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May 30, 2017

How to ace a telephone interview

Telephone interviews can play a crucial part in the recruitment process but can also daunting and difficult to master, we've got some tips to help.

This week, consultant Katy walks you through her tops tips for ace-ing the oh so nerve-wracking telephone interview so that you can ensure you create a brilliant first impression from the end of the line.

Love them or loathe them, telephone interviews are an essential part of the interview process and if prepared for correctly, you can create a great first impression which will hopefully lead on to a follow up face-to-face  or, in some circumstances,  a job offer.

So, first of all, good job! The employer is impressed by your application and CV and wants to know more about you. But remember, an interview is still an interview - you need to be just as prepared as you would be for a face-to-face interview.

You do not have the luxury of physical communication during a telephone interview, the interviewer will not read from your body language whether you are confidently explaining something, smiling or gesticulating so what you say is even more important than in a face-to-face interview as your interviewer is likely to be judging you solely on the content of what you say and less so on the overall impression you give.  

So, make sure you are confident and prepared in your answer, take a couple of seconds to think before you express yourself and keep your answers short and sweet. You may have good intentions, but what you say and how you say it can easily be misinterpreted so compose yourself and speak clearly into the phone.

  • Preparation - Practise for the telephone interview just as much as you would for a face-to-face interview - you won't get your foot in the door if you blow this chance
  • Be an active listener -  demonstrate that you are engaged and interested in the job, focus on every word the interviewer says
  • Check you've answered their question fully - It's worth asking that they are satisfied with your answer before talking for too long. In a face-to-face interview you would pick up on the signs e.g. smiles, boxes ticked etc but you can't see that over the phone so it's best to ask
  • Choose a quiet setting - A noisy café is probably not a good choice. If you're at home, clear the room, turn the TV off and if you don't have a home phone make sure your mobile has enough battery
  • Grab a drink - Make sure you have a glass of water close by as you would in a face-to-face interview
  • Concentration - Stay focused and take notes during the call - It's not the time to reply to emails or check your texts
  • Smile - Smile into the phone throughout the entire conversation and project your personality. Don't let yourself come across aloof during the call.
  • Have your CV and application to hand - First impressions count and in the majority of telephone  interviews you will be questioned on your application, if you have your application and CV to hand you can answer any questions you may receive - avoiding the potential for a disastrous situation
  • Ending the interview - Thank the interviewer and don't hesitate to ask about the next steps; though do remember this is the preliminary round, it's not the time to ask about salary. If you progress to the next stage, you will have a chance to assess the company in more depth.

And finally, good luck!




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