June 15, 2014

9 Steps to phone interview success


Phone interviews are more important than you might think.  If you have a phone interview coming up, here are nine ways to help you shine.

  1. Treat it as though it’s a real interview: Why? Because it is! Phone interviews are used by employers and recruiters to narrow down their pool of candidates and decide who will move forward.
  2. Prepare thoroughly: Spend some time researching the company and preparing your answers to behavioural questions. Think of some recent, interesting examples that relate to the skills required.  
  3. Take the call in a quiet room: Go somewhere quiet, shut the door and don’t let anyone interrupt you. This will help you to think and speak clearly, and show respect for the caller.  
  4. Use a reliable phone and network: Make sure you use a phone that is fully charged and in an area with good reception – don’t let this call to drop out.
  5. Think about your tone: In a face-to-face interview, facial expressions and body language convey signals about your interest and enthusiasm. In a phone interview, your tone of voice becomes especially important. Make sure you sound engaged, upbeat, and friendly.
  6. Be ready to answer salary and availability questions: If you haven’t thought about this now is the time. Phone interviews are often used to screen out basic incompatibilities with these two points
  7. Have your resume and cover letter in front of you: The recruiter will have your application in front of them as they are conducting the phone interview. Don’t risk blanking or making something up when they start asking specific – know what information you have provided by keeping it in front of you.
  8. Stay focused: This call is not the time to multi-task – don’t be logged into anything else while you are being phone interviewed. If you take your full attention off the conversation the recruiter will hear that you are distracted.
  9. Listen carefully: Stay focused on the call, take the time to listen to the recruiter’s questions. If you don’t understand or hear exactly what they have asked you, apologise and ask them to repeat or possibly rephrase the question – don’t bluff your way through an answer that may well be irrelevant. 

Phone interviews are becoming more and more common in the recruitment process, it’s important to know how to use them to your advantage! 


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