Telephone Interviews have become increasingly commonplace as a tool used by recruiters and hiring managers in narrowing down their short-list of candidates. Chances are, if you are applying for jobs, you might be called for a telephone interview. Here are my top 5 tips for passing the telephone interview:
You still need to treat the phone interview like an in-person interview, so make sure you are distraction free. In most cases your telephone interview will be pre-scheduled, but in other cases, you may get an unexpected call from a recruiter or hiring manager. If you do receive a call unexpectedly and it is not a convenient time, it is ok to ask to schedule the meeting at a time that is mutually convenient.
Remember, the telephone interview is an important step in moving towards a job offer. As such, it is imperative that you are focused and present during your phone interview.
Make sure you have a dedicated space in your home or office where you can have an uninterrupted telephone conversation. Ideally, this will be a space with a desk or table where you can be seated comfortably. If you are at home and laying on the sofa watching TV, you will not sound as professional as you would if you were seated or standing.
If you have trouble projecting your voice, it is a good idea to stand during the interview, as long as it is comfortable to do so.
Believe it or not, smiling on the telephone shines through in your voice. A best practice used by telephone sales people and recruiters is to have a mirror at their desk which they use to help remind them to smile. The added benefit of using a mirror is that it can sometimes help you annunciate and pronounce your words properly. As important as it is to have a pleasant telephone manner for the phone interview, it is equally important that the person on the other end of the call can hear and understand you.
Be mindful of your word choice during your telephone interview. The telephone interview is still a business meeting, even though it may be a bit more casual in approach. Ensuring that you refrain from slang, and profanity will ensure you sound professional over the phone. That said, it is important to show your personality over the phone – and that is where smiling, as was mentioned in the previous tip, will help.
As part of your interview preparation, strive to be diligent with keeping a record of the roles to which you have applied. Along with this, you can keep your company research notes and any questions you may have for the interviewer together in one place. The advantage of the phone interview is that the interviewer can’t see you, so you can readily refer to your notes on the job and company during the interview.
In addition, with your organized company and role-specific notes, you can have your pre-written answers to common interview questions ready. My advice is to have your answers written in bullet point as this will make you sound more natural than if you were to read from a script.
I hope you found this helpful! If you have your own tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you!