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Telephone interview tips

Telephone interviews continue to grow in popularity within the recruitment process particularly for urgent roles that need filling fast or first stage interviews. However, these can be daunting for candidates who may not have experienced one before.

During a telephone interview an employer can efficiently gain a technical understanding of your experience without having to set up a lot of timely formal interviews. Thus, the employer can shorten the hiring cycle. It is therefore crucial that you make a strong first impression to ensure you are shortlisted for a formal interview and make it onto the next stage of the hiring process. 

Here are our top tips for performing well during a telephone interview!

Make sure you come across well

A key part of the telephone interview is how you come across over the phone. You should think about your tone, sense of humour and show your personality. You will have to go the extra mile as the interviewer cannot see your facial expressions or your body language.

Top tip: make sure you are in a quiet room with plenty of signal when the call comes through to ensure you are not disrupted.  

Prepare, prepare, prepare

You still need to prepare as you would for a normal face-to-face interview. Make sure you research the company, their vision, values as well as information about the person interviewing you.

Keep your CV in front of you

An obvious benefit of telephone interviews is the ability to review your CV whilst speaking to the interviewer. Consider keeping your CV by the phone so you are able to quickly switch into interview mode, ease into the call and help you provide relevant examples to the interview questions. 

Sell yourself

If you have a telephone interview the chances are that the employer is also speaking to a number of other candidates, so make sure you stand out. Think about why you should be invited to the next stage and what skills differentiate you from your competitors and get that across throughout the interview. Tell them what excites you about the role, highlight your strengths in relation to the role, and think about how you are going to stand out against the other interviewees with very similar experiences to yourself.

Close the interview well

It is important to end the interview on a positive note. Make sure you ask questions and try to be innovative. Choose questions that are company or person specific, so it shows that you have done your research, and listen carefully to the answers in case you need to respond further.

Ensure you have got enough signal and battery charge

Make sure you have sufficient signal on your mobile phone. If you can avoid using it, even better! Have the call on a landline phone where it is far less likely that there will be issues with the connection. Also, ensure your landline phone and/or mobile have adequate battery power; landlines are often wireless and will need charging.

Keep cool under pressure

Time is limited but resist the temptation to talk too quickly. Be succinct and if you want to go into more detail, ask the interviewer if this is appropriate. If you have not fully understood a question, check with the interviewer to increase your understanding. This will give you more time to prepare an answer and prevent long silences over the phone.

Allow adequate time

Ensure that you set aside sufficient time for the interview. We have had experienced candidates who have needed to end calls prematurely due to other commitments, which does not give the best impression. Allow 45 minutes to an hour for the call to be on the safe side.

Got a telephone interview coming up and need more help? We would be more than happy to help. Get in touch today.

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