Welcome to your latest issue of the Interview Expert newsletter.
Every issue explores the key elements of a successful job interview and strategic job search techniques - so you can master your skills and land the job you really want!
In this issue we discuss the six key steps to mastering a phone interview so you can move to the next step in the hiring process - a face-to-face interview.
|The Six Key Steps to Acing Your Next Phone Interview|
In Phone Interviews: Creating Compelling Connections you learned how to use your voice to make a powerful and lasting connection. Now, by following these six key steps, you'll ace your next phone interview, move forward in the hiring process and land the job you really want.
1. Taking the call
- When a search consultant, recruiter or researcher calls unexpectedly, resist the urge to put them off. They're busy making a lot of calls to find qualified candidates. Putting them off may mean they forget to call you back. So, take the call right away. If it turns out the job they're calling about isn't for you, be helpful. Offer the names and phone numbers of people who may be qualified for the position or of people who may know of someone who is qualified. Because you've been helpful, the caller will remember you in a positive way and feel comfortable calling you about other positions that may be more suitable.
- If the call comes when you're in the midst of something or have time constraints, let the caller know that. Ask how long the call might take. Re-schedule it if necessary.
- When someone calls to follow up on your application or resumé, ask if it's possible to schedule the call. This will give you time to prepare.
- Controlling the exact time of the call allows you time to find a quiet space where all your materials are easily accessible.
- Ask if it's possible to get a copy of the job description before the call. This will help you understand the details of the position so you can prepare thoroughly.
- Always confirm the callback number, the date and time, the name and title of the person you will be speaking with and who will initiate the call.
2. Use a landline
- It's important that the interviewer hear you clearly throughout the call and that you understand exactly what the caller says during the conversation. Because cell and wireless phones can cut out from time-to-time or have static, use a landline for a clearer connection. Also, be sure to turn off call waiting and any other service that may be distracting by making beeping sounds, for example.
3. Find a quiet space
- Tell household members the specific time and expected length of the call. Before taking it, remind them that you are being interviewed on the phone so they do not interrupt accidentally.
- Keep pets in another room or shut the door so they don't distract you.
4. Keep the following close by:
- A glass of water
- Paper and pens for taking notes
- The job description and/or job ad
- Your resumé and cover letter
- Your prepared responses, including your "stories" with the key points highlighted.
5. To sound professional, it helps to:
- Stand up
- Speak clearly
- Dress in interview clothes to achieve a confident, professional manner
- Avoid chewing gum, coughing or clearing your throat directly into the phone. It's always better to excuse yourself for a minute if necessary.
- Practice beforehand with friends or family members.
6. Let any silence during conversation just be there
- This is tough to do when you're on the phone. However, being comfortable with brief silences will keep you from saying things you haven't practiced and really don't want to say.
- When you do break the silence, ask if the interviewer wants you to expand on anything. If not, ask an appropriate follow-on question.
Practicing these steps will help you master your phone interview skills so that you can move to the next step in the hiring process - a face-to-face interview.
If you're not sure how you sound in a phone interview, call me now. I'll give you a professional assessment and quickly help you figure out what you can do to make the greatest impact. At the end of the consultation, you'll be able to hear the difference in how you sound from the other side of the desk.
Questions? Comments? Topics for future newsletters?
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