It is now standard practice for hiring managers to start the recruitment process using a telephone interview to screen potential candidates.

So, performing well on that initial phone interview can help you land the job you want. 

Here are some tips and hacks that can help you to make a good impression throughout the whole process.

Before the Phone Interview:

1. Be strategic with your contact information. Let potential employers know the easiest way to contact you. Suggest that you can best be reached at a certain time  if it’s awkward for you to take calls at work. More and more companies do phone interviews without any advance notice so do what you can to establish the best conditions.

2. Keep a contact log. You may be sending out several job applications so you should keep a contact log in order to keep on top of them. You’ll be better prepared for impromptu phone interviews or any return calls if you know which company and position they’re calling about.

3. Do your research. A phone interview requires just as much preparation as the face-to-face version. This is so important, so make sure that you learn all you can about the company, position and the people you’re going to interview with.

4. Prepare talking points and questions. Write down talking points and follow-up questions that you can refer to. It will demonstrate that you are prepared and make it easier to remember everything you need to address.

5. Clear away distractions. Let other calls go to voicemail and ensure that you are not in a position to be interrupted during the call. Give the call your full attention. Do not take the call whilst driving or using public transport or noisy environments. You would be amazed at how many people do!

6. Take notes. Have a notepad to take down any actions, information or key points to use later.

7.  Phone Battery health. If you are taking the call on your mobile phone, make absolutely certain that the battery for your device is fully charged and that you have an adequate signal.

During the Phone Interview:

1. Be friendly and enthusiastic. obviously, you need to make a strong first impression. Smile and hold your head up. Focus on the positive aspects of the position so you’ll sound excited to discuss it. Smile while you are talking. It changes the inflection in your voice.

2. Record everyone’s name. If you’re interviewing with more than one person, write down everyone’s name at the outset. It’ll come in handy if you meet them for an in-person interview.

3. Adapt to the interviewer’s approach. Be yourself but be sensitive to the style of your interviewer. Adjust to their level of formality and the degree of detail they’re seeking. Some employers may just ask a few basic questions while others will go into great depth.

4. Deliver your summary statement. Have a brief summary statement prepared about why you think you’re the right candidate. What you will bring to the role. It should be about 20-30 seconds long.

5. Avoid interrupting. It can be difficult to judge when someone is finished  speaking when you can’t see them, so pause for a second before replying to avoid any awkward interruptions.

6. Request feedback. If you sense any weak areas during the phone interview, try to revisit them. Ask the interviewer to clarify their needs so you can offer more information to strengthen your case.

7. Ask questions that show you’re a good fit for the position. Ask questions that demonstrate that you’ve done your research. It will show that you’re really interested in the job and give you another chance to talk about why you’d be an asset.

8. Clarify the next steps. Ask about their recruitment process. They may want to schedule an in-person interview immediately or let you know when they’ll decide on the remaining finalists. Ask them if you have done enough to get to the next stage.

After the Phone Interview:

  1. Send a thank you note. Send a brief note of thanks by email or regular mail. It’s good etiquette and yet another chance to show you’d make a good employee.
  2. Make follow up plans. Recruitment decisions often take longer than expected. Follow up as needed with tactful persistence.

In summary, telephone interviews now play an important role in the recruitment process.

Learning the techniques to pass a phone interview will give you a big advantage in your job search.

For more information or help with another aspect of your career advance or development, click here to book your complementary discovery call.

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