Telephone interviews are becoming an important part of the recruitment process. They are frequently used by many organisations as the first stage in selecting a candidate.
Hiring managers use telephone interviews, for example, when candidates will have to travel a long way; when there are large numbers of candidates; when personality is more important than experience or qualification or when a large part of the job will involve talking to people on the telephone.
They can be a quick and much cheaper way to check details on a CV and see if you have relevant experience for a role before the employer invites you for a formal face-to-face interview.
The employer will want to answer the following questions:
- Does the candidate have the right skill set to do the role?
- Has the candidate made an effort to research the company and role?
- Does the candidate have good communication skills?
- Does the candidate sound confident, interested and enthusiastic?
Here are some tips to consider before and during your interview:
- Prepare as you would normally for an interview and make sure you’ve researched the company.
- Try to use a landline rather than a mobile phone, when the call could be more easily cut off. If you have no other option than to use a mobile phone, make sure you have a full signal and a fully charged battery.
- Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Turn the TV/radio off and put all other phones on silent.
- Get into the right frame of mind: dress in business wear and sit at a table.
- Speak clearly and give concise answers.
- The interviewer cannot see you so your tone of voice is important. You need to sound enthusiastic, positive and confident.
- Smile, as this will be reflected in your tone of voice.
- Have a copy of your CV, job description, notes and a pen in front of you.
- Don’t smoke, eat or chew gum during the call. Have a glass of water nearby but don’t sip all the way through the call.
Prepare for a telephone interview as you would any interview but remember: the hiring manager cannot see you, so your enthusiasm and confidence must come across in your voice.