Telephone Interviews

Pre-arranged telephone interviews are an effective way for interviewers to quickly screen applicants prior to arranging a formal interview.

If you receive a call from a recruiter following an application you made, and they say they are calling for a "general chat", just remember it's never a "general chat". Recruiters tend to follow a very loose interview approach on the phone, thus allowing them to gain the information they need to quickly and effectively assess your experience to the job they have listed. Never fall into the trap of a telephone interview being "just a chat".

Keep notes and reference material close at hand.
Ensure you have your resume, research material, and notes with you (at hand) and that you can refer back this information quickly. This topic is covered in how to prepare for an interview, and is essential preparation to you ensure that you achieve job interview success; both in person and/or over the phone.

Use a landline not a mobile.
Where ever possible, use a landline. Mobile phones have a terrible tendency to drop in call quality during lengthy calls, which will make for a frustrating phone call for all parties

Speak clearly, slowly and avoid unnecessary "Ums" and "likes".

The interviewer cannot see you, which means every word that comes out of your mouth is heavily focused on. Slow your speech down slightly, this will help you speak clearly and will give you time to think about what you are saying. Avoid using words such as "like" or "um" and be conscious of any words you may be repeating regularly.

Tell the Interviewer if you require a moment to think.
If you are asked a question and need a few moments to think, tell the interviewer that you need a moment to collect your answer, this will help you carefully phrase your response. Don't go quite for too long though otherwise they may think you have left the room or been disconnected.

Let the Interviewer lead.
Do not interrupt the Interviewer, and let the Interviewer lead the conversation. Phone interviews are sometimes difficult to orchestrate to be patient with the process that the Interviews might be using.

Avoid closed answers.
There's nothing more frustrating for an interviewer who is seeking to find out more about you, asks questions, but is only receiving closed responses i.e. "Yes" or "No". Give more than just a one word answer; use any question as an opportunity to talk up your strengths and abilities.

Ask qualified questions.
If you are really serious about the role and the interview, you will have questions to ask. It may help to make notes prior to the interview and during the interview which can be referred back to for a Q&A basis. Remember, this interview is as much about them, as it is about you.

And finally...try to smile!
This may sound a little weird considering it's more than likely a telephone, not video interview. However, when you smile the tone of your voice will change and it will put you at ease.

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