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Telephone Interviews

You’d be forgiven for thinking a telephone interview is less important than a face to face interview.

Over recent years, telephone interviewing has become more and more common place as a useful and inexpensive screening tool used in the initial recruitment stages.

An interview is still an interview whether you’re meeting face to face at their offices or talking over the telephone…so be prepared. Where possible, try to arrange a mutually convenient time for the interviewer to call, ensuring you have a quiet space to talk and won’t be interrupted.

Ensure your phone is charged and that you have a copy of your CV and any other relevant information to hand. It’s also a good idea to have a pen and pad ready for note taking.

At this initial stage, the interviewer may only be looking for a confident, professional manner and intelligent responses to some set questions.

Prepare your answers in advance as you would for a face to face interview. Having applied for the role, you will have information on the job description with details on key competencies desired by the employer.

Your research should be just as thorough as preparing for a regular interview and should cover:

Company & business sector

Company structure, finances, products and services and key staff

Customers, competitors, market trends and challenges

Good information can be easily sourced from official Company websites, quality review posts as well as press & blog posts.

Your responses should focus on your most relevant skills and achievements to date and should relate well to the role applied for and to the preferred candidate profile indicated.

If you don’t fully understand the question, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

The telephone interviewer may be restricted to a certain time frame and a set script, therefore, the style of the interview may be less fluid or spontaneous. Give concise and relevant answers. Expect that you won’t be able to pick up on the interviewer’s reactions and body language as you would at a face to face interview, so don’t be frightened to ask if the interviewer requires further examples or a more in-depth response.

Relax and smile during the interview, you’d be surprised how this conveys over the phone. Present an enthusiastic and confident manner and don’t be frightened to pause before responding to a question to compose a good response. Take your time to think your answers through carefully and pace yourself to allow for the interviewer’s note taking.

Prepare some questions to ask them as you would for a regular interview and make sure to ask for the interviewer’s email details.

Sending an email to the interviewer following the interview is a good opportunity for you to not only thank them for their time and consideration, but to also reiterate the following:

Your genuine interest and enthusiasm

Any key points discussed at the interview

Why you feel you would be the best match for the job and / or how you feel you are able to contribute to the business if selected

Remember to treat the telephone interview with the same importance you would a regular interview…if you sound confused or disorganised, you may not get a second chance.

For further advice and guidance, please feel free to contact us on: 0203 397 9012.

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