Top Tips for Phone Interviews

When applying for jobs it's more than likely that you will be contact via phone prior to attending a face to face interview. Phone interviews are critical to recruiters as they assist them in short listing applicants and ensuring that the applicant meets the selection criteria.

Phone interviews can make you a little nervous and because you don't always know when you will receive the call, you may feel a little unprepared. If you follow our top tips they will assist you in being prepared and will increase your chances of getting a face to face interview.

Answer the phone in a professional manner
In most cases you won't know when a recruiter is calling therefore, it is important to answer the phone in a professional manner, this could be a simple 'Hello' or a greeting and your name ' Hello, Kate speaking'. If you don't know the number calling you ensure you answer in a professional manner, don't risk it and assume it's a friend with a new number, there’s nothing worse than answering the phone with 'hey' or 'hi' or 'yes'.

Present yourself in a professional manner
The recruiter obviously can't see you however, it's important to present yourself in a professional manner. Ensure that you’re not eating or drinking and make sure that you give the recruiter your attention. Avoid trying to multi task, focus on the phone call and if you need to make notes use a pen and paper, no one likes to hear the sound of computer keys tapping.

Speak clearly and slowly
Answer all questions clearly and slowly, don't mumble and don't interrupt or try to speak over the recruiter. You want to give the best impression so don't rush and ensure that you think about your answers before you just blurt them out.

Prepare your information
Don’t ask the recruiter 'which job is this again'. It's very common to apply for multiple jobs, which is fine however; if you apply for so many that you can't remember which one is which it doesn't give a good impression. The recruiter will also start to wonder if you are having trouble getting a job. Best practise is to have a printed copy of your resume to refer to. Print out a copy of the job ad and make a note of when you applied. This will also help you when they ask specific questions about the job criteria. If you have it, print out a copy of the job description, it may be in the ad or on their website. Be prepared and have as much information as you can.

Use the right tone and smile when you speak
Believe it or not people can actually hear if you are smiling when answering and speaking on the phone. Also make sure that you have a suitable tone when speaking with the recruiter, don't sound rushed or in a hurry, don't speak to loudly, the recruiter might think you are yelling and don't speak to softly. As mentioned previously, speak clearly and slowly but not too loud or to soft.

Ensure you are in a quiet place
Make sure that when you answer the call, you can actually take the call. Ensure that you are in a quiet place and that you can hear the recruiter and they can hear you. If you don't want to miss the call, answer and ask if you can call them back, then move to a quieter area and return the call.

Return the call in a timely manner
If you do receive a call regarding your application and you miss the call, make sure that you return the call in a timely manner, either later that day or the next day. If you return the call a week later you may have missed your opportunity especially, if they are interviewing straight away. Plus you want to make a good impression.

Whatever you do take your phone interview seriously and ensure that you give the recruiter the best possible impression that you can. At the end of the day your phone interview will get you through to your face to face interview, and your face to face interview will get you closer to your ultimate goal which is getting that new job.

The Recruitment Team