English is not my first language (I'm italian) and I think I will fail this phone interview. They are only interested in my oral english, and I don't speak fluent english. They said they will listen to my oral english, if it's good enough, they will probably hire me, otherwise they will reject me without the opportunity of a face-to-face interview. My written english is average-poor, but it seems they don't care about it. Anyway I'm preparing this interview and crossing my fingers, at least I will try. I have not spoken english for 10+ years. I have been recording my voice reading chapter #1 of the Harry Potter III book (I like it, don't know why) and my pronunciation is awful. I can't read/speak fast enough and my words are not clear enough. I listened to www.lbc.co.uk radio online for 1+ hour and I can't understand everything. This phone interview was scheduled for next tuesday at 4pm and I can't re-schedule.

Please let me know if you think this "script" (these "imaginary" questions and answers) would be appropriate. I don't know what will she ask me (I know she is British), I think it will be a technical interview, she will ask questions about this job (administrative-technical job, questions about my level of Microsoft Word/Excel/Powerpoint, etc).

Tuesday, 4pm.
Ring (3 times).

//// Interviewer: Good afternoon, I would like to talk to "Darts"

Darts: Good afternoon, I'm "Darts", excuse me, what's your name?

//// Interviewer: My name is Mrs. Granger

Darts: I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you this afternoon, Mrs. Granger

//// Interviewer: OK, let's start the interview. Did you find your way to the office easily?

Darts: Yes, as you know, your office is located in a well-known industrial area, and it's not a problem to find public transportation reaching your location.

/// Interviewer: I see you are already working, why do you feel you would be suitable for this job?

Darts: I already possess many of the skills you're looking for, and I have the personal motivation to get the job done right.

/// Interviewer: Tell me a little about your job and what some of your accomplishments and responsibilities are?

Darts: Well, my current job is divided in two parts, ...... and ......... etc. I take care of ..... and ....., then I keep sure that.... etc.

/// Interviewer: What have been your biggest successes?

Darts: I have worked in big projects..... etc.

/// Interviewer: What is your greatest strength and weaknesses?

Darts: Well, I think I'm a hard worker who learns quickly and I'm always trying to improve my skills. Sticking with a job to its completion is a value I truly believe in. My weaknesses: sometimes I have not felt comfortable speaking to large groups of people or making a presentation, but I try to speak to any group I can in order to gain some experience, and I am beginning to feel much more confident in this area. Sometimes I am so focused on getting something done or meeting a deadline, that I have not listened to others when they had something to tell me. However, we are now conducting weekly meetings every Friday. These are open meetings, roundtable discussions, and it's very convenient.

/// Interviewer: What are your career goals?

Darts: I would like to apply my current skills at my best, etc.

/// Interview: OK, we have finished this phone interview.

Darts: The opportunity this job affords me is of great interest. Thank you very much for your time and ... goodbye.

/// Interviewer: Goodbye.


Lots of possible questions...

Discuss a time when your integrity was challenged at your last job. How did you handle it?
What would you do if someone asked you to do something unethical in this job?
If you saw a co-worker doing something dishonest, would you tell your boss? What would you do about it?
What motivates you the most?
What kind of environment would you like to work in?
What are two or three examples of tasks that you do not particularly enjoy doing? Indicate how you remain motivated to complete those tasks.
Tell me about a work situation that irritated you. (Hint: also describe how you successfully addressed it.)
Have you ever had to resolve a conflict with a co-worker or client? How did you resolve it?
How have you worked as a member of teams in the past?
What is your management style? How do you think your subordinates perceive you?
As a manager, have you ever had to fire anyone? If so, what were the circumstances and how did you handle it?
Tell me about the best boss you ever had. Now tell me about the worst boss; What made it tough to work for him or her?
What do you think you owe to your employer?
What does your employer owe to you?
Tell me about an objective in your last job that you failed to meet and why.
When was the last time you were criticized? How did you deal with it?
What have you learned from your mistakes?
Tell me about a situation where you blew it. How did you resolve or correct it to save face?
When was the last time you "broke the rules" (thought outside the box), and how did you do it?
What have you done that was innovative?
What is the most difficult decision you've had to make? How did you arrive at your decision?
What type of approach to solving work problems seems to work best for you? Give me an example of when you solved a tough problem.
How do you measure your own success?
What responsibilities do you want, and what kinds of results do you expect to achieve in your next job?
What do you think it takes to be successful in a company like ours?
How did the best manager you have ever had motivate you to perform well? Why did that method work?
What is the best thing a previous employer did that you wish everyone did?
Is there anything you wanted me to know about you that we haven't discussed?
Why do you want to leave your current position?
What was your most serious business-related mistake? How was it handled?
What did you like most about your last job? What did you like least?
Describe the work environment that you enjoy most.
Describe the kind of people that you enjoy working with or for.
Describe yourself under pressure.
How would you describe the best boss that you have had in your career? How would you describe the worst?
If I asked your last manager to describe you, what would s/he say?
What would your last manager say was your greatest achievement? Why?
What do you feel that you can bring to this position?
What specific duties performed during your career qualify you for this job?
How long did it take for you to feel comfortable in your current or last position?
Tell me about yourself.
What are both your long-term and short-term career objectives?
What interests you about this position?
Why should I hire you?
What qualifications do you have that will make you a success?
In what ways do you feel that you can contribute to our company?
What has been your most rewarding accomplishment? Why?
What do you know about this company?
What is your single greatest asset?
How do you handle a stressful situation?
Discuss your education and why you chose that area of study.
If you could change anything at all about your present job, what would it be?
What other companies are you considering?
What was the last book you read?
What is your shift preference?
Do you like to travel? Are you free to travel?
To which professional organizations do you belong?
Have you ever disciplined or terminated anyone? For what reason?
In what way do you feel that you have improved over the past year?
What decisions are easiest for you to make? Which ones are more difficult?
Give an example of a decision that you have made that you would make differently if you could do it again.
What has been your experience with reduction in force? How about expansion?
How do you feel that a subordinate would describe you?
How would you describe your management style?
Why were you out of work for so long?
What was your salary in your last job?
Can you be demanding of your subordinates?
How would you evaluate the company that last employed you?
Do you want the job? Why would you like to work here?
What do you look for when you are trying to fill an opening?
What can you offer that others applying for this job cannot?
If you could do anything you wished, what would it be?
Do you have objections to taking a drug test? How about a psychological test?
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Have you ever considered leaving your present company before?
What steps do you take to formulate a plan?
Do you have any questions that I can answer?
These are certainly the sort of questions you may be asked and you are wise to get prepared. Be careful not to force a 'scripted' answer on to another question though, you will need to be flexible.

If you are being interviewed over the phone remember these points:

Don't speak too fast. Keep a steady rhythm to your speech and don't rush just because you are not getting the usual visual feedback.

Don't be afraid to stop and just wait for their next comment.

Hold the phone with your hand in a good position for you to both hear and speak clearly. If you squash it between your chin and shoulder while you flick through written notes you may miss what is said, and you will sound muffled.

Good luck on Tuesday.
How did your interview go?