5 Tips for Telephone Interview Success

More and more employers are resorting to phone interviews as a way of recruiting new staff, especially as a first step in the process. How can you increase your chances of being offered a position or at least offered a formal interview? Here are five tips to help you during that all-important telephone call.

Do some research

Just as with a face-to-face meeting, prepare yourself well before the actual interview. Ensure you understand the post you are applying for and get some accurate information on the company. Visit the company’s website so that you understand their policies and vision. This will put you in a much better position when it comes to answering questions.

Have your CV and notes close at hand

The advantage of phone interviews is that you can have your CV or resume in front of you without the interviewer knowing. You can even have your browser pointed at their website, just in case you are asked specific questions about the business.

Ensure your phone will not let you down

If possible, use a landline for the interview. Make sure you are in an area where there is minimal background noise. Ensure you keep doors closed, so that you are not distracted or interrupted by barking dogs, children playing or street noise. And clear your schedule: you do not want friends or family phoning ten seconds before the interviewer is due to call!

Brush up on your subject

A phone interview is often used to short-list individuals for face-to-face interviews, which means you may be one of a long list of potential candidates, so make sure you will make a positive impression. Know your subject, ensure that you have researched how it applies to the particular job, and take some time to refresh yourself on the latest advances in both your subject and its application at work.

Be confident, but honest

Your interviewer will ask unexpected questions, to which you may not know the answer. Be honest: you will score positive points for accepting your shortcomings and your willingness to learn. Remember that your interviewer cannot see you, and will make their judgment purely on what you say, and how you say it.

If you have difficulty with telephone interviews, it is also worth preparing as if it were a face-to-face meeting: dress smartly, go for a short walk before the interview (as if you were walking to the company’s premises) and take the call in a different room. Getting yourself into the right frame of mind can be the difference between a bad call and being offered the job. Good luck!


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