Many employers use the telephone to conduct initial job interviews, as it’s a quick and cost effective way to screen candidates and narrow down the number of applicants who’ll be invited to attend in-person interviews. Job seekers should remain prepared at all times for a phone interview as this could happen when least expected.
It’s a good idea to treat a phone interview like a face-to-face interview. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses, your successes and accomplishments, and formulate some answers to typical interview questions. Be prepared to discuss your skills, experience and working background. It’s also a good idea to have your CV close at hand when answering any questions.
Practice Makes Perfect
You might want to practice your telephone interview technique with a friend or family member. After all, talking and promoting yourself on the phone in an important job interview situation isn’t something you do every day. Record a ‘mock’ interview to see how you sound on the phone. Try to avoid long pauses and any ‘uhs’ and ‘ums’. Be upbeat and positive in your responses and carefully rehearse answers to typical interview questions.
The Telephone Interview
Remember that your main aim during the telephone interview is to successfully secure an invite to a face-to-face interview.
• While you’re being interviewed speak clearly and be upbeat, helpful and positive
• If you need to wet your mouth have a glass of water standing by
• Wherever possible, smile, smile, smile. Even though you’re on the other end of the line, smiling projects a positive image to your interviewer
• Listen carefully to the questions asked and try not to interrupt
• Think before you speak. It’s perfectly acceptable to take some time to collect your thoughts.
• Keep your answers brief unless your interviewer asks you to expand
• Remember to thank your interviewer at the end of the call for their time.