Ring Ring! | How to handle a telephone interview.
As the importance of both time and cost efficiency grows in the fast moving global market, more and more companies are looking to telephone interviews to screen candidates. We look at how to navigate with personal/impersonal process.
How to get it right:
When it comes to impressing in a telephone interview, there are a few things that are just the same as a face-to-face interview. Specifically:
Make sure you've done your research. Just because they can't see your face doesn't mean they're not going to know when you're scrambling for information because you're unprepared. The best place to start is the company's website, but there's often far more information out there, and the more you have the better.
Have a copy of your CV to hand. You're going to need to know the ins and outs of it off the top of your head, but have it with you in case you get a little hazy.
Write down everything you think you need to ask. By being on the phone you have the luxury of notes so use them! This is your chance to show them just how interested you are.
Relax! Some people find it uncomfortable talking on the phone, but remember, you can be sitting in your living room in your pyjamas if that makes you feel better. Use the lack of face to face to calm the nerves, put on a smile, and give it your best shot.
How to get it wrong:
As with everything, when there's a right way to do it, there is also a wrong way to do it. Here are some of the big mistakes:
Think it's less important than an in person interview. It's still a case of door shut or door open and you don't want to lose your shot at a job because you didn't take the telephone interview seriously enough.
Trying to multi-task. Your only focus during those minutes should be the interview. Don't empty the washing machine or leave the TV on mute in the background. If you get distracted, the interviewer will know they don't have your full attention. Shut out everything that might get in the way and give it 100% of you effort.
Running out of steam. It's quite possible that the interview has interrupted something else in your life, and because it's on the phone, it can be easy to lose interest in the call. You want to sound engaged and interested all the way through, because they will know if you aren't.
Worry about technical issues. They happen. They're no one's fault. If things go wrong with a mobile, try switching to a landline. And if you get disconnected, don't just sit there and wait for the call back, after five or so minutes either call the office or email the interviewer. Just because the call ended (abruptly) doesn't mean the interview did.
The telephone interview doesn't need to be nearly as daunting as people thing. You're in your comfort zone (ideally) and that means you don't have to worry about whether your outfit is right, or dribbling coffee on your collar etc, so sit back and put your best foot forward!
**Oh wait, definitely don't say that! But even if you do by mistake, nobody has ever not got a job by accidentally saying love you at the end of the phone interview. The recruiter or hiring manager has made up their mind by then. The one bit of advice if you do happen to make this slip? Own the mistake. Apologise and laugh about it. Don't just pretend it didn't happen. It did, you know it and they know it. Handle it well and you will look that little bit better!