How to nail a phone interview

Getting the most out of a telephone interview

Getting past a telephone interview is a skill of its very own. And it is not until we are seeking a job that the skills of the phone interview are called upon. Let’s try and demystify what is trying to be achieved by the person conducting the phone interview and some hints to help you succeed.

The phone interviewer is trying to gauge your enthusiasm about the role they are advertising so it is important that you are free to talk and are able to answer their questions openly and freely. If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to talk let the interviewer know; they would rather delay the interview and get the best information from you, rather than muffled answers and responses that may come across as disinterest in the role.

As well as gauging your enthusiasm for the role the interviewer will also be trying to further establish you suitability for the role and the company. They will ask such things as clarifying items from your resume; your salary expectations; and when you will be available to start etc. Answer these questions accurately and truthfully. There is no point agreeing to a salary or start date you cannot make, or the employer cannot afford. It is better for everyone to know where they stand.

Key items and Skills for a successful Telephone Interview:

  • Keep a smile in your voice
  • Make Sure you are free to talk
  • Answer as honestly and directly as you can
  • Ask questions to show your interest in the role
  • Thank the interviewer for their time
  • Take notes so you remember the conversation

Your selling tools for you in the phone interview are your voice and the responses you use

Like all interviews, role plays can help you improve, so practice with a friend or family member to increase your skill. Stage one of the interview processes is now complete and hopefully you will move to stage two at the end or shortly after the call. Remember that the phone interview offers the interviewer the opportunity to assess you, as well as giving you an opportunity to review the role and company you applied to.