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I'll defer to the excellent answers already given on what telephone
interviews are, and address the communication issue you mentioned.
Often, telephone interviews are done using speakerphones, which often
produce poor transmission and reception. Soft speech is often
interpreted by the speakerphone as silence. The other party starts
talking before the speaker is finished.
Speakerphones also promote unease because speakers don't catch the
non-verbal cues to initiate speech or to curtail speech. A
long-winded speaker with a strong voice can go on and on while people
at the of the end of the phone are shouting "Stop!" to no effect.
I recommend starting any call where a speakerphone might be involved
by acknowledging the limitations of the technology and expressing a
desire to be considerate and polite even when the technology makes
that difficult to assess. Beyond that, err on the side of silence at
your end; have them invite you to respond if necessary.
My preference is to use a telephone conference call approach rather
than a speakerphone whenever I can. That way, everyone has their own
handset and all participants are equally in full duplex mode (able to
speak and hear at the same time).
Michael L. Wyland
Sumption & Wyland
818 South Hawthorne Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57104-4537
(605) 336-0275 (FAX)
(888) 4-SUMPTION (toll-free)
michael -at- sumptionandwyland -dot- com
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