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Telecommuting Interview Tips


By Nell Taliercio

You've made it! Your cover letter and resume got you to the interview what? First of all, a BIG congratulations for making it this far. Pat yourself in the back, do a happy dance...okay, now let's get down to business.

Not every work at home job will require a telephone interview. Some just hire you from what they see on your cover letter and resume, but you need to be prepared for those dreaded phone interviews. I say dreaded, because often the thought of a telephone interview scares people.

What you need to realize is that they understand it's a nerve racking process. So, take a deep breath and have faith in yourself and your abilities. The most important thing to making the interviewer believe in you as a potential employee is that YOU believe in YOU as a potential employee. Again, the keyword of "SELL YOURSELF" comes into play.

Be friendly and upbeat on the interview, but don't talk too long or about unimportant things. Don't give away too much personal information either. Basically you just want to answer the questions asked of you. What I would do was really study the job and the requirements and the company and then write a "cheat sheet" before the interview to have on hand.

Here are some telecommuting interview tips and common questions I've run into:

Why do you want to work from home?

I personally would never say "Because I want to be home with my child". I think that’s an obvious one and most interviewers will figure that that's a reason. I would say something that would make me look good for telecommuting. Such as: "I really enjoy working independently”, “I feel I really shine and thrive when working independently. I want to feel that satisfaction everyday when I'm working"

Why are you the best person for the job?

SELL YOURSELF! Again, those two important keywords! Listen folks, if you can't sell yourself to this interviewer you could lose this job to someone else who sells themselves better. You don't need to brag but really delve into why you would be the best for the company and job. Look at the job and company before hand and jot down reasons why you would be best for the job, so that you're prepared for this question.

What your worst quality?

Yuck, I hate this question! I could never really come up with a great answer that didn't sound like an outright lie. You don't want to really point out your worst quality. Never say "I'm lazy" or "I get distracted easily" or anything that casts you in a bad light. But, you don't want to say something that looks like a complete lie like "I'm a workaholic and I don't know when to stop". I don't see that as a bad quality and most employers won't either and may call you on it and ask you to give them a real answer. If you want examples of what to say you can go to

Don'ts of Interviewing:

Don't chew gum on an interview. Don't eat mints or have anything in your mouth. It's simply not professional and someone cracking their gum in your ear is very rude and annoying!

Don't eat or drink while on the phone. Make sure you get all of that done before the interview.

Be sure to set aside time so that your household is relatively quiet. An employer will understand that you're looking to work at home and, more then likely, want to be home with your kids so there may be noise from time to time. And they should be okay with that. (If they place a lot of importance on a quiet environment and yours is not quiet, you better pass on this job because you will probably lose the job. Don't waste your time or theirs if you know it's not a good fit.) However, if you can't even take this interview seriously enough to devote yourself 100% to it, then you may lose the job because of it. The interviewer wants to know that they are the most important thing during the interview. So having the dogs barking or kids yelling and you interrupting to quiet the house looks bad.

Don't go on and on about how much you want this job and how badly you need to get this job. It's a given that you want the job or you wouldn't be interviewing and it's a given you need the job. The only time I would bring up that you want the job is when they ask you something like "Why do you want to work with us" then you can express why you want to work with the company. Just don't say anything like "You can't even know how bad I need this job" or "I really want this job, it would be perfect for me." The employer needs to know why they would benefit from you working with them. They want to hear more "You's" then "Me's".

MommysPlace provides you with an in depth Interview Center that covers many important topics and interview situations. Get a leg up on the interview by being prepared for the questions before hand!