pretty commonplace for a corporate recruiter/talent acquistion specialist to call a short list of candidates to conduct a telephone prescreen. Also when working with agency recruiters, they tend to do most of their interviewing over the phone. So knowing how to act and present yourself in a professional and open manner over the telephone is necessary for success.
What to Expect
First of all, not all telephone interviews are preplanned. There are times when a recruiter will pick up the phone and call so be prepared to be caught off guard! If it isn't a good time (you are at work, driving or home with noisy kids) do not be afraid to ask to schedule a better time. When you are distracted you are not able to give it your all and the background noises will distract the recruiter from giving you their undivided attention both resulting in a decreased liklihood of you getting asked in for a face to face!
The phone prescreen is usually about 15-30 minutes in length with the recruiter going through your resume and asking specific skills based questions. They may touch base on why you applied, your salary expectations and your availability.
Keys to Success
Some of these will sound silly and common sense, but you would be surprised how often we forget them!