The increasing numbers of job applicants for every position advertised means that there has been a distinct rise in the number of companies who are doing Telephone Interviews as part of their initial recruitment and selection process. It is becoming the most cost effective and economic way for many companies to do their initial candidate screening. Of course for many other companies, the Telephone Interview has always been and will remain an integral part of their recruitment procedures. If you get invited for a telephone interview, it is essential that you prepare just as you should for any standard face to face interview. In a bid to help you with your preparation, we have put together our Top Tips for Telephone Interviews.
1. Plan your location.
Make sure you are somewhere quiet, where you will not be interrupted. Make sure other people with you know that you are to be left alone for the duration of the interview. Turn off the radio, the TV and any other phones in the room. Having to apologise for noise, or other distractions will only serve to unnerve you during the interview. If you are called on your mobile, make sure that you are somewhere where you know there is a good quality signal.
2.Have a copy of your CV or application form to hand. The interviewer will more than likely be referring to it during their questioning. You may be asked to expand on work experience you have had or explain gaps in your employment history. You of course should already know your CV and its’ content inside out but perhaps this is not the case with the answers you have given on an application form. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the form or CV before the call. Whilst you have it there as a ready source of reference, you should be able to immediately got to the sections referred to by the interviewer without any confusion or mad rustling of paper.
3. Do your Research Just as in a face to face interview, you may be asked what you know about the company. Research it well and have that info at hand. See our previous post for tips on researching companies.
4. Think about Examples. You are likely to be asked some competency type questions, asking you to give examples of times when you displayed certain traits or used certain skills that the job requires. Use the job description and identify what skills you are likely to need and have some examples ready to use. Remember to use the STAR technique – we referred to it previously here.
5. Listen carefully to the interviewer. Make sure that you fully understand the question. If you have not heard it properly, politely ask them to repeat it, rather than guessing what they have said. Also, let the interviewer speak. Don’t interrupt them midway through a sentence.
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