Phone interviews are being used more than ever by many companies, due to an increase in remote working combined with a decrease in face to face communications. In fact, direct interviews could be a thing of the past for many years to come, emphasising the importance of familiarising ourselves with how these can differ from face to face meetings and how candidates can tackle them in order to be successful.
So, what should you do before and during a phone interview?
Do prepare. Make sure you spend some time researching the company and the role you have applied for. Having a printout of the companies key objectives and latest news will be a great help. No doubt your interviewer will ask you questions about these aspects, and it's important to ensure them that you know your stuff!
Do have your CV handy. Keep your CV in front of you whilst the interview takes place. It will really help you to explain your previous experience and achievements properly and make sure you don't miss any crucial information.
Do take notes. The interviewer will know you are serious about the role and appreciate you taking the time to write down some important aspects of the call. You can refer back to these later, whether that gives you some questions to ask at the end of the call or help you write a follow-up email thanking them for their time.
Do listen. Remember to stay focused and listen to everything the interviewer is saying. It can be quite embarrassing and unprofessional when your attention slips and you have to ask for a repeat of the question.
Do smile. You might not think it, but smiling can change the tone of your voice and keep you sounding positive during a phone call. Your potential employer will know you are enthusiastic about the role and sense that you are confident that you would be the ideal fit!
And what not to do…
Don’t get distracted. Position yourself in a quiet room and try to limit background noise as much as possible. Make sure the area around you is clear of random bits and bobs that could easily distract you.
Don’t limit your time. You may think that your interview will be short and sweet, but don't be so sure! The last thing you want to do is end the call early because you have something else on your schedule, as it will come across that you are not serious about the role.
Don’t interrupt the interviewer. Although it's important to come across enthusiastic and confident in answering the interviewers' questions, take some time to let them speak and answer once you know they have definitely finished speaking.
Don’t speak too fast. Remember to speak as clearly as you can and enunciate your words; you don’t want the interviewer mishearing your responses. Keep calm and collected!
Don’t treat it as any less serious than a face to face interview. With the norm now being telephone interviews and not face to face, this is your chance to make a lasting impression and give it all you've got!
Always finish the conversation off with a genuine thank you and follow up the next day with an email expressing your gratitude. You may also want to save the interviewers number on your phone so that you recognise the call if they phone you again with a second interview or some good news!
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