Telephone interviews are the first step to securing your move to the next step in the hiring process, yet they are often overlooked and thought of as less formal. Feedback from a lot of applicants is that it can feel awkward and unfamiliar at times.
If you prepare properly, this first stage of the process can be crucial to make a good first impression on your future employers. It also serves as a way to build rapport with the recruiter or hiring manager early on and have a chance to set yourself apart from other applicants.
Read our top 9 tips to ace your next phone interview:
- Before the interview – Prepare as you would for a face-to-face or video interview. Confirm the duration of the interview, clear your diary, research your employer, read the job description thoroughly and practice your answers for common or expected questions.
- Perfect your verbal communication skills – As the recruiter can’t read your body language and see your expressions, this is imperative. Avoid speaking too quickly, try not to interrupt or mumble and practice not using filler words. Ensure you have a positive tone.
- Get into a positive mind-set – Calm your nerves and give yourself a pep talk. Remind yourself of the great outcomes or achievements you’ve had , be positive and believe you are a good fit for the role. This will motivate you to sound confident during the phone call.
- Have your data on hand – Keep your resume, bullet points of achievements/skills that you want to mention and any information about the organisation you are applying for available. Ensure that you utilise these key points – but not at the cost of not listening to the interviewer.
- Start the interview – Try to pick up the phone within two rings and answer in a professional manner. If you have the number saved greet the interviewer by name.
- Don’t rush – Speak at an even pace. Everyone tends to speak faster when nervous. If you notice this happening, pause and take a deep break and regulate your speaking pattern. Try to feel at ease and continue the interview.
- Remember your manners – Avoid chewing gum, messaging simultaneously and checking your social media accounts. This can be very off putting for the interviewer. Try not to interrupt by leaving a short pause once you think they have finished speaking and before you start responding.
- Conclude by thanking them – As you would with an in-person interview, thank the interviewer for their time and let them know you enjoyed the opportunity. Reiterate your interest in the role and clarify the next steps.
- Post interview steps – If you are keen to take the opportunity, follow up. Phone your recruiter and update them about how it went giving them clear feedback on why you liked the role and how your skills/experience match. Send a thank you note to the interviewers via your recruiter/ yourself to confirm your interest in the opportunity.
Hopefully these tips will help you prepare for your next telephone interview and ensure you ace it and move forward in the recruitment process! Remember to put in the same effort that you would for a face-to-face interview.
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