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How should I prepare for a telephone interview?

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Telephone interviews are increasingly becoming part of the recruitment process. Not only does it enable recruiters to whittle down the short list but can often save candidates and hiring managers time.

It’s a particularly important part of the hiring process if you are applying for a role that will require relocating or would be managing a large territory. So what steps should you take to maximise your chances of making it through to the next round of the recruitment process? Read on to find out.

Dress smartly

Dressing formally puts you in a professional mindset, which might not be the case if you were lounging around in shorts and a t-shirt.

And there’s always the chance that what was termed a phone interview, could be switched to a Skype or FaceTime interview at the last minute. And no one wants to the person caught out in their pyjamas, or worse, by a potential future employer – which has happened!

Have your phone on

It sounds obvious, but make sure to have your phone fully charged and turned on!

Also make sure you have blocked out the time and have found a quiet place with a good signal. This might be the only time that the interviewer can speak this week. If the interviewer cannot hear you, or you can’t hear them, it is not going to go well and you could easily find yourself struck off the shortlist.

Be clear on who you are speaking to

It is always good to know who you will be speaking to. It makes you look unprofessional if you cannot remember the interviewers name, which in turn suggests you are not actually that bothered about the opportunity you are discussing.

Sometimes you may simply just be emailed for a telephone interview request and not told who you will be speaking with. If this is the case, always email the company to try to find out who will be interviewing you. You might not find out the specific person, but at the very least it shows you are keen.

Do your research before your telephone interview

If you were going on a face to face interview you would be expected to do some research, so why would you not for a phone interview? Try to have a clear idea of what job specification includes, who the company are and what types of environments you will be working in.

However, don’t have pages or multiple tabs of notes open whilst you are speaking. It will become quite obvious, quite quickly, if you are just reading a script and having to switch between different pages on your laptop. Have a few bullet point prompts prepared, but don’t distract yourself – it could mean you don’t fully hear what’s being asked of you and giving inappropriate answers.

Have some questions prepared

Have a couple of questions prepared concerning the role. This might be how many people you will be working with, what opportunities for progression there are or if they offer in-house training.

A phone interview is as much as about finding out if a role is right for you, as finding out if you are right for a role. You want to be in a position after a phone interview, where you are clear on if this is an opportunity you are interested and invested in.

Sign off and thank the interviewer for their time

It is always good to sign off on a positive note. Thank the interviewer for their time and say you are looking forward to hearing from them soon.

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