GETTING A HEAD START IN YOUR TECH TELEPHONE INTERVIEW
Companies are increasingly using telephone or Skype interviews in their initial screening of candidates. It’s much more cost-effective than having staff tied up interviewing dozens of candidates and means only the best candidates proceed to the face to face interview. If you’ve never had an interview by phone, it can be a daunting experience. Not being able to see the interviewer and gauge their reactions can be tricky. Here’s our top guide to nailing a telephone interview.
PEACE AND QUIET
Most interviewers will give a specific time and date when they are going to call you. Ensure that you have peace and quiet when they call, and that you won’t be disturbed. Make sure your mobile is fully charged, or give a landline number if the coverage in your area isn’t great. Try to be at home, or at least in a quiet space when you take the call. Being interrupted by traffic noises or noisy children isn’t going to sound professional.
Make notes before the interview in exactly the same way as you would for a face to face interview. Looking at the job advert or person specification should give you lot of clues about what you can expect to be asked. Try to think of some specific examples which you can use if asked about a time when you resolved conflict, or faced a tricky situation. You are free to refer to these notes as you talk, but don’t just read out pre-prepared answers.
If it doesn’t distract you too much, try to take notes about what you’re asked and how you answered as the interview progresses. If this isn’t possible, try to record the conversation. If you’re successful and go through to the next stage, it can be a useful record of what you said and which examples you used. If not, listening back to the interview might give you some clues about where you went wrong.
STAND UP AND SMILE
It sounds ridiculous, but studies have shown that people sound more confident and assertive on the phone when standing up. So rather than doing the interview slouched on the sofa or even worse, lying in bed, get up, get dressed and stand up while answering. You can also “hear” a smile in someone’s voice and this can instantly help strike up a rapport with the interviewer.
DON'T GET INTO SPECIFICS
A telephone interview is the first part of the recruitment process and often carried out in a very prescribed fashion. The interviewer will have a set list of questions to work through, and will be noting your responses. Don’t feel that you have to fill any silence while they’re writing with chat. Similarly, telephone interviews aren’t the time to get into specifics about salary, working hours and opportunities for training. If you are selected for a face to face interview, save the specifics for that point. However, asking when you’re likely to hear about the next stage is a valid thing to ask at the end of the interview.