It is crucial to prepare very thoroughly for your telephone interview.
Study the Job Description
Begin by studying the job description and the candidate profile. This will enable you to identify the company’s particular needs and demonstrate that you possess the skills required to meet them during the telephone interview.
Find Out About the Company
Find out all you can about the company’s products, services, history, and culture. Make a special effort to identify any areas where your skills and experience may be of particular value.
Check the Website
Familiarise yourself with the company’s website and be prepared to comment constructively upon it if asked at the telephone interview.
Match the Requirements
Prepare a list matching your accomplishments to the company’s stated requirements. Keep this list in front of you during the telephone interview and refer to it at every opportunity.
Specify Your Accomplishments
Specify and quantify your accomplishments, e.g. ‘finished all work in 90% of the time allocated’.
Specify How You Solved Problems
Interviewers are keen to hear about relevant challenges or problems you faced in the workplace, the specific actions you took, and the measurable results you achieved. They seek to identify key competencies such as communication skills, analytical skills, teamwork, drive and initiative. Be prepared, in a telephone interview, to give examples of how and when you have demonstrated these key competencies.
Prepare for Probable Questions
To get the feel of being interviewed over the phone, compile a list of probable questions and ask a friend use them in a simulated telephone interview. Prepare your answers carefully, using key words and phrases from the job description and candidate profile. Do not attempt to write out your answers in full or they will sound wooden and scripted.
Keep Relevant Documents Handy
Select a quiet place where you will not be disturbed during the telephone interview. You don’t want them to hear the dog suddenly start barking or the kids crying. Keep your CV and cover letter, a copy of the job advertisement, and your notes in front of you. Jot down key points throughout the course of the telephone interview.
It is a good idea to stand during a telephone interview as this makes you sound more confident and helps project a positive and professional image.
Use Matching Techniques
Matching your speaking rate and pitch to that of the interviewer will help you to establish rapport.
Smile While Talking
Professional radio broadcasters can vouch for the fact that smiling creates a friendly and enthusiastic impression. So make an effort to smile appropriately during the call.
Show Genuine Interest
Since it is important to convey the impression that you are genuinely interested in the company and eager to make a contribution, refer to salient information you discovered during the course of your research.
Listen Attentively to Interviewer’s Questions
Listen attentively to the interviewer’s questions and comments. Respond appropriately to verbal or tonal cues. If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification. Provide well-developed, balanced, and analytical answers. Avoid monosyllabic ‘yes’ and ‘no’ replies.
Prepare Positive Reasons for Leaving Last Job
If asked to explain your reasons for leaving your previous job, make sure to have positive reasons prepared. Under no circumstances should you criticise your previous clients or colleagues. Having researched the company and analysed the contract description as suggested, you should find it easy to prepare a few thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer when afforded the opportunity.
Register Your Interest
At the end of the telephone interview, emphasise your interest in the job and the company and reiterate your qualifications. Stress that you would welcome the opportunity of a face-to-face interview.
After the telephone interview, write a short thank-you letter.