What can you do? The only thing great candidates can do. Prepare. “But what if they call me when I’m not ready, or outside?” Easy, you request them to call at some later hour. Tell them you’re out or already busy with something and you’ll appreciate if they could call later. Fix a particular time and then start prepping for smooth talking with the following steps.
Research and practice
It goes without saying that you should run a proper research on the company. A quick google search will reveal more info than you need for a short telephonic interview. You’ll find it handy when the interviewer shoots “What do you know about us?” type questions.
Once you know enough about the company, it’s time to brush up on basic telephone interview questions. You know, the generic questions like “What interests you about this job,” and so on. Such questions pop up in every telephonic interview, so be prepared.
Practice common phone interview questions beforehand with a friend. If possible, try recording a quick Q&A session on your cell. It’ll reveal if you’re actually delivering answers the way they sound in your head.
Set the stage
While the interviewer controls the elements and circumstances in a good ol’ face to face interview, how things stand in a phone interview totally depends on you. That’s why it’s your job to minimize the distractions and direct all your attention to the phone call. So, what can you do to ensure no external conditions mess up your interview?
- Pick a quiet spot where you get the best cell reception
- Keep away from noisy distractions such as TV, pets etc.
- Keep a glass of water around
- Keep the resume ready on the table or wherever you’re sitting
- Get a notepad and a pen
During the telephonic interview
Telephonic interviews provide a small window of time to impress the interviewer. Which means, you need to set the ball rolling from the first ‘Hello’. Here are a few steps that’ll help you make a stellar impression during the telephonic interview.
- Dress the part – Just because the interviewer can’t see you doesn’t mean you can take the interview call in your boxers. Studies have shown you sound and feel more professional if you already look the part.
- Focus on language and voice – Since you can’t use your body language (the most effective communication tool), the next best thing is to exude confidence through your voice. Your tone, the energy and enthusiasm in your voice are a few things which heavily influence the interviewer during the call.
- Listen carefully – Most of us are in a hurry to reply before even listening to the whole deal. Don’t do that. This is an opportunity to showcase your listening skills. Don’t interrupt the interviewer, but if you feel the urge to respond, note it down. So that you can ask it towards the end of the call.
- Take notes – Hear something important? Jot it down to use later in your answers.
- Keep your answers short and sharp – If it helps, prepare a cheat sheet for common interview questions. Keep it in front of you during the telephonic interview. It’ll keep your answers concise and also calm your interview jitters.
- Take your time – If you hear a question for the first time, it’s totally cool to take a pause before answering. Just make sure, you don’t leave a long silence hanging.
Quickly follow up
End your interview call on a positive note. Make sure the interviewer sees you as an enthusiastic and interested candidate. And as soon as you put the phone down, compose a thank you note to mail them. Let them know how much you enjoyed and appreciated the telephonic interview process.
At this point, you’d have known if you’re being called in for a face to face interview. If not, don’t forget to politely ask it in your follow up mail. And if you want to tip the scales in your favour, send them a link to your website, Github, blog etc.. I promise, you’ll come across a cut above the rest.
There you go! If you follow above steps during a telephonic interview, you can almost dictate the flow of the conversation. So, you ready for an interview call from your dream company? Well, if you answered yes, enter here to let 400+ awesome companies call you for an interview.
Happy job hunting!