Many employers conduct a telephone interview to screen the candidates before selecting a smaller group of applicants for a personal interview. While you may think that a telephone interview is easier than a face-to-face meeting, there is much to consider.
Telephone interviews are often conducted by recruitment teams or HR and can last anywhere from 10 minutes to up to an hour. It is essentially a method for your employer to make sure that your resume matches the facts before they can invite you for a formal meeting.
1. Be Serious About It
Though it is a telephone call, it is an interview and you should treat it like one. Plan ahead if you are informed of the date and time of the telephone interview. Prepare for it just as you would do for an in-person meeting. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Prepare answers to some of the most common interview questions.
Review the job description and take time to match your qualification to the role to be able to speak about why you are a strong candidate for the position. Review your resume too. Have a copy of the job posting and your cover letter handy to refer to.
2. Consider Some Research
You might have applied to multiple organizations and it is always a good idea to know something about who you are interacting with. Use Google to learn about the company, their position and area. Double check your job description. If you have details of the interviewer, you can find more about them using LinkedIn.
Research helps you tailor your answers when you are asked the common questions. You can make sure the answers are targeted and customized to the company. This will show them your honesty and they are likely to find you the ideal candidate.
3. Prepare Your Cheat Sheet
Just like any other good interview, a telephone interview is not only about answering questions. Asking the right ones is also important. A set of appropriate questions can help you fetch the information required to make a wise decision about the job. Apart from this, asking some good questions represent you as an ideal candidate.
Express genuine interest in the opportunity offered and ask about various aspects of the role. Take time to make sure they are the right position and company you want to work for. Ensure that you have prepared a list of questions you want to ask. See that your questions are thoughtful and serve some purpose. Keep them short and sweet.
An interview on the phone is not as easy as it seems. Just like a face-to-face interview, practice can help. This will not only help you get ready to answer some typical questions but also realize whether you talk well, fail to enunciate or speak too low or too fast.
To practice for the telephone interview, ask a family member or friend to have a mock interview which is recorded so that you can listen how you sound over the phone. Listening to the recording will let you find the flaws and work on them before you are actually interviewed over the telephone.