The phone interview has become an increasingly common part of most recruitment processes. The environment is so different to the face-to-face meeting, so how should you prepare? Here’s our list of six phone interview tips to ace the first round of your job-hunting journey.
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
We were flicking through Fast Company recently when we happened upon an interesting article.
A piece by Judith Stock explained that employers are opting more and more for phone interviews to screen potential new hires as it allows the company to sort through candidates without committing to the expense and time required for on-site meetings.
In her article Ms Stock refers to a survey conducted by Office Team who polled 515 human resources managers in the US.
And the majority of those, 57%, reported that phone interviews happen “very often.”
With this in mind, here are some handy steps for phone interview preparation…
Phone Interview Tips, 1: Research Still Wins
- Do a web search to find out everything you need to know about the company.
- Search online for a photograph of the person who is interviewing you – It’s much easier to talk with someone when you know what they look like.
- Write out a list of questions you want to ask and points you want to make -“What specific qualities and skills are you looking for in a candidate?” “How do you see this position contributing to the continued success of the organisation?” “I read recently that the company…
Phone Interview Tips, 2: Prepare the Scene
- The last thing you need during a phone interview are noisy interruptions so make sure you can take the call in an isolated room
- If possible, use a landline as a mobile phone connection can be less reliable
- If you don’t have a landline then make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged and that you take the call in a place where the reception is reliable.
Phone Interview Tips, 3: Put on Your Game Face!
- Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview; you’re more likely to feel and sound professional if you look the part.
- Remember to smile – You wont sound bored or uninterested if you have a smile on your face.
- Put a mirror on your desk to see your facial expressions when you talk.
- It’s all about the voice so swallow a teaspoon of honey before the phone and have a glass of water nearby
Phone Interview Tips, 4: The Invisibility Factor
- Because you’re unseen and so invisible, you can think of this interview like an “open-book test”. So if you wish you can have all the information you need to know about the company and the person conducting the interview open right in front of you, which is much more difficult to do in a face-to-face environment.
Phone Interview Tips, 5: Nail the 3 C’s:
The Three C’S are concision, concentration and courtesy.
As phone interviews are generally shorter than in-person interviews you have less time in which to make a good impression so:
- Avoid long-winded answers keep your responses to no more than three sentences.
- The day before the interview, practice asking your questions aloud and rehears your answers to some potential questions that the interviewer might ask you -“What are your strengths?” “Tell me about yourself….”)
It’s important to stay focused and take notes during the call. Listen carefully throughout so that your responses are to the point.
Be professional and be polite.
- At the end of the call you could ask – ‘Do my qualifications meet the company’s needs?’ Then ask when you could meet with them in person
- However the interview goes, end with a ‘thank you.’
- Remember the last few words of a conversation are often the most remembered.”
Phone Interview Tips, 6: The Follow-Up
If you want this job you need to restate your interest so about 24 hours after the interview ends, send an email to the interviewer:
- The subject line should be: “Your name and the position you applied for.”
- Thank them for the opportunity to speak with the
- Summarise what you spoke about during the interview.
- Include a link to an interesting news article about the company that you already found during your preparation research.
There you have it. Follow all these steps and you should be set up to communicate brilliantly in any phone interview, and leave you in a perfect position to step forward to the next stage of the process.
- Research is still vital
- Get your location ready
- Put on the game face
- Make the most of being invisible!
- Tick off “The Three C’s”
- Follow up with care and attention
ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.
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ConfidentSpeak is a specialist S.T.E.M Communications & Coaching Consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives at home and abroad. Contact us for details on our range of corporate/private programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.