Telephone interviews are becoming more and more common. Therefore, they allow companies to save time, money and make a first impression on the candidate. Above all, this type of interview avoids us having to travel, have a first contact with the company and is as important as any other type of test within the selection process.
Such as I have commented on other occasions, the selection process begins from the first contact until they say goodbye to us in the last test. In other words, we must be aware that throughout the process we are being evaluated.
Things to keep in mind
The perfect place
Find a quiet place, away from noise and interruptions. This way you won’t be distracted and you’ll pay full attention to the interviewer. That is to say, avoid distractions!
The telephone smile
Surely you have heard of the telephone smile. It is a concept widely used in sales, but it can be applied to any communication made by this means. It consists of controlling intonation, emphasis… that is, variations in the use of the voice. It works for me to force a smile as if I were in front of the person being interviewed instead of over the phone, so it is easier for me to adapt my voice to a positive mood.
The sense of hearing
Our main sense is hearing in a phone conversation. Every gesture, little word, silence, everything seems to be magnified when our ear is glued to the phone. That means making a greater effort at self-control, when we do not like what we are told. Consequently, we do not know what to say or we fall into bad habits.
In short, it is important to avoid fussing and pigtails and try to fill in the silences. For the latter, you have a great advantage. Since the interviewer does not see you, you can have your CV at hand or notes on possible answers.
The communication is done blindly in an interview of this kind. In other words, we cannot help ourselves with gestures or facial expressions to make ourselves understood. As a result, vocalizing and speaking slowly is fundamental for our message to arrive loud and clear. Which brings us to another point… Don’t interrupt! The only thing you’ll do is cloud the conversation and prevent it from flowing. Don’t be afraid of not being able to say everything you want, the person who is interviewing you has a clear objective: to obtain the information that your CV has not given him/her.
- Try to pay attention to what he says.
- Every question, however absurd it may seem, has a clear purpose.
- Don’t interrupt when he’s talking.
- If you do not understand the question, or do not hear it correctly, ask him to rephrase or repeat it.
- Have some water handy.
- Say goodbye cordially, showing interest and thanking for the attention and waiting for a new contact.
- Don’t leave the interviewer on hold.
- Be yourself; don’t be overwhelmed and stay cordial and affable at all times.
Surprise calls vs. Arranged time
Companies can contact you beforehand to arrange a time that suits you or contact you directly and ask you some preliminary questions.
In the first case, you have a certain advantage. That allows you to look for the right place, prepare yourself, have your CV close to you…
However, when the call is a surprise, it can complicate the situation. In many cases, respondents are disoriented, confused and have difficulty concentrating. The best advice I can give you is that, if you are sending a CV, keep an eye on the phone, assume that this type of interview is very common and, if you really can’t answer the person who is calling you, communicate it openly.
For instances, you’re at the dentist or in line at the supermarket and these are complicated scenarios for having a conversation, let them know or postpone the conversation – don’t answer and call back later. If they call you with a hidden number, don’t worry. Depending on the urgency of the hiring, they usually call back.
Written by Annabel Navarro.