You have a telephone interview as the first stage in your engagement with your potential future employer. Consider the following within your preparation and delivery:
As you will see with all stages of the interview process, preparation is key to your success. There are three key elements to your preparation for a telephone interview
- Read the job description. The telephone interview will likely be less of a structured process of interview questions and more of a discussion of the job. Having a good understanding of the job yourself will make sure that you can participate throughout.
- Visit the company’s website. Take the time to visit the company website and understand who the company is and what they do. Look out for an “About us” section and any recent news or blogs that you can relate to.
- Research your interviewer. LinkedIn is a useful tool to help you understand your interviewer, take a look at their profile and you may build an understanding of what they look for as that extra insight into how to present yourself.
Be mindful of your surroundings. You will need to ensure that you are in a quiet place that gets a good telephone signal to avoid any issues in the call. Importantly, put yourself somewhere where you cannot be distracted and can give your complete focus to the call. Where possible, move away from family members, televisions and do not take the call from the car’s hands free while driving.
Tone of voice
The way that you sound and the things that you say are the key things that an interviewer will be assessing you on. Your tone of voice must not be false and must be a true reflection of you, but will want to show the passion or excitement that you have for the position or company that you are considering joining. Your tone of voice can have a positive or negative effect on the call and the impression that you leave so consider the approach of “smile while you dial” to ensure positivity.
Within reason, you will want to keep a level of control on the call. Of course, the interviewer will lead the call, but you can show the interviewer that you are ready for the challenge by starting off with your own introduction. Don’t feel like you cannot introduce yourself by name and perhaps what kind of positions you are in the market for at the moment. Consider thanking the interviewer for the consideration in taking your application to this stage and work on building some rapport with them.
The call will likely take one of two turns from here, finding out more about the job itself, or interview questions.
Interview questions will differ from call to call, some may be more competency lead and others more around talking through your experience. Keep your focus on the questions and make sure your answers are thought out and concise.
Where you are talking through your own experience, do not assume that the interviewer knows what your job involved and be prepared to talk this through. Make sure that you know the dates that you have down on your CV for consistency.
A good telephone interview will mean that you will do most of the talking, so make sure you are ready to offer the right amount of detail and avoid any silent spells in the call.
The other route your interview could take is talking through the job itself.
At this point you should have an understanding of the job from your reading of the job description and the website research, but make note of any new information that you are able to gather from the call and ask questions if appropriate.
Interviews usually end with a chance to ask questions of your own. Make those questions relevant to you. What does this job need for you to consider it worth your own time of going to a face to face interview? Ask the questions that will make you satisfied that you have all of the information that you need.
After the questions, either you or your interviewer will wrap up the call, use this time to show your interest in the role and perhaps demonstrate your suitability against the points that you learned throughout the interview. Finally, thank the interviewer again for the time and that you look forward to hearing from them.
Good luck on progressing to the face to face interview.
Contributor: Tristan Law