Telephone Interview Guide & Tips
FRAME Recruitment is passionate about providing the best advice to you in your career. We have put together our top telephone tips in this handy telephone interview guide that will help to present the best version of yourself.
Conducting a successful telephone interview is based on three key elements and we have split this guide into three sections:
Before the Telephone Interview
Pre-interview preparation is a fantastic way to start on the path to success in your telephone interview. It is just as important as the telephone interview itself and there are several factors you need to take into consideration.
Before we start planning on how you are going to 'wow' your interviewer, it is vital to discuss the time and date of your interview.
After discussing the logistics of your interview with your specialist FRAME Recruitment Consultant and you have received your telephone interview confirmation, make sure you take note of it and diarise the exact time and date of the telephone interview.
Do your research on the business and the interviewer/s
The practice or business website is good for this. If you want to stand out from the crowd and enhance your research even further, research recent projects, and news articles - go that extra mile, it will pay off. Do you know someone who works there already? Speak to them.
Utilise LinkedIn and check out your interviewer/s profile(s). This will show them great initiative and might even give you some common ground to talk about, including people you both know. Remember to request to connect with them, or utilise the 'follow' functionality. Putting a face to a name will build familiarity before you have met them and might even help settle your nerves.
On the subject of LinkedIn, before you connect with your interviewer/s, make sure your work experience and employment tenures match up with those on your CV. Gaps or different dates and information could raise a concern with your potential employer regarding honesty and attention to detail.
Your potential employer will ask questions of you in your telephone interview. Pre-empt this and prepare for questions or concerns they might have about you. Think about any skills or knowledge gaps that you have - how will you prove you are still the right person for the job? Most employers will want to know why you want to leave your current employer. Be prepared with a good answer.
If you have spent any time unemployed, think about how you used that time and what skills it has taught you, for example, resilience or perseverance. Showing that you can be adaptable to situations and take the best out of them could make you a very attractive candidate.
Prepare questions for the interview/s too. The research that you did on the practice or business should highlight some areas that you would like to know more about. Showing an interest in what they are doing and how you could be part of it shows enthusiasm and a genuine desire for the job itself. Remember to write your questions down and have them ready for the telephone interview itself.
Even if the interview has already covered the answers to the questions you wanted to ask, they will be impressed that you had questions prepared.
Preparing for your telephone interview
Now that we have established the basics, you need to start preparing for the interview itself.
Wherever the location you are planning on taking the call from for your telephone interview, it is imperative that you check your mobile phone connection before you start the interview. It can be frustrating for the interview and yourself if your telephone line keeps cutting in and out. You don't want to miss anything that the interviewer is saying, and they don't want to miss your responses.
Choose somewhere that is quiet so you can avoid any distractions during the telephone interview. Don't forget to set your mobile telephone to do not disturb and ensure all your notifications are switched off so you are not disturbed or distracted.
Your interviewer will more than likely want to talk through your career and your experience to date. Print a copy of your CV to have in front of you during the telephone interview. This is going to help you as you can reference back to points and relevant dates made in your application. Being vague about start and end dates of employment can come across as unprofessional and the interviewer may question whether the information is correct.
During your Telephone Interview
You have now done all your preparation for your telephone interview, now it is time for the telephone interview itself.
Don't miss the telephone call
This is probably one the most common and most frustrating 'no no' as it is so easy to get right. We know there will always be exceptional circumstances, but make sure you are comfortable and ready to take the call at the specified time. In an ideal world, you will be ready and waiting five minutes before the start time of your telephone interview. In these few minutes, get yourself mentally prepared, check your notes and have a glass of water on standby.
Control your nerves
Great preparation before your telephone interview will help you to feel more confident, in control and able to deal with the unexpected. Nerves can give you a dry mouth so make sure you have a glass of water on standby.
Having a notepad and pen can also enable you to write down any notes that you might want to refer to later, leaving you to concentrate on the questions being asked.
This might sound strange but it really works. When you smile when you speak, even when an interviewer cannot see you, it helps to make you sound more confident and positive.
It can be hard to stay silent when you are keen to impress your interviewer. Listening is an essential skill in every job and your telephone interview is a great opportunity to show how good you are at it. Listen to understand, rather than always to respond. Try not to interrupt the person talking.
This is a great time to take down notes that you might not remember after the telephone interview. Listening will also help to generate some good questions for you to ask too.
Talk positively, in the future tense where possible and sell yourself
There are some candidates that unfortunately get remembered for the wrong reason - they talked negatively about their previous jobs or employers, often blaming them for their lack of performance or success. Employers want to hear about what you have done before, but they also want to hear how you will add value to them in the future.
We have a saying here at FRAME Recruitment, 'sell don't tell'. Your telephone interview is your chance to sell your skills, achievements and how you will add value. Be as positive and forward-thinking as you can.
Close the interview on a positive
Your telephone interview is coming to an end, thank your interviewer for their time and ask for any initial feedback. If you want the job, tell the interviewer that you are very interested in the opportunity.
Ask the interviewer what the next step will be. Will there be another interview? When will they be making a decision? How many other people are they interviewing?
After your Telephone Interview
Call your FRAME Recruitment Consultant
As soon as your telephone interview has ended, call your FRAME Recruitment Consultant to let them know how you think your telephone interview went.
After this conversation, your FRAME Recruitment Consultant will be able to start moving the process forward and discuss the next steps with the interviewer.
Follow up with an email
A nicely written email to the interviewer thanking them for their time and following up with any information that they have requested is a great opportunity to impress them. It will also show that you are keen to progress further with the opportunity.
Ask for telephone interview feedback - the great, the good and the bad
Whether your telephone interview was a success or not, always ask your FRAME Recruitment Consultant for feedback on how you did. They will chase this for you, as it is important you know how to improve next time.
Remember the old saying that 'practice makes perfect'. Even if you are not offered the job this time, every telephone interview is a good experience and an opportunity to learn.
Now that you have all the tools to succeed in your telephone interview, we wish you the very best of luck.
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