Phone interview success greatly depends on mastering some basic telephone etiquette and being able to "sell" yourself within 30 seconds over the phone, sounding positive, confident and warm. Practice makes perfect. Start today.
Tips and Resources
Phone interviews have come to stay. It is amazing that many organizations recruiting potential employees for jobs now use telephone interviews.
In the UK job market, employers like the Royal Bank of Scotland, Marks & Spencer, and The Royal Mail frequently use telephone interviews to trim down on potential candidates for jobs.
Why Telephone Interview?
Some think that telephone interviews are the easiest of interviews, and wonder why companies bother to conduct interviews over the phone.
For one, telephone interview benefits companies, by helping to cut down on cost of interview venue, travel and subsistence allowance. They are able to select potential candidates from CVs submitted, hear them speak over the phone, and further cut down on the size to a manageable number they will eventually plan a one-on-one interview with.
This technique is so important to telesales, and customer’s services-oriented businesses requiring good communications skills in a candidate.
Your potential employer, by listening to you speaking on the other end of the phone wants to assess how well you are likely to perform on the job… at least to some extent.
So if you are applying for a job in a telesales or customer’s services related job, be it in the banking sector or retail, then do not be surprised that you may be called for a phone interview. At anytime!
Phone Interview Preparation Tip
Preparation is always the key to success. Telephone interview preparation should be given the same attention, if not more, than the traditional face-to-face interview.
What you say and how you say them are all that matters if you must get through this stage. You must then prepare your mind and surroundings for the interview.
The following telephone interview tips will help.
- Always make a list of all job applications you send. This is very important as part of the preparation. You could be called for a telephone interview and may not remember what job or job position you applied for, even though you may still need that job! Keep a copy of the application form, job description, person’s specification and any research you have made about the company before hand. Remember, until you get a job, looking for a job is your job. All you have to do will worth it.
- Start preparation from when you send your application, for a possible phone interview if you are applying for a sales position by going through sample questions and answers over and over again. Some companies could call you unannounced for an interview.
- Get your CV and other documents handy on your desk or wall board always in preparation for a possible interview at anytime. The odds are that your interviewer would have a copy in his hand too. Do not be taken unawares.
- Prepare a list of your greatest strengths and weakness, and rehearse these, and have it pinned on your wall close to your desk. You are most likely going to be asked this question.
- Prepare all possible job interview answers and read them to your self. Get a room-mate or friend and rehearse it before them. Say it aloud and watch your self in front of a mirror.
- If you are called for a phone interview at a time you are not ready, feel free to ask the interviewer to call you in two minutes while you go to another extension or room. Use that time to calm down, get your materials together and psych your mind for the interview.
- If you happen to have been given a date and time for an interview, informing family members and asking for quiet or putting up a ‘do not disturb’ notice on your door will make sure you concentrate and be undisturbed.
- During the telephone interview, talk calmly, well paced out and with warmth. Some have suggested you even stand up as this will make you fell more alert. Do not forget to use gestures and facial expressions as you would normally do. They are translated and transmitted down the phone line. Smiling, taking deep breaths help improve blood flow and improve your articulation.
- Be a good listener. Your listening skills would be put to test here, as your answers will reflect if you have been listening well or not. If you do not hear or understand what was said, do not hesitate to ask that it be repeated. Do not confabulate or make up questions.
- Please ensure you have a pen and notepad to hand. Take note. This helps improve your concentration by focusing your mind on the business at hand. It also gives you a platform to write down thoughts and questions that you might want to ask.
- Get the name of your interviewer at the beginning and call him or her by name as you speak.
- Answer questions straight to the point, using short sentences. Do not say more than is expected of you. Use facts and figures, and show achievements. Let your interviewer see why you are priceless… do not over do it off course.
- As a must, please send a post job interview THANK YOU LETTER . It works. It is strongly recommended. You can send one via email or regular post.
Telephone Interviews Resource
Go the extra mile - the competition is less after that extra mile. Grab all you can to prepare yourself for your telephone interview. We bring you the additional phone interview resources below to help you in this must win battle to get through an all important interview on phone. Use them.
- Read more on must developed Telephone Interview Etiquettes
- General Interview Tips to spice up your preparation
- Sample Phone Interview Questions
- Sample Telephone Interview Answers
- Phone Interview Thank You Letter