By Neetu Ahuja
These days employers are conducting more telephone interviews especially for candidates who are not from the same city.
It has its pros and cons. During a telephone interview you have to sell yourself only through your voice and not with your expensive suit. But if you are well prepared for the interview, then you have the advantage of taking control of your surroundings.
You have to take some extra effort to handle a telephone interview.
Be organized – Keep a pen and paper with you before the call so that you can jot down the gist of your conversation. The information gathered will be helpful during your face-face interview.
Also during the course of your interview, if your interviewer is interrupted you can note the topic under discussion. When he/she gets back on line, you can help recap, ” We were discussing…” It will be appreciated and will set you apart from other candidates.
Do not eat or smoke – There is nothing more irritating than hearing a person munch into the telephone or smoke. Am sure you wouldn’t do that at a face-to-face interview, so why do it over he phone.
Background cacophony – The telephones are very sensitive to all the sounds near you. Prior to the interview, please lock yourself in a room if you have to. If the call comes unexpectedly, excuse yourself and lock the door of your room or go to another room if you have to.
Mock Interview – Always conduct a mock interview with the help of somebody at home before your actual interview. Rehearse some of the questions that you are very sure will be expected. Record this mock interview and check your fluency in answering the questions and your voice modulation. Both are equally important, as it is your answers and voice and ability to modulate your voice that will take your to your next round of interview.
Be short and precise with your answers – Short sentences are easily understood over the phone than long monologues. This also gives more opportunity for interchange between you and your interviewer, which helps both of you to maintain your interest.
Answer questions politely – A note of frustration or anxiousness is easily noticed over a telephone conversation. So be calm and confident.
Dress appropriately and sit straight. You mind set is very important. You are more likely to talk like a professional if you are sitting well dressed rather than while lying over a couch in your pajamas.
Ask intelligent questions that may help you understand your job profile better. Ask questions like – three most important aspects of the job, the kind of projects that you will be put on, the organizations vision, mission and USP and so on. By discovering them now, you will have time before the face-to-face meeting to package your skills to the needs at hand, and to create the appropriate Executive Briefing. But under no circumstances ask questions, related to remuneration.
At the close of the meeting take the initiative of telling the interviewer that it is a very interesting opportunity and that you would definitely be able to make some value addition to the position at hand. Finally ask the when the interviewer when you can get together again. This allows you to call again to satisfy any curiosity and it will also enable you to increase rapport. Don’t take too much advantage of it, though: One intelligent phone call that contains two or three precise questions will be appreciated; four or five phone calls will not.
It is very difficult to judge a telephone interview. Nevertheless, it prepares you for the final face-to-face interview