Telephone Interview Advice
Many candidates really worry when they have a telephone interview and are not sure how to prepare for the event.
My advice would be to a certain extent prepare for this in the same way you would a face to face interview. Ultimately though, the interviewer is trying to get a feel for you as a person and how well you come across on the phone. They may ask you questions about your hobbies or interests to try and get the conversation flowing and to get more of an idea of what interests you.
Telephone interviews can be tricky as you are not able to read social cues as you would in a face to face environment, however, there are also advantages and you can have your notes in front of you and that in turn will help you feel more confident and get over any initial first interview nerves.
- Be sure of the time of your telephone interview, make sure you are somewhere quiet, where you can focus and where your mobile signal is of a good strength and you have adequate charge on your battery
- Make sure you have had a drink so you do not sound hoarse
- Make sure you have researched the company fully. The first question is very often “What do you know about us?”
- Read the Job specification carefully and have a think about what you can bring to the role in terms of skills and experience. Be sure to highlight to the interviewer your key skills and experience that relate directly to this role. Also, if you don’t have a particular skill be sure to let them know what you may have instead that could be a good substitute
- Practice answering some common interview questions with a friend or family member
- Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer at the end (Never money or holidays)
During the Telephone interview
- Answer the phone in a professional manner for example “Good Afternoon, Rachel speaking”
- Have any information to hand, maybe including a copy of your CV. Bullet points about the company in case you have a mind blank and some questions you may like to ask the interviewer
- Even though you may be understandably nervous, try not to speak to quickly. Pause and take a deep breath. Do make sure you sound upbeat, happy and enthusiastic. Definitely do not smoke or chew gum (they will be able to hear this)
- Do make sure you give the interviewer your full attention. Listen carefully to what they say and, if appropriate, show you have listened by asking appropriate questions. Try not to interrupt them.
- When the interview comes to an end be sure to thank them for their time and reiterate how keen you are on the opportunity, and what the next steps in the process may be.