Phone interview
By Gemma Morris
6th September 2017

As recruiters in the data and analytics industry it is our job to give advice and make sure a candidate is fully prepared for any interview. Over the years we have written plenty of advice on how to win at a face-to-face interview, but the rules are different for telephone interviews.

Many companies rely on telephone interviews for the first phase as it allows them to gauge the interest and skills of the candidate without each party having to take a lot of time out for a face-to-face. But just because it can seem quicker it doesn’t make it any less important.

Take a look at our 6 top tips to acing that telephone interview.

Serious

As we mentioned above a telephone interview is just as, if not more, important than a face-to-face interview. When you’re working through a recruitment agency many times this will be your first interaction with your potential future employer. When you answer the phone treat it like you would at a face-to-face, be professional.

Personality

Be yourself and act naturally on the phone, it’s understandable you may be nervous and this may come across, but remember that the person on the other side can’t actually see your body language. It you are naturally an animated person when you talk, don’t be afraid to make that come across. Your enthusiasm (and smile) will come across over the phone.

Environment

Think about your environment before the interview, think about where you will be at the time of the phone call. You need to find a quiet spot, so best to stay away from places with background noise (e.g. the closest coffee shop). If you’re are taking the call on your mobile make sure you have a good signal and a full battery, the last thing you want is for your phone to die mid-conversation.

Distractions

The best piece of advice we can give is stay OFF your computer, and keep away from distractions. If it was a face-to-face interview you wouldn’t be in front of a computer screen and this should be the same for a phone interview. Like with any interview make sure you have researched the company beforehand and have a paper copy of your CV to hand. You may just be checking the company’s offering online but if the interviewer hears clicking they may think you are disinterested and distracted.

Listen

Like we mentioned above, the interviewer cannot see your body language, and you can’t see theirs. This makes your listening skills paramount, you can get a sense of their interest and personality through the phone. As we say with all interview advice: the company is not just interviewing you, you are also interviewing the company. You also need to make sure you have listened to each question carefully and fully understood it before you answer.

Practise

As the age old saying goes “practise makes perfect”, and we think that is pretty accurate. Prepare yourself for any question that you might be asked and practise your answers. You may want to practise your phone skills, if you’re naturally a fast talker on the phone practise slowing your speech down. Phone interviews typically last 20 to 30 minutes and can be the difference between getting to the next stage of a face-to-face interview or not, so you need to make sure you are practiced and prepared.

In many ways, the advice we give for face-to-face interviews is very similar to that we have just given. Making sure you have a successful phone interview is key to getting to the next stage of the recruitment process. While the phone interview is not as long and in-depth as a face-to-face it is just as important.

What is your best advice for a phone interview? Do you think they are just as important as face-to-face interviews? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best Information Management and Data Analytics jobs. For more career advice check out the KDR blog or follow KDR on LinkedIn.

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