Job Interviewing by Telephone

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COVID has changed the way we do business in many ways. One of those ways is how some job interviews are conducted. A number of employers have turned to Zoom, while others are reaching out by telephone. Conducting a telephone interview can be challenging because you can’t see the person but you can definitely HEAR them. With that being said, that makes it even more important you you speak clearly and concisely.

Here are some tips to make your telephone job interview effective:

1)  If you’re supposed to call in a a specific time, make sure you do it. Five minutes later will signal to the employer that you may not show up on time if you are hired. If you are instructed to call in be sure to get the correct time/date and the time zone.  If you agree to 10 am PST and you live on the East Coast, that means you’re supposed to call in at 1:00 pm.

2) If the interviewer is calling you at a designated time, don’t let it to go to voice mail and then call the number back. How many times have you been guilty of not answering a call because you didn’t recognize the number?

3) Research the Company. Review the company’s website, social media and recent activity to learn more about its values, goals and company culture. Knowing the company you’re interviewing with provides you with good insight to use during the interview. Make note of certain details about the company, and mention them should the opportunity arise.

4) Look over the job description. Understanding what the employer is looking for in an employee and what your responsibilities will be can help you tailor your answers to various interview questions. If they’re looking for an employee with certain design software skills and who has experience creating graphics for B2B companies, you’ll want to mention this during your interview and what experience you have related to their needs.

5) Know who will be calling you. In many cases, you’ll be interviewing a recruiter, hiring manager or your direct supervisor. Do an online search to determine your interviewer’s role at the company. If you’re interviewing with a recruiter, you’ll get more general questions regarding your experience. An interview with your direct supervisor, however, means you’ll get in-depth questions related to your industry and role.

6)  Listen carefully to the interviewer and don’t start speaking until the interviewer finishes the question.

7)  Have a specific area set aside for your telephone interview so there won’t be any noise distractions.

8)  Be sure to keep some water nearby in case your throat gets dry.

9)  It’s important to be respectful and kind throughout your interview. This professional tone can leave a good impression on your interview, and they’ll remember that as they consider their hiring decision. Depending on who you’re interviewing with, if you’re hired, they’ll also be your future colleague, so it’s important to be professional and eloquent in your tone and answers

10)  Speak clearly and concisely and use the vocabulary of someone who sounds educated versus someone who just completed elementary school. Most importantly, SMILE. Your interviewer can hear your smile through the phone!

11)  Relax, be conversational and let your personality shine!

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