How To Excel At Telephone Interviews

Telephone interviews may appear more convenient and in general less scary than face-to-face interviews. You don’t have to worry about travel, getting to the venue on time or how to dress: everything is done in the comfort of your own home. However, don’t be fooled into thinking telephone interviews are any easier. The hardest part of a phone interview is making yourself memorable using only your voice. We have provided some tips below to help you excel in creating a robust and memorable impression on the telephone.

Prepare.

Preparation is the most important part of a telephone interview because you do not have any other props to rely on apart from your voice. Therefore, you need to be prepared for any question the interviewer might ask you, and this requires detailed, in-depth research. Find out everything you possibly can about the company and have predetermined answers ready about your past work experience. If there are any ‘’holes’’ (such as an extended period of unemployment) in your CV, then prepare to answer questions about them.

No Distractions.

One of the biggest challenges in a phone interview is staying focused and making sure there is no possibility of being distracted. If you are at home, set up your equipment on a desk and verify that the door is locked so there are no surprise disturbances. Further, if you have children or a dog then try to make sure that you cannot hear them as this may appear unprofessional to the interviewer, even if the interviewer knows you are at home.

Dress Smartly.

If you are wearing pajamas or casual clothes you may send out an unprofessional feeling on the phone, which will not create the right impression.  You don’t have to dress up in a suit and tie, just make sure that you are dressed smartly, and this will project when you are speaking on the phone. If the interview is on Skype and the interviewer can see you, you should wear the same outfit you would wear to a face-to-face interview. This may even mean dressed in a shirt and tie on the top half and shorts on the bottom where they can’t see you.

Confident Body Language.

Body language is just as important in a telephone interview as it is in a face-to-face one. Make sure you are sitting at a desk (rather than on the couch) and check your posture. Smiling is also a good tip for telephone interviews - the interviewer may not be able to see you, however when you smile you will sound more engaging and enthusiastic, which is the right image you are trying to project.

Have an Online Presence.

As the interviewer is not going to meet you face-to-face physically, it is important that any online professional profiles are fully up-to-date. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete with a professional photo as this will help the interviewer identify with you and personalize the interview as much as possible. If your LinkedIn profile is in need of some improvement, we can assist you with this.

Post-Interview.

After the interview, you should write a quick email or message to the interviewer and thank him/her for the call, just as you would do after a face-to-face interview. This is courteous and signals a real interest in the company and role. Smaller gestures like this can make just as strong of an impression as larger ones.
 
As we have outlined in this post, preparation is the key to excel in a telephone interview. You should not underestimate the importance of a phone interview: if you pass the first round, you will eventually be invited for the face-to-face interview, which puts you one step closer to succeeding in getting your perfect job.