Job candidates are increasingly finding that part of the job application process includes a telephone interview where companies seek to screen candidates efficiently, reduce their costs and at the same time reduce the number of applicants invited to a face to face interview.
If you do not prepare for telephone interviews, then you could seriously lose out on that ideal next career move. A telephone interview is a chance for you to put across your personality and to make a good first impression. Most interviewers make up their minds about a candidate within the first 10 seconds so it’s important to be prepared!
How to prepare for a telephone interview.
To achieve real success in a telephone interview you must take time to prepare. Whilst it may not feel as important as a face to face interview – it certainly is.
Mock Telephone interview
It is essential before you undertake the interview to practice beforehand with a mock telephone interview. Ask a friend or member of your family to assist you and record on your mobile phone the session. Then listen back to the recording and check how enthusiastic your voice sounds – if it sounds flat then you need to change the pitch of your voice during the interview to show how enthusiastic you are. Smile when you dial!
- Take time to research the company and to review the content of your CV so that you can remember which points to emphasise in order to sell yourself positively. Make sure you have notes prepared but ensure you don’t just read from the notes!
- Have notes on what questions you may like to ask and have your CV in front of you.
- Choose the right location. The choice of where you undertake a telephone interview is very important. Pick somewhere quiet away from children, televisions, washing machines and any other distracting noise. Find a quiet place at home if at all possible and get comfortable. It’s also a good idea not to sneak off in the office and do the interview as you may be interrupted or even worse – overheard!
- Choose the right time. Ensure that you confirm a time when you will be available – remember first impressions count and if your potential new employer cannot get hold of you at the agreed time then your chances may suddenly diminish.
- Dress for the occasion! Whilst it is only a telephone interview it may be tempting to fall out of bed and just answer the phone. If you do, your mental preparation for the interview will be poor. Think how confident you feel when you are dressed for a face to face interview. If you dress as if you are going to take part in a face to face interview, then you will find you will be more positively prepared.
- Charge your mobile phone!
- Interview etiquette – Listen, speak clearly and remain calm. A telephone interview obviously allows you to show good telephone technique, but it also should show good social skills and listening abilities. Take time to listen to the questions and consider your answers. Never interrupt the interviewer. Speak slowly and clearly, make sure you speak up so that they can clearly hear your answers. And finally don’t forget to smile! If you smile when speaking on the phone the interviewer can tell and this will have a positive impact on how you come across.
- Never eat, chew gum or smoke during the interview and always refer to the interviewer respectfully. Do not use endearing names such as love, mate, guys etc.