In an increasingly competitive market for jobs in virtually every sector, companies and recruiters are commonly asking that candidates go through a telephone interview first. Based on impressions made during a phone interview, the next round of candidates may be asked for an in-person interview. This means that mastering the telephone interview is key. Here are some points to keep in mind when aiming to ace a phone interview:
Prior to the interview, you should thoroughly research the company you are interviewing with and, if possible, also research the interviewer, just as if you were preparing to meet for an in-person interview. Learning about the organization’s key players, markets, and strategies is very important. You can create a sheet of notes to have in front of you. This is one of the perks of having a phone interview.
Also before the interview, prepare a list of questions for the person interviewing you. These questions should serve the purpose of collecting more information about the company and the job duties, so that you are able to fully determine if this is the right organization and position for you. These questions should also help to show the person who is interviewing you that you are the right candidate for the position.
Set the Scene
In mastering the telephone interview, for the interview date and time, make sure you are in a quiet place, free of distractions. Have a copy of your resume in front of you and make notes or highlight any key portions that you would like to bring up during the conversation. Try to be available a few minutes early and have a paper and pen at hand to take notes. If you are planning to use your cell phone for the phone interview, make sure it is fully charged. If you are using a landline phone, then make sure that your cell phone is turned to silent.
During the telephone interview, it is important to listen first. An interviewer will typically start with an introduction to tell a candidate about the company and about the position, including expectations and challenges. You should take notes during this time. If you have particular strengths that would play an important role in helping you to be successful in the position, wait until the interviewer is done speaking and point out those strengths in relation to anything they have just explained.
Consider Points for Effective Phone Communication
When you are in an in-person interview, you are able to make eye contact and you can receive visual cues with regard to whether you are making a good impression or not. When you are interviewing via telephone, you have to rely on voices and verbal communication, so it is important to listen intently and make sure your voice and choice in words convey your experience, your personality, and your interest in the position. Smiling while you speak is very important in mastering the telephone interview. Demonstrating your enthusiasm about working for the organization is critical.
Mastering the telephone interview doesn’t end there. If you are sure you want the job, it is important to end the call with a positive note and thank the interviewer. You should also ask what the next step is with regard to the selection process.
After the phone interview, you can follow up the next day to reiterate your interest and your abilities to do the job successfully.
The job market is competitive and mastering the telephone interview is an important part of the process in ensuring you are prepared to outshine the competition. Once you have followed the steps mentioned above, if you still haven’t heard anything back from the company, you can send another message to follow up about a week later.