How not to….telephone interview!

by Mat Law April 13th, 2016

Something we are seeing more and more of these days are telephone interviews at the initial stage of the hiring process. Feedback we’ve had from candidates and clients alike is indicating that people are losing out at this early stage by not approaching telephone interviews in the same professional way they would approach a formal face to face interview.

So, why are telephone interviews routinely dismissed as a less important and mundane ring to jump through in the hiring process?

As recruiters, we know the importance of telephone interviews and making sure to approach them like you would any other formal face to face interview.

First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to hiring people, which in turn means that telephone interviews can often make or break your quest to get that dream job. Why? Well because telephone interviews normally involve that first direct contact with your potential employer, that first opportunity to get your foot in the door, as well as that initial opportunity to build rapport and understanding with an employer.

To help approach telephone interviews in the right way, below are some tips to bear in mind…

  • Treat your telephone interviews the same way you would treat a face to face interview. This means doing your research and preparation, as well as trying to take into account any potential pitfalls and stumbling blocks when it comes to questioning.
  • It may seem obvious but when you’re expecting a call from a prospective employer make sure you answer the phone with your full name. There’s no worse way to start an introductory call for an employer than hearing a “Hi mate” or a “What’s up?” on the other line. It’s pretty hard to build rapport when you start off on the back foot.
  • Try not to waffle. It’s hard enough trying to get yourself across when you’re not meeting in person, so don’t make it any harder. Try to give measured and concise answers. This is a good opportunity to have some notes and pointers in front of you, something you wouldn’t be able to do in a face to face interview.
  • It’s way easier to interrupt people when you’re chatting on the phone and this is really annoying for the employer, who will no doubt be taking into account your listening skills when assessing your suitability for the role. So let the interviewer finish before answering their question and also make sure to take a second or two to give a measured and well thought out response.
  • Before taking the call do make sure you are in a quiet and comfortable environment. It’s not easy listing your five biggest strengths if you’re getting last orders in at the pub.

So don’t forget, telephone interviews can be the gateway to the next stage of the interviewing process, which is why it’s vital you approach them in the right way.