We talk on the phone all day – for business and for pleasure – it is a natural environment for us to communicate through. But what happens when the informality of phone conversation is about to be interrupted by the formality of a job interview – from a recruitment company or from an employer themselves?
Telephone ‘interviews’ are more commonplace than ever – in competitive industries it is the quickest way of vetting candidates credentials before the more formal interview processes begin – and if you get it wrong it is the quickest way to count yourself out of a job opportunity there is!
So, whatever else you do – if you are going to be involved in a telephone interview make sure you understand it is a formal process and that you need to pass this interview to get to the next stage – take it seriously and prepare.
Below are a few pointers which our specialists here at Pace think might just help you when you get the word that one of our team or a prospective employer wants to interview this way.
Take the same approach to a telephone interview as you would to a more ‘traditional’ kind of interview. This is the opportunity you have been trying to secure – a chance to change your employment status – a chance to change your situation, whatever your motivation.
Be as positive about it as would be about a face to face interview in person. Your personality will come through on a telephone interview in exactly the same way as it would in a face to face interview – and this is often the point of telephone interviews, to see how you come across; and make sure your mind-set is right – be professional from the outset.
Do exactly the same research as you would do for any other interview, especially if it is the employer who is going to call you – use the internet to do your research on the company who is interviewing you, talk you any contacts you may have, read any information which is available.
Re-read your CV and any other information you may have submitted or information which the interviewer might be able to find out about you – for example from your Linked In profile. Think about what questions the interviewer might ask you and be prepared.
Prepare your questions for the interviewer in exactly the same way you would if you were meeting your interviewer in person – the opportunity for you on the telephone is exactly the same, it is only the platform of the interview which is different.
Prepare your interview venue
This is where it gets different. You need to ensure that where you are going to be interviewed is comfortable for you – get yourself into a ‘professional’ environment – whether this is your business car, and office, or other environment where you feel ‘professional’ – certainly don’t conduct the call from your favourite coffee shop!
Most of all make sure that if there is anybody else nearby that they understand you are not to be interrupted under any circumstances.
Remember in all of this – the facts remain the same – you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Test Your Technology
Don’t leave anything to chance – make sure your phone is fully charged, and that you have a good signal which will not cut out during the interview.
Most of all being late for a telephone interview is as unprofessional as being late for an in person interview. Make sure your phone is clear well in advance so that you can take the call at the agreed time – you do not want to be phoning back saying ‘sorry I was just on another call’.
Make a great impression
If you follow the simple points above, you will be giving yourself an opportunity to make a great impression, and you will give yourself the best opportunity of progressing to the next stage of the selection process.
There is nothing to be frightened of in attending a telephone interview – there are just some different preparations.