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7 Steps To The Perfect Telephone Interview

30/01/2014 by


Find a quiet place

When taking part in a telephone interview it is crucial to hear the interviewer and for the interviewer to hear you. The interviewer is judging your communication skills. Cut out background noise by finding somewhere secluded and comfortable. Holding a telephone interview while you are walking to the tube station will mean you are rushed, not concentrating fully and surrounded by beeping car horns, hecklers and building work sounds. Give yourself the tools to allow for a perfect interview.

Be articulate in your answers

We have all been stumped with an interview question, and sometimes face to face you feel you are allowed more time to think. People get in to a bad habit of feeling more pressured over the phone to the point that they begin to babble a poor answer. Take your time, even say “let me think about that” and provide the interviewer with an articulated knowledgeable response. Obviously don’t fall silent on the phone for 10 minutes because things will become very awkward. But give yourself time to think and produce a quality response that really represents you as a candidate.

Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail

Imagine this is a face to face interview when it comes to preparation. Sitting at a computer screen thinking “yeah I’ll just Google it if they ask me anything I don’t know” is a bad approach. Ensure you have some bullet points in front of you containing key information relevant to the role. In addition you should note some of your key achievements that you want to highlight. There is nothing worse than putting the phone down and thinking “I wish I’d said that.”

Allow enough time

Manage your time. Time management is a skill 99% of employers look for. “Oh sorry I’m going to have to cut you short I’ve got a meeting in 5.” Is not something a head-hunter/ hiring manager wants to hear. Ask prior to the interview how long it should take and ensure you allow for an extra 20 minutes. Time is of the essence, and whoever is on the other end of your call has allocated that time to speak to you.

Speak slowly

People from different backgrounds, from different communities, people from different professions all speak differently. However, especially over the phone when the interviewer can’t read your lips – you need to speak slowly. Speaking slowly and coherently is crucial to the interviewer fully understanding you. If you feel your pace quickening, take a sip of water and wait for a second. Speaking too quickly can make the interviewer feel as though you are nervous or you are keen to skip that specific question. Imagine you are having a casual coffee with a good friend, be at ease and the interviewer will be at ease with you.

Have your CV to hand

“So during the summer of 2007 you must have met some pretty amazing people.” –silence- uhmmm…. Uh. Know your CV inside and out. If you can’t remember it all, simply have it on screen in front of you or just print a copy. Being able to flick through your resume and have it as a point of reference shows that you are taking this interview seriously and also is just common sense.

Ask questions

Having questions prepared to ask the interviewer is an awesome way to showcase your interest in the company and also to show you have a good understanding of the companies values/ structure and their plans moving forward. An interview is a two way street and is as much about the interviewer finding out about you as you finding out about the role and the company.

This article has been written by Maya Gardiner.

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