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Top Tips For A Successful Phone Interview

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If you’re applying for jobs there’s every chance that at some stage you’ll be expected to take part in a phone interview.  A common part of the recruitment process, it’s a way for the recruiter or hiring manager to cut down on the interview time and weed out candidates they don’t want to meet with face-to-face.


Now, because you can take part in a phone interview anywhere and you don’t need to dress up, it can be tempting to dismiss it as a less important part of the process.   That’s a big mistake.  An interview is an interview and how you perform will determine whether or not you get asked to interview in person, so you need to take it seriously.  Here are our tips on what you can do to help nail the interview.

 

Find a Quiet Location
A recruiter will ensure a face-to-face interview takes place in a quiet space where it can be conducted without interruption (or at least they should).  The location of the phone interview however is entirely up to you.  It’s just as important though that it’s conducted somewhere quiet.  You need to be able to think through your answers before you speak and concentrate fully, so you don’t want any distractions. 


The recruiter’s phone call could come at any time and it’s possible that they’ll want to conduct the interview there and then.  Remember though you’ve only got one chance to make a good first impression so If you’re in the middle of something don’t be afraid to suggest a time that is more convenient for you.  Attempting to complete an interview while you’re driving the kids to school or doing the supermarket shopping is never a good idea! 


Do Your Research
Like any interview it’s important to be prepared.  The recruiter will be looking to see how much you know about the company so make sure you look at the company website, google them to see what’s been in the news lately and take a look at their LinkedIn page.  You don’t need to know everything but make sure you note down a few relevant facts or points of interest that you can mention in the interview when asked. 

Reviewing the job ad or job description to get an understanding of what the organisation will be expecting from you is essential.  If you make a note of the key skills and qualifications they’re looking for this will help to anticipate the types of questions you might be asked.  Have some good stories and examples ready to support your answers.  Phone interviews are often shorter than a face-to-face one so you’ll need to be succinct.


Have Everything You Need at Your Fingertips
The good thing about a phone interview is that you can have some notes in front of you and no-one will know, so be sure to use this to your advantage.  You can have your CV, the job description, bullet pointed notes on skills and experience you might want to mention as well as your thoughts on why you want the job. 


Be wary of sounding like you’re reading from a script though - any notes you have should be there to jog your memory only.  You want to sound natural and energetic not disinterested or bored which you could if you’re scrambling around trying to find something in your notes.  Consider sticking them to the wall for easy access.


Now, I’m sure I don’t really need to say this either but I’m going to anyway. If you’re using a mobile make sure it is fully charged and that you’re somewhere with good reception.


Counter the Lack of Body Language
Body language can play a big part in a face-to-face interview, so to make up for this you’ll need to focus on your voice more during the phone interview to ensure you sound friendly, confident and engaged.  A smile can go a long way to achieving this.  Good posture can also help so try standing throughout the interview instead of slouching in your chair. 

If you’re feeling really brave you could even try striking a power pose (think Wonder Woman or Superman) for two minutes prior to the interview.  Amy Cuddy, a professor at Harvard Business School suggests that this will make you seem more confident, not just to others but also to yourself and can impact the way you behave.   You may also find dressing as you would for a face-to-face interview a good way to boost your confidence.


Find Out What Happens Next
Much like a face to face interview it pays to find out when you can expect to hear from the recruiter about next steps.  If they don’t offer this information be sure to ask.  Waiting to find out if you’re going to be invited to a face-to-face interview can be nerve wracking enough without panicking every time the phone rings.


So there you go….our tips on how to manage a phone interview.  If you have any more tips feel free to comment below.

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Guest Saturday, 24 October 2020

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