You’ll have noticed telephone interviews are increasingly being utilised as the first stage of the interview process. This is useful for candidates as it eradicates travelling time and, where telephone manner is a big part of the job you have the chance to demonstrate good telephone technique.
The most important part of a telephone interview is listening. In a face-to-face situation, we pick up (and give off) lots of extra clues. In a telephone conversation, it is much more important to really listen to what is being asked and to think carefully about what you are saying and how it comes across, as it is not supported by non-verbal communication signals.
Prepare thoroughly by recording practice interviews. Listen back and ask yourself:
- How do you sound?
- Can you be understood clearly?
- Are you speaking too quickly or too slowly?
As with any interview, prepare thoroughly and make notes to help you answer questions.
Also make a note of the questions you’d like to ask. Basic as it may seem, make sure you are in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed. Try standing during the phone call, it helps you project your voice and is proven to aid in problem solving.
Picture the person on the other end of the line during the call – remind yourself you are speaking to a human – and smile at appropriate times, as you would in a face-to-face interview. Smiles really can he heard.