As the number of individuals applying for job positions increases, being confident in a phone interview is becoming incredibly important. Employers will often use telephone interviews when they have a vast number of applications to work through as it would be impossible to interview all face-to-face.
The main aim of a telephone interview is to get the opportunity to be invited to meet face-to-face, so being properly prepared is key or you run the risk of losing out to better prepared candidates. From the first impression that you give, to the manner in which you present yourself, how you deal with the situation will more than likely determine whether you are successful or not.
Use your notes
A major advantage of a phone interview is that you can use your notes – so don’t forget to take advantage of them. Make sure you have a copy of your CV in front of you, so you have all your relevant experience and dates at the tip of your tongue.
As you would with a normal interview, make sure you do your research beforehand – know what the company is about, what there aims are and who they work with. You could even have your CV, the company’s website or job description up on your laptop to cover all the bases, but make sure you’re still focused on the interview and not surfing the internet.
Your voice is all you have
Unlike a face-to-face interview, you only have the words spoken over the phone to use to your advantage. Since you don’t have the luxury of non-verbal communication, make so you are paying attention and be sure to speak clearly and as concisely as possible.
Try and slow down when you talk and make sure you are being responsive to what they are saying –don’t go silent for 30 seconds while they explain more about the position for example.
The main problem with a telephone interview is that you can’t gauge from the employer what they’re thinking which can sometimes lead to awkward silences, interruptions and not answering the question well enough. However, it is not your job to fill silences so don’t think you have to waffle, as anything that might be important and articulate could end up getting lost.
Make sure you have clear and concise answers about your salary expectations, reasons why you’re leaving your current role and your motivation for applying, as these are all questions that will help employers to narrow down the applicants list so it is vital you get them right.
If you’re a graduate looking to kick-start our career, have a chat with Discovery Graduates and see how they can help get you started