Phone interviews are a great way of finding potential employment. You have the opportunity to ask questions about the company and learn about them, as well as proving to the company why you are the one for the job. It also means you don’t have to waste time trekking to their office (and you can keep your sweatpants on, as long as you don't tell anyone)! Here are some top tips on how to succeed:
- See if you ‘Click’: You might be perfect for one another on paper, but when you get talking on the phone it might just not work out. This can easily be established in a quick 20 minute chat on the phone, and save you the time and effort of getting to their office. It may seem to you the perfect job, but you realise that perhaps you have conflicts of interest with the employer, or the terms of the job are different to how you anticipated. Either way, it is a perfect opportunity for you to get the feel of your new employer, and to show them a bit about you.
- Do your Research: Make sure you have done your research before the employer calls you. You don’t want to muck up pronouncing the name of the company, or even worse that of the caller. Have your CV out in front of you in case you are asked anything about it.
- Find the Right Space: Make sure you are in a nice quiet space where the employer can’t hear your dog barking, or your dishwasher clunking away. You will also benefit from being somewhere quiet as it can help clear your head space.
- Clear your desk: Make sure there is no clutter for you to fiddle with on your desk. You don’t want to your attention to be more focused on the bluetac man you are making than the questions you are being asked.
- Be Comfortable: Whether you nervously pace the room, or coolly sit in your arm chair, make sure that these are both options when you start the interview. You don’t want to start to pace up and down and realise there are a million and one things in your way. Clear a path for you to walk back and forth if this is the way you feel most comfortable. And make sure the cat is not on your armchair when you sit down.
- Impress your Employer: by asking them some challenging questions:
a) What is the biggest problem that your staff are currently facing? This allows you to gauge if there are any office politics that you would not want to be involved in. If the employer answers that there is only one coffee machine working at the moment – then you know that it must be a great place to work?
b) What have you most enjoyed about working for X? Similarly to the previous question, you get to know the perks of the office, and the feel for what the company does well.
c) What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate? You can find out exactly what skills the company is looking for, so that if they pick you, you can brush up on these skills to then bring to the office when you join. If you are unlucky and don’t get the job, then at least you know what experiences they would have liked you to have had and you can pursue these experiences: and work on the skills.
d) Do you have any hesitations about my CV? This is a great question to ask as it has a dual purpose: firstly you are showing you are confident in your ability to be applying for this job. Secondly if they do have any hesitations then you can benefit from learning what the hesitations are.
e) What is the next step in the process? This should be your final question as it shows that you are keen and eager to learn more about what the next step in the process of getting this job is.
7. Follow up with an Email: After you have finished the interview and thanked them, you should send them a quick little email. This should just thank them for their time and show them you are quick, efficient and polite. Manners are something a company can never be too short of.
And finally, try and smile as you talk – it’s amazing how happiness can come across in your voice!