Today, many employers hold their preliminary and even final job interviews on the telephone instead of going for an in-person interview. Whether in-person interview or a telephone interview, many employers have the interview transcribed by a reliable provider of general transcription services. Typically, employers prefer telephone interviews for two main purposes – to quickly eliminate a candidate; and for the sake of candidates who are out of town or are not able to attend the interview in person for some particular reason. Many companies use phone interviews as an initial employment screening to narrow down a large candidate pool before scheduling a face-to-face interview. To avoid the travel stress, some prefer telephonic interviews. The telephone interview allows both interviewee and interviewer to be more relaxed. It helps the interviewer to pick up crucial points that may be disguised during the more formal interview process.
A telephone interview must be given all due seriousness just as an in-person interview, and preparations have to be made appropriately. There are some tips specifically relevant for a telephonic interview.
Tips for a Successful Telephone Interview
- Treat your telephonic interview seriously: Ensure that you are well rested. This is to make sure that the interviewer doesn’t get the impression that you are just out of bed. Set aside time before the interview to prepare for it so that when the interview begins you will be fresh and vibrant.
- Greet your interviewer by name: Begin your interview by greeting your interviewer and use their name when you answer the phone. Make sure that you are prepared to answer the calls. Keep your phones ready so that you are prepared to answer the call after two or three rings.
- Select an ideal place: Phone interview allows you to control your own interview environment. Make sure that you choose an interview time when you are away from all distractions for at least 30 minutes. Your interviewer doesn’t want to strain to hear you over the bustling sound of a busy café or a packed subway car. It is better to be in a closed room and take the call on your landline to ensure clear connection. Avoid distractions like TV, music etc and keep your phone fully charged.
- Prepare a cheat sheet: One of the benefits of phone interview is that you can have all your talking points physically laid out in front of you during the interview. The interviewer may ask you to tell them about your career history, and it will help to have a hard copy of your resume ready before you. Note down some memorable work anecdotes and big accomplishments you can share with your interviewer. Also, you can have some questions ready regarding the position offered, which you can ask at the end of the interview.
- Schedule, and prepare for your interview beforehand: Since it is a telephone interview, make sure that you schedule the interview in such a way that you can absolutely take the call without any disturbances. If the interviewer is choosing the time, then be aware of the working hours. Choose a quiet place to conduct the telephone interview to avoid any disturbances or hindrances. Plan ahead and prepare a set of relevant questions that need to be asked. This will help avoid long silences and also save time.
- Keep it formal: Considering an interview as an informal one and wearing your pyjamas or running errands during the interview is not good. Make sure you’re well-rested, showered, and ready to go well before that phone rings. By mentally and physically prepping yourself for the day and putting on real, professional clothing you’ll instantly be putting yourself in a more confident and alert mindset during the conversation.
- Don’t dominate the interview: Make it a point to listen to what the interviewer is saying and allow the interviewer to guide the conversation. The interview is also an opportunity to show your potential employer that you are good at listening too.
- Speak slowly and breathe properly: While face-to-face conversation can be exciting or boring, it is difficult to judge someone’s tone. So, never start speaking till the interviewer finishes the question. Before giving an answer, take a calming breath and plan out the entire answer with a clear mind.
- Send a thank you note after your telephone interview: Ensure that you end your interview on a positive note, and send a thoughtful thank you email after the interview. This will let the interviewer know you appreciated them taking the time to talk to you, that you enjoyed it and also that you are truly interested in the position.
As a provider of interview transcription services for many businesses, we have had the occasion to transcribe numerous telephone interviews. It is true that telephone sessions are sometimes nerve racking and sensitive compared to interviews in person. So it is important to be careful about each step that you take during the interview. The above-mentioned tips should be helpful for candidates getting ready for their telephonic job interviews.