Phone interviews can be tricky. It can be a nerve-wracking thing to try and impress someone you don’t know, especially when you can’t gauge their facial reactions to things you say.So how do you impress an interviewer over the phone and guarantee meeting your potential boss in person?
Get The Details Right
Go back to basics and keep a note of the details for the call including:
- The time and date of the interview.
- The name of the person you’ll be talking to and what role they occupy in the hiring process.
- What number they’ll be calling you on.
- What number they’ll be calling from.
- Back up information in case the call doesn’t go through for whatever reason – the company address, email or main line.
Though this seems like pretty obvious info to keep handy, you’d be surprised at how many people can bypass these details and get their interview off to a bad start.
Familiarise Yourself With Potential Questions & Answers
Do some research and jot down some potential questions and answers so that you’re prepared. Practise saying your answers out loud, but don’t rehearse too much – you might end up sounding robotic and insincere. Bullet points work so that you can easily skim read and so that the info is easily accessible visually.
Research the company, but go beyond just mimicking the ‘About’ page. Think about the company’s branding and values and align them with your own.
Be prepared when it comes to topics that can be uncomfortable, like salary negotiation.
Create A Cheat Sheet
One of the advantages of a phone interview is that you can have all of your notes strewn around you, and hell, even a power point presentation projected onto your living room wall and the recruiter will never know. So take advantage of that and create a cheat sheet that contains all of your prep notes and interview details.
Don’t Complain About Previous Employers
The easiest way to get on the wrong side of a recruiter is to bad-mouth your boss or a previous employer. Not only will it show that you have a negative attitude (and who wants that energy around an office) but also that you haven’t appreciated the opportunities that you’ve been given, and you could potentially make the same comments in the future about the organisation you’re applying to work for. Even if you weren’t treated well in your previous job, recruiters want to know that you’re excited about the future of your career, rather than dwelling on the past.
Think About Your Tone Of Voice
You may be saying all the right things, and ticking all the right boxes when it comes to what recruiters are keen to know about your skills and experience, but all of that good content will be wasted if you deliver it in a monotonous way. You don’t need to be dripping with charisma or cracking jokes, but a recruiter wants to know that you’re enthusiastic about the role, and to some extent, you need to sell yourself through your voice. Think about your tone and record yourself then listen to it back. That way, you’ll be able to identify more objectively where you might want to improve your communication skills.
Ask Thoughtful Researched Questions
It can impress a recruiter if you ask measured, thoughtful questions at the end of an interview to show a) your enthusiasm for a role b) your initiative and genuine interest in the company and c) so show that you’re serious about the job and want to explore all areas of the role. For example:
What progression is possible in this role?
Where does business growth come from and what are your goals for the future?
How would you describe the company culture?
Consider Your Environment
Though you may well be taking the call from home, it’s probably best not to conduct your interview in bed in your dressing gown. Wearing sensible clothing and sitting at a desk or table if possible will put you into a professional mind-set.
What has your experience been talking to a recruiter over the phone? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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