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The Dos and Don’ts of Phone Interviews

Telephone interviews are becoming more and more popular.  They are usually (although not necessarily) shorter than a face-to-face interview and are a great way for companies to screen candidates.  It is unlikely that a job will be offered to you at a telephone interview; however this will be when a decision is made as to whether the organisation is willing to invest the time to meet you in person.

Do Your Research

You should prepare for a telephone interview in the same way that you would for any interview.  A lack of preparation will be just as obvious on the phone.  Use the internet to your advantage, find out all of the information that you can about the organisation, its competitors, the job role and the person interviewing you.  Preparing some potential answers and making notes will help jog your memory should it go blank under the pressure.

Don’t Relax

Don’t take the phone call whilst you are lying in bed or sitting in your favourite comfy armchair.   Such a relaxing position may be too calming and may dull the preciseness of your responses. Standing up or sitting straight will help to ensure that your mind is focused and that you are in professional mode.

Do Smile

Research shows that someone can actually hear your smile via the telephone.  Try it yourself, listen to how your voice sounds if you talk with a smile on your face.  A positive and optimistic approach to the interview will shine through in your voice and it will become easier to establish a connection via the telephone.

Don’t Get Caught Out               

Make sure that you have set enough time aside for the interview.  It may be tempting to try and fit it in before work or during your lunch break. You don’t want to be watching the clock, rushing your answers and not demonstrating your skills fully.  If you are conducting a telephone interview within a set time frame then let the interviewer know this from the outset, don’t rush the end of the conversation as they may have left the most important questions until last.

Do Listen

Talking over one another is more common on the telephone than in person.  Sometimes it can be difficult to tell when someone has finished their point without any physical signals to work with.  There is often a lack of spontaneity in a telephone interview that can make it feel as though the interviewer is just running through a list of questions.  Just listen intently, accept this for what it is and don’t allow it to make you more nervous.  Don’t feel that you need to fill the silences if you have already said all that you wished to say.

Don’t Multitask

You are at home when you take the call.  There’s washing that needs doing, emails that need sending, doors that need answering.  Stop!  Don’t do any of those things.  Give the interviewer your full focus.  The interviewer’s voice is the only way that you can tell if the interview is going well.  If you are not totally focused on the voice at the other end of the phone then you risk missing subtle nuances in the conversation and denying yourself the opportunity to build that all important rapport.

We hope that you found these tips helpful. Remember to treat the telephone interview as a great first opportunity to get your foot through the door of an organisation. Even though it was a phone interview it is still good practice to follow up with the interviewer within 48 hours, demonstrating your continued enthusiasm for the role and revisiting something that was discussed during the interview.

Good luck!

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