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Tips For Telephone Interviews
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Tips for Telephone Interviews

Although many of us may have been interviewed over the telephone to complete a survey, many of us will have little or no experience of a telephone interview when applying for a job. Telephone job interviews are often used in sales related jobs especially telesales where good telephone skills a key requirement However, they are also increasingly being used by organisations as a preliminary screening technique before inviting people for a face to face interview. They are also often used if people are applying for a job overseas.

Being interviewed over the telephone is a quite different experience from being interviewed face to face, so here are my top tips how you should prepare and conduct yourself during a telephone job interview.

1. Take the interview seriously.

A telephone interview is no different from a face to face interview. Remember to take it seriously , be prepared and sound professional.

2. Avoid distractions

If you know exactly when you’re going to be interviewed, make sure that you have done everything to avoid distractions. Switch off the computer and any other telephone and if you share a house tell people that you don’t want to be disturbed and if necessary put a notice on the outside of the door.

3. Be prepared

Make sure you have thought about your USPs (Unique Selling Points) and a few questions to ask if there is an opportunity. Make sure you pen and paper in case you need to write notes and have your application in front of you. However, it is only there as an ‘aid memoir’ . If you read off it word for word you will sound slightly odd.

4. Charge your phone

If the interviewer is phoning you on a mobile rather than a landline, make sure that your phone is fully charged. Imagine how embarrassing it would be for your phone to suddenly cut off because you haven’t got enough power.

5. Do some breathing/relaxation exercises.

As it ‘s your voice you are relying on to help sell yourself, you need to ensure that it’s as strong as possible. Make sure that you do some breathing exercises before the call so that you’re as relaxed as possible

6. Keep hydrated

Although an interviewer might expect you need some water, they won’t appreciate it, if you slurp down the telephone at them. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be eating even if you can’t be seen.

7. Remember to smile.

Yes your interviewer will be able to tell whether or not you’re smiling and that can set the tone for the whole interview. It’s also important that you keep your voice lively as it’s easy to pick up if you sound cool, or grumpy. They need to know you’re interested in getting the job.

8. Use verbal cues

In a face to face interview, the interviewer can see your body language, , whether you mirror their movements, or nod your head. Of course this is not the case over the telephone, so it’s important to give verbal cues such as ‘yes’, ‘I see’ ‘I understand’ to show that you’re very much part of a conversation. However, be careful that you don’t overdo it, or you could sound insincere.

9. Listen carefully

It’s always necessary to listen carefully but in some ways the pressure is even greater on a telephone interview, as they can often be much shorter interviews and because you can’t see the person it can be hard to not let your mind drift.

10. Reflect back to the interviewer

This doesn’t mean you simply repeat back what the interviewer says. You need to reflect back using different words, because it allows you to check for understanding and it also tells the interviewer that you have understood.

11. Don’t cut the interview short.

Just because you’re at home, the same rules apply. The interview comes to an end when the interviewer says goodbye. Don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to ring you.

12. Take time to reflect

As soon as you put the phone down, it’s worth taking the time to reflect on what you were asked, your responses and whether there are any areas you’d like to improve on. If it didn’t go well, evaluate, learn and move on.

I hope you find these tips for telephone interviews useful. If you find interviews stressful l I have some tips on breathing exercises which you can find at my Confidence Coaching.


Street Talk

Great article. Gives you all the information needed to have a successful interview. This article is highly recommended.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Thanks Rodney

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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