Top Ten Terrific Telephone Techniques for the Perfect Telephone Interview
More and more these days, clients are kicking off their interview process with a telephone interview and in a lot of cases it makes good sense. You can tell an awful lot about someone on the phone and then follow up face to face from there. It saves you and them a whole lot of time and hassle.
So as a candidate, how can you be best prepared to make that all important first impression when it’s on the phone? Here are our top 10 telephone interview tips based on our experience and feedback from our clients.
- Preparation – Make sure you’ve done your homework on the company, the position and ideally the interviewer (LinkedIn), just as you would a face to face interview. Many people make the mistake of not taking the telephone interview as seriously as an actual meeting, but without your super smart appearance and smile, you’ve got to find a way to make a great first impression. Being well prepared is the first step.
- Know your CV. Make sure you know your CV inside out. Dates, qualifications, hobbies interests, key achievements. The interviewer’s number one subject will be You, make sure you’re ready.
- Read the Job Spec Again. Really understand the role clearly in your mind. What technical skills do they need, what responsibilities. And where are you strong and weak against these? This will lead you to point 4.
- Ready for Questions. Take some time to consider what questions you are likely to be asked and how you will answer. This probably won’t be your first ever interview, so what have you been asked in the past?
- What are your strengths, weaknesses?
- What is it you like about the position? Or what do you understand about the position?
- What do you know about our company?
- How strong are you with the technical skills we need?
- Can you give me examples of when you’ve worked with VMWare or Networking technologies?
- What IT problems and challenges have you come up against?
- Quiet Place – Often telephone interviews are during the working day. It’s important therefore that you have somewhere prepared that you can go to. Be it an empty office (that you won’t be disturbed in) the car (parked away from noisy, busy roads), or if you’ve gone home for lunch. Wherever it is, it must be quiet and free from disturbance.
- Voice Mail – How does your Voice Mail sound. “you know the drill – leave a message”, or something equally “too cool for school” or a little drab and unenthusiastic? As recruiters we call candidates all day, every day and voicemails that make a bad impression are so common! We get that it’s your personal VM, but when you’re on the lookout for a new job, it’s a really good idea to have a crisp, polite message that leaves a professional impression.
What happens if the call goes through to VM? Maybe the interviewer calls you 5 minutes early, or you get another call and theirs goes to VM. Don’t put them off by a joke message you left 3 years ago!
- Answering the phone – How do you answer the phone? With a telephone interview, this is the interviewers very first contact with you and all the first impressions start right now. It absolutely MUST be professional. A simple “Hello David Speaking” is fine. Just don’t be one of the nonchalant people that answer, “ello” or “yeah”. Bright, professional and clear!
- Breath, Relax, be yourself – OK, easier said than done I know, but it’s your time to shine so try to be yourself and let your personality come across. Get those shoulders down, smile, and where possible, stand up!
- Pauses – You will get asked questions that will make you think. That’s absolutely fine. But be careful with pauses. Too long and it’s odd, but it’s better to consider your answer than rush in and mess it up. If you really need some time to think or remember, let them know that. “Oh good question, let me think”, or even, “let me just consider that for a second”. Hopefully good preparation will enable you to think quickly on your feet.
- Thank you and close – When the call’s coming to an end, remember to thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity to speak with them. It’s also a really good idea to make sure the interview knows that you’re keen. “thank you for your time with me. I’m really interested in this position and would really welcome to chance to come and meet with you and see the company. I look forward to hearing from you soon”.
So that’s all for now, but for more useful tips and help, visit our full interview guide on our website. http://100itrecruitment.co.uk/candidates/interview-tips-and-advice/