Interview Tips

Phone Interview Tips

I have noticed recently a lot of people asking for help with telephone interviews, so on that basis I have put some phone interview tips together to help you get through what I would assume is the first stage of an interview.

I must admit I didn’t realise how important this is until now, but having given this topic some thought I realise that I and other employers will pre screen using the phone.

To me the phone is my tool and I rarely get to see candidates face to face, but having interviewed candidates over the phone all these years I am sure I can get a good feel of a candidate from a telephone conversation.

A phone interview will be very similar to a face-to-face interview and in many ways you are interviewed purely based on skills than how you look. So what do I look for when I interview someone on the phone, the same as face to face I will be asking probing questions and listening to the way those questions are answered and if those answers are what I want. Exactly the same when face-to-face.

So based on this you should do the same preparation you would have done if you were face to face i.e. research the company and the role and then put together the reasons why you would be suitable for the position.

Next you need to get your personality across on the phone, which isn’t as difficult as you may think. All you need to do is be calm and comfortable and professional. What may surprise you is the way you address the phone will come across to the interviewer. If you stand while talking, you adopt a superior and confident position, if you sit you are not in control and if you are laid back they will know!

In my office my fellow consultants could always tell who I was talking to, dependant on the posture I assumed, if I was chatting someone up I was almost horizontal. When I was trying to close a deal I would stand, if I was trying to get my point across I would pace, and to take it to the extreme, if I was being aggressive and dominant I would stand on the table. (mind you I never stand on the table anymore as being agressive never gets you anywhere)

My key to a successful telephone interview is as follows:

  1. Prepare for the phone interview (research the company, have a copy of your cv with you)
  2. Stand when you make the call to show confidence and it helps you focus.
  3. Smile because it will come across on the phone.

To finish, a telephone interview is a screening interview and will often be short and brief and the consultant will have a specific point they will want to check before they invite you in, hence if you have the cv in front of you will be ready for the question because obviously it will be related to the cv.

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