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By: Sylvie Fortin

There’s no way to avoid it. It’s a harsh reality of the telecommuter’s life. No matter how afraid of it, there’s nowhere to hide. You can have the perfect resume, a stellar online portfolio, but now you have to face it: The Interview.

For many, the telecommuter’s interview is the most daunting part of the entire application process. Beyond being intimidating, it is also one of the most important aspects for you to ace if you really want that dream telecommuter job. To help you make a winning impression, we’ve gathered together the Top 10 Ways to Wow Your Future Employer—a guideline of tips and tricks to make your interviewer stand up and take notice…all over the phone!

1. Don’t wait! When you do get a response from a good employer, you absolutely must reply immediately! Don't wait! Reply within minutes if you can manage it. Be just as careful with spell checking as you were in your cover letter and resume. (When people get excited or are in a hurry, they tend to make more spelling mistakes).

2. Always be very polite and professional. How you present yourself, especially over the phone, can make or break your chances. Remember, you are talking to the person who will decide whether you get the job or not. Be on your best behavior!

3. Do not sound greedy or desperate. When you are frantic or only seem concerned about money, this is a sure way to make the employer question his judgment about you.

4. Be ready for the interview. Remember that you are most likely going to be interviewed by telephone, rather than in person, which can be difficult for some people to handle. The good news is that by telephone, the interviewer will not notice if you are doodling nervously.

5. Be prepared for the “Standard Questions.” While standard questions might seem easy, it can be difficult to differentiate your responses from that of other applicants. Therefore, practice your responses to such commonly asked questions as “Tell me a little about yourself,” “Why do you want this job,” and “Why do you think we should hire you?” being prepared with thoughtful, well-formulated replies can make the difference in the world.

6. Know Yourself. As an extension of #5, it’s important to know yourself before you begin an interview. But, what does that really mean? It means knowing your:

  • strengths and weaknesses and examples of both in life and business
  • reasons for applying to this job and this company
  • salary and compensation needs
  • career and life goals

An employer wants to see that you are a mature, well-balanced, and intelligent person with a plan. By taking the time to think about who you are and what you want, you’ll show the employer that you really are the “complete package.”

7. Know the Employer. Just as you must know yourself, so too must you know your prospective employer. The information you gather (e.g., through company brochures, Internet research, industry insiders) will help you anticipate company goals and culture and tailor your responses appropriately.

8. Negotiating Terms. Although you might not need them in your first interview, it’s best to brush up on negotiation strategy by knowing what your worth, setting clear goals, knowing your walk-away price, and being fair to your employer.

9. Thank You Notes. While companies differ in their expectation of a thank you note, some interviewers take offense at the absence of a note. A short, professional, and considerate note that thanks the interviewer for his or her time is always a nice gesture.

10. Attitude Is Everything! Make a winning impression on your interview with all that you do!

With these 10 tips, you’re on your way to acing your very next telecommuting interview. Remember: as a telecommuter, you’ve got to strive that much harder to seal the deal and show your interviewer that you’ve not only got what it takes, but you’ve got much, much more. Do your absolute best at all times and you’re sure to get that job!