Whilst you may not be meeting your potential employer in a face-to-face environment, it is still essential you treat the interview seriously. Our telephone interview advice will help you make the right first impression by conveying your enthusiasm for the role and demonstrating your experience and industry knowledge.
Being on time and completely prepared is essential, it is still an interview at the end of the day and I feel candidates perform better if they are well-presented and well-organised.
Charge your phone
First and foremost, make sure your phone has plenty of charge in it. Most of us use mobiles or portable home telephones today and it is essential it doesn’t give up the ghost half way through.
Look smart, feel smart
To get yourself in the right frame of mind; research the role, wear something smart, stand up and put on a smile! No, I am not bonkers; this is good telephone interview advice. If you feel prepared and smart, and stand up and smile, you will come across more confidently and feel more relaxed – trust me!
Research the role and company
Telephone interviews are becoming ever more popular because they are a cheap and cheerful way to filter candidates during the initial stage of the recruitment process. Just because the employer could be perceived as cutting corners, it doesn’t mean you should. Treat the telephone interview as if you are in a face-to-face scenario; thoroughly research the company and the job being advertised, prepare strong interview questions and think about how you will answer common interview questions. Many of their questions will be scripted but you may be able to naturally steer the conversation to ensure it embraces your key skills and experience.
Don’t forget your CV
Keep a copy of your CV handy, they interviewer will have a copy in front of them and will likely refer to it. You need to know exactly what you have written to provide a consistent answer.
Making the right impression
You need to sound confident, eloquent and knowledgable; providing detailed answers to questions and ensuring you convey your qualities and what you can bring to the position, over and above other candidates. Getting your point across is essential if you want to progress to the next stage. Speak clearly and concisely, don’t mumble and use good diction. Don’t speak too quickly and don’t ramble on. If there are brief pauses, don’t jump to fill the silence right away, it is quite likely the interviewer is taking notes and not everyone has superb shorthand skills.
If you don’t understand a question or don’t hear it properly, don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat it. It’s far better to ask than make a complete pig’s ear of the answer by guessing.
Being organised and prepared is equally essential in a telephone interview situation as in a traditional interview scenario, perhaps even more so because the interviewer can’t actually see you; it’s not as easy for them to interpret your reactions or see what your body language is saying. Let your voice be your body language, vary the tone and pitch of your voice to make you sound animated, engaging and interested in the position. If you sound monotonous and boring, the interviewer will likely think you are!
Keep it nice and quiet
A quiet environment is essential during a telephone interview. Shut yourself away from noise and distraction, send your partner and kids out and turn off distracting, loud noises such as the washing machine so you can hear properly. Whilst they are nice places to retreat to, avoid interviewing in a coffee shop or other public place where you can be easily disturbed.
Ask a question, or two
Always ask the interviewer at the end of the telephone interview if they have any other questions and if you have answered their questions satisfactorily because you’re willing to elaborate, where required.
Don’t forget to say thank you
When they are drawing the telephone interview to a close, always take the time to thank them for the interview, reiterate your interest in the role and ask them when you can expect to hear the outcome of the interview.
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