5 tips for a successful phone interview
Others choose to interview you by phone before inviting you. If you’re not prepared, this conversation can be a nightmare. Therefore, use these 5 tips to make an excellent first impression, feel more confident, and increase the chance of a second application round.
1. Be prepared
Preparing for a telephone interview is not much different from a face-to-face application. During this interview, you will also read carefully about the organization, knowing your strengths and relevant qualities. It is nice to know what a recruiter pays attention to when he or she speaks to you by phone. In most cases, a recruiter will pay attention to the following points when you call:
- How smoothly do you come across – Enthusiastic or somewhat insecure?
- How to substantiate yourself – For what reasons do you convince the recruiter of your abilities?
- How to interpret questions – How do you take the questions and give the correct explanations?
Knowing this, you can better estimate the conversation, and you know what the preparation will involve.
- Take notes
The basis of a good interview lies in the notes. These mnemonics will help you get back to the topics you want to discuss. You can bet that the recruiter also takes notes to ask the right questions. Therefore, take your motivation letter and CV in your hands and make notes of topics that will be discussed in any case.
- The company name and details of the company. A recruiter will undoubtedly want to know what your knowledge of the company is.
- Position, title, and summary of the requested position. Which requested requirements have you substantiated in your motivation? And what else makes you the best candidate?
- Which skills match this position and why. These should also be included in your resume.
Because you have already thought about these points in advance, you are less likely to be attacked and less able to express yourself.
- Find the silence
In a serious conversation, you want to understand your conversation partner well and make yourself known. Therefore, sit in a quiet room, alone, and the ambient noise is minimal.
Tip: Before you start the conversation, call a friend to have a dress rehearsal of the conversation. Test whether you can be heard clearly and ask how you come across. With that feedback, you can make some final adjustments, and you know what your points of attention are.
2. Watch your voice in the conversation
Your voice is the only means you can use to convince a recruiter during a telephone interview. You want to get your message across. Therefore, a few tips that you can use for your voice:
- Intonation Use
Your voice emphasizes certain statements. Raising your voice now and then prevents a boring conversation. This ensures that your conversation partner does not lose his/her concentration and that he remembers the essential parts of the conversation better.
Calmly Nerves can make you tend to speak faster and fill awkward silences with irrelevant information. If you’re tense or know ahead of time that you’re going to be nervous in a conversation, try practicing silences. Silences can be used to pick yourself up again.
But also to get your statements through to the conversation partner or find the right words for a question. Silences mainly work to your advantage if you can handle them well.
- Laugh now and then
Laughing may seem redundant because you don’t see each other. But laughing regularly, or showing that you like something, creates a friendly atmosphere. This is useful to break through the tension but also to leave a friendly impression on the recruiter.
- Clear and concise answers
Always try to answer as clearly as possible. So without stammering. You can always indicate that you want to think a little longer about the answer or that you want to come back to that question later. As a result, you also keep the peace for yourself, and there is a good chance that you will come up with the right words later.
Also, make sure that you don’t just answer a question with a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Briefly explain your choice, so a recruiter knows why. Don’t go on too long on a topic. If the recruiter wants to know more, he or she will ask.
Do you receive an unexpected call at a time when it is not convenient for you and the recruiter surprises you with it? Then you can either improvise or record and indicate that the call is not convenient. Then arrange another time when the recruiter can call back.
You may also be unable to record. In this case, you leave the first impression with your voicemail. To be sure, check whether it is (correctly) switched on and whether the message the caller hears is professional. Always say your name in your voicemail, so the recruiter knows he or she was approaching the right person.
If you are invited by e-mail for a telephone interview, you can indicate your availability in a replay. As:
“I can be reached from Monday to Thursday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and Fridays from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.”
Communicating desired times and days prevents you from being called at an unreachable moment or surprised by an interview. Will you be invited for a follow-up interview? Then know which days and times you can come by to confirm the appointment immediately. Select a few days and times for the meeting to avoid calendar issues.
5. Name and number of recruiter
Know who your conversation partner is and how you can reach them. Preferably before you start the telephone interview, it is possible that the connection is broken during your conversation, or you want to call the recruiter back because you still have questions.