To streamline and strengthen the interview process, Human Resources departments and Executive Recruiters are using a telephone or Skype interview as a component of the screening process.
Here are my top 8 telephone interview tips to embrace:
- Practice, practice and practice
The same principle applies for an in-person interview — the more you rehearse, the more confident and eloquent you will be. Consider answers to the most common questions beforehand. You cannot be too prepared.
- Find a comfortable and quiet location for the telephone interview
If you are operating on a smartphone, ensure that your reception is good. Test it out with a friend or relative five minutes before the scheduled interview. Or, use a land line, preferably. Position yourself in a quiet setting; not in a corridor, train station, airport or sports stadium where background noise could deflect and distract. Remember, the interview is confidential ,so you don’t want an audience of listeners.
Don’t enter any interview without a considerable amount of research into the potential employer history, leadership team, culture, products and/or service. The more you know about the company, the more confident and convincing you will be in delivering a powerful message. Follow and comment on their blogs the week before and after the interview.
- Hunt the interviewer
When setting up the interview appointment, ask for the name of the interviewer. Why? There are many reasons. You need to find that person on LinkedIn and do your homework to track their career path, education, interests and connections. You never know, you might have attended the same school or been employed at the same company. If so, there is an instant conversation point and bond. The more you know about the interviewer, the better.
- Dress appropriately
Yes, you may think this is strange for a telephone interview, but dress as if you are attending an in-person interview. Dressing up increases your esteem and confidence, and places you in the right mindset, like you mean business.
Again, sounds a little strange? No. Smiling helps generate inflections in your voice and keeps the boring monotone away. People can sense your smile which strengthens the positive thoughts about you at the other end of the line. Chuckle, chortle, grin and laugh!
- Warm up your voice
There is nothing worse than freezing or being boring and monotone throughout the conversation. The 7-minute vocal warm up app will lead you through several breathing exercises to increase your voice inflections and strength.
- Keep your documents handy
Ensure your resume, cover letter and job descriptions are at your fingertips. You need them for reference, and make sure to try to highlight some of the hard and soft skills from the job description in your interview.
Finally, show excitement and engagement in the prospective job. Express genuine interest and ask some questions of the interviewer.