Telephone interviews are still widely common today and can be a key part of the recruiting process for some employers.
These interviews are different from in person in many ways. They bring up certain opportunities you can take advantage of and also create certain things that you will need to be prepared for.
This article will go over how to handle and excel at telephone interviews. Brush up on your speaking skills before proceeding with your preparation.
Take control of the call environment
Make sure you are in a proper environment for your telephone interview. Keep everything around you clean and organized. You should have a pencil or pen and notebook within arm’s reach. One of the disadvantages of these kinds of interviews is if you are unprepared even in a small way, it looks unprofessional because of the amount of time you have to prepare.
Make sure you have your resume close by as well. During a phone interview employers are likely to make reference to your resume. Keep it near you so you can quickly refer to your past and the timelines associated with it.
Let everyone else around you know that you will be busy for a little bit. Minimize distractions and outside noise as much as possible.
Consider using a land line if you are not confident in the call quality on your cell phone. If you are using your cell phone, make sure it’s fully charged.
Setup your responses
Telephone interviewers provide you with a great chance to be prepared. You should write down some common answers that you will have to give and have them nearby.
Keep these answers short and concise. Refer to them during the phone interview to quickly give solid answers without having to think too much.
Tough questions WILL come up during a telephone interview. Don’t allow yourself to get flustered or nervous when hard questions arise.
Try and get yourself as calm as possible before the call. Keep a glass of water nearby to sip on in between questions.
Before you answer the phone, SMILE. This will help with the tone of your voice and will allow you to project a positive spirit.
Things to keep in mind during the call
Make sure you are speaking at a clear and normal pace. Try not to interrupt the interviewer; wait until they have asked you the full question before answering.
Part of your preparation should include understanding your short comings as an employee.
Make sure you understand what about you or your career history could be of concern to employers.
Make appropriate answers for when these questions come up. For example you should be able to explain transitions between jobs or positions extremely clearly.
Prepare examples that show off your strong qualities
You also need to remember phone interviews are not only about questions and answers.
The employer is also checking out your phone skills, your confidence, your personality and your ability to communicate.
Focusing on examples that deal with teamwork and problem solving will help you show off these qualities. Preparing these examples beforehand is one of the great advantages of telephone interviews.
Your examples should have 4 main parts. The problem – analysis – action – results. When preparing structure your examples in this order.
In the analysis & action steps it’s important to highlight any teamwork that took place. Show that you know how to use the resources around you.
Use a positive tone and show that you’re a confident person who isn’t afraid to ask for help.
General tips to act on
Phone interviews also give the opportunity to take notes during the interview. Note down any questions or concern you might have to ask at the end of the interview.
You can also take note of difficult questions that you feel you need to better prepare for next time.
Try standing up during your interview instead of sitting. This will help you sound more enthusiastic.
If you get any personal information about the person interviewing you, make sure your write it down. Also write down any skills or qualities that they seem to be particularly impressed with.
If you have this information you can make your thank you letter extra strong. You will know what things to highlight and focus on in your letter.
Remember to prepare just as much as an in person interview. Being properly prepared will allow you to impress employers over the phone with ease and reduces the need for you to make things up on the spot. Check out these tips for preparing for a Skype interview as well, lots of the same telephone interview techniques discussed here will help you in a Skype interview.