Telephone interviews are often used by recruiters or internal human resources as a method to find the best candidates prior to in-person interviews. Here is what everything you need to know and succeed this fist step:
1) Speak freely and without interruption
When you receive a call and it is about a role you have applied to, ensure that you can speak freely and without interruption. Don’t feel uncomfortable to re-schedule a time when you have ideal conditions.
Often a call will come through when you are travelling or in a noisy environment. We all feel pressed to continue the call so we don’t lose out – this is a sure way to interview failure.
2) Treat the telephone interview as you would a face-to-face interview.
Preparation is key! Prepare an ice-breaker, prepare for the expected questions and prepare to ask questions about the role/organisation. It is important that you have nothing in your mouth – no food, drink or chewing gum. If you have call waiting, disable it for the call duration. Prepare the people in your home so that they do not pick up the phone or interrupt the call. Choose a location where mobile reception will be uninterrupted or use a landline.
3) Be prepared for “What remuneration are you expecting?”
A question that often comes up is, “What remuneration are you expecting?”. Be prepared for this. The first thing you can do is say that you are more interested in the role than the remuneration. You can also mention that since they are market payers, you would be keen to hear what they are offering. The best ammunition is research. Have a look on a few job boards for the title you are interviewing for and that way you can say that you know what the market is paying if pushed to quote a range or figure.
4) Speak slowly and clear
We all increase the speed of our speech when we are nervous. Try to speak more slowly than you would in person and vary your tone to reflect emotion. Sitting up straight or standing can improve your voice clarity. Don’t be shy to clarify what is being asked as this will ensure that you answer appropriately.
5) Restate why you would like to join the organisation
At the end of the call, it is a good idea to restate why you would like to join the organisation and if possible to ask for a face-to-face interview. Remember to leave an impression by sending a thank you message straight after.