Telephone interviews are increasing in popularity with hiring managers. Whether this works in your favor depends on how you prepare for them. Telephone interviews are typically used as a pre-screening technique for candidates, but they may also be utilized for candidates who live far away. Regardless of the reason, you must take them as seriously as an in-person interview.
Phone interviews are designed to weed out candidates who are not a good fit for the company, in spite of their qualifications. During a telephone interview, a potential employer can determine how effectively a candidate communicates – an important aspect in almost any industry. They can rate your knowledge and/or skill level to determine if you should move on to the next step in the interview process, a personal interview. Taking the time to understand the phone interview process and following a few common sense tips can help ensure phone interview success.
Here are some of steps that will help you to do just that:
Take the Call When You Are Ready
if an employer calls and wants to do the interview when you are not expecting it (instead of setting up an appointment), excuse yourself politely. Saying something similar to “i’m in the middle of something right now – may i call you back in ten minutes” will give you time to prepare and will set the tone for the call and your relationship with the employer.
Get Rid of Distractions
it is best to take the call in a quiet room away from co-workers, radio, television, family, roommates, or anything else that may make noise or take your attention away from your converstaion. You want to be focused 100% on the interview and not feel pressured to multitask.
Have Your Tools Near Your Phone
Keep a copy of your resume, a pad of paper, and a pen nearby to jot down notes. You may want to have the interviewer’s name, your research on the company (with relevant information highlighted), questions to ask about the company and position handy as well. Another great item to have is a list of your key selling points that include your best qualities, specific experience and skills related to the position, and personal traits such as dedication, enthusiasm, and team-building skills.
Take the Call While Standing
The interviewer can only go by your voice – so make the most of it. Your voice projects stronger energy when you stand. You will come across as more upbeat and enthusiastic if you stand. Remember to smile and be polite.
Make a Good Sales Presentation
A phone interview is an opportunity to sell yourself – so make sure you do it well. it is the first round to achieving the in-person interview, so do not sell yourself short. Make sure you have covered all points you wanted to in your key selling point list. (And if you do not have one, now is the time to draft one!)
Don’t Drag it out
When it’s obvious the conversation is over, don’t try to drag it out. Say “thank you for your time,” reiterate your interest in the position, and ask what the next step will be.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
it is a good idea to practice your telephone interview techniques. Have a friend conduct a mock call. After the call, have them give you feedback, which can help you improve your telephone interviewing skills.