Telephone Interview Tips

By Allen Recruitment Consulting

Before you start make sure you are ready and have the following items:

  • Pen and paper, a calculator.
  • Your calendar
  • The job ad and the CV which you sent in response to the ad.
  • A list of your accomplishments which relate to the job you are discussing.
  • Research you have done on the company.
  • Your mobile charger if taking the call on your mobile, nothing worse than running our of battery power in the middle of the interview.
  • A quiet place where you will not interrupted while doing the interview, make sure you book enough time if booking a meeting room or office.

Some time before the phone interview takes place, prepare a list with the names of the people with whom you'll be speaking, questions you want to ask and three points you'd like to make during the interview. 

The Techniques of a Pro

  • Smile - it comes through in your voice.
  • Speak directly into the phone.
  • Don't smoke, chew gum, eat or drink anything. It all telegraphs to your listener.
  • Stand up. Your voice sounds stronger.
  • Avoid ah, er, hum. This habit is especially noticeable on the telephone. This takes practice. So practice.

For a Winning Performance

  • Remember that your single objective at this point is to sell yourself and your skills; if you don't do that, you may never get the face-to-face interview.
  • Confirm the caller's name and company.
  • Be aware that the caller can't see you - can't see your hand gestures, can't see you taking notes.
  • It is important that you paint mental pictures when you describe your activities because the interviewer is also subject to the same sensory limitations you face.
  • Beware of over-familiarity. You should always refer to the interviewer by his or her surname until invited to do otherwise. Pace the call. Let the caller do most of the talking, without interruptions.
  • Do use the technique of repeating or re-phrasing questions. It tells the caller that you listened carefully, and gives you time to think about your answer.
  • Avoid the simple yes or no; add selling points at every opportunity.
  • Be factual in your answers. Brief yet thorough.
  • Don't say anything negative about your present employer.
  • During the interview if you hear something that is attractive to you let the employer know this.
  • If you need time to think, say so - as in radio, silence during a telephone conversation is dead air time.
  • A little flattery goes a long way: Admiring the company's achievements is, in fact, admiring the interviewer. Likewise, if any areas of common interest arise, comment on them, and agree with the interviewer when possible--people hire people like themselves. If the interviewer does not give you the openings you need to sell yourself, be ready to salvage the situation and turn it to your advantage. Have a few work-related questions prepared--for example, "What exactly will be the three major responsibilities in this job?"
  • The telephone interview has come to an end when you are asked whether you have any questions. Ask any more questions that will improve your understanding of the job requirements.
  • The telephone interview is not the place to discuss compensation in any form.
  • Don't forget to thank him/her/them for their time and interest.
  • Don't forget to call your recruiter and share your thoughts about the interview.

Published with the kind permission of Allen Recruitment Consulting

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