Telephone job interviews are a common first stage of interviewing. An employer will often want to interview you over the phone before inviting you to a face-to-face interview. This is usually to establish your key skills and experience. Telephone interviews are popular with employers as they minimise on time – for this reason it’s vital you impress the interviewer as you will only have a few minutes to do it!
During a telephone interview an employer will want to know why you applied for the role, why you are interested in the company and what you know about the job. Research is vital if you want to impress. An employer will know if you haven’t done your homework on the organisation as their questions will be unanswered. So ensure you visit the company website, find out about the company history and re-read the job description. Make notes and have these in front of you during the interview. Telephone interviews offer a great advantage as the employer can’t see what material you have or what references you are using so ensure you maximise your chances of impressing the interviewer by using all available resources.
Although the employer won’t be able to see you during the interview (unless it’s a video job interview) they will be able to hear your tone of voice. This, and how well you answer their questions, is the only thing they can judge you on before they invite you to a face-to-face interview. Therefore it’s crucial that you spend time practicing your tone and ensure that you articulate well during the interview.
Pauses can be awkward during a job interview but don’t afraid to take them. Pauses can actually show that you are in control, that you are contemplating their question and that you are thoughtful – so practice pausing along with tone.
Researching the company will help you to prepare for their questions but you should also spend time looking at typical job interview questions. Prepare some answers and think about your responses before you start a phone conversation.
Practice makes perfect! Ask your friends and contacts to help you prepare for the interview by practicing questions on the phone. Ask your contacts to be the interviewer and carry out a mock job interview – this will help you to feel more confident.