By: Gale Ayers
Days or weeks of waiting…suddenly the phone rings. The person on the other line went like “Hi. My name is so and so. Please consider this as your initial interview and answer in straight English.” Two reactions. Euphoria or you will just freeze! No words may came out of your mouth! Your heart suddenly went pitter patter. This usually happens when you’ve been scheduled for a phone interview.
A plethora of mixed emotions. This is it! Don’t fret. This can turn out to be a great opportunity to showcase your skills. We have a few tips up our sleeves and hopefully will help you land that much-awaited job.
PREPARATION PRIOR TO THE INTERVIEW
Do the groundwork. Research on the company a bit. Connect the company’s goals with your skills. Check out their website. You do not have to memorize all details but get just enough information to get a general sense of what they’re all about. It can also include a little bit about their competitors.
List down your strengths and opportunities. Write down your work experience including your on-the-job training pertinent to the job you’re applying for.
Don’t get flustered when thinking of answers to possible recruitment questions. We call it the BIG FOUR. It will usually come up in most interviews one way or another. “Tell me about yourself. Tell me about your biggest strength/weakness. What are your salary expectations? And where do you expect to be in five years?”
Review your job description especially the job transitions. You should be able to explain adequately without going into specific details.
Control your environment. Let your family members or roommates know that you are expecting a call. Turn off the tv, radio or go inside a room quiet enough for the conversation.
Practice before the interview. With a simple recorder or apps you can download, record your voice while you practice. Listen to the recording to judge your clarity and speed.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
Keep your weapons handy. An updated resumé should be in clear view and within reach of your phone so you can refer to it every now and then.
Always have a pen and paper ready to take down notes. Write instead of typing your notes which can create unnecessary noise. A good table is ideal for this setting.
Avoid multi-tasking. Resist the urge to answer emails, text or chat, check your social media accounts, make lunch, etc. Turn off your mobile phone or put it in silent mode. Focus only on the person talking to you on the other line.
Smile when you talk. This promotes a positive image to the listener because on the change of tone.
Speak and enunciate clearly. Manage your pace to avoid slurring or eating of words. Try to be succint.
Be professional at all times. Do not be overfamiliar as if you’re talking to a casual friend.
Don’t talk when your mouth is full. This shows unprofessionalism and disrespect on the process. Have a glass of water nearby just in case your mouth gets dry mid-call but never munch or slurp or even smoke while taking part in a telephone interview.
Check your posture. Do not slouch and be laid back, literally. Sit up straight as this helps you feel and sound confident and alert. This also improves the texture of your voice as you will sound more energetic.
Avoid Etiquette Awkwardness. Sit tight. Inquiry about your salary and other benefits are best discussed face-to-face. The phone interview is to first impress the interviewer and what you can bring to the table. When you’ve landed the job, that’s the time to negotiate.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Once everything is done, ask if they still have questions for you. It’s best to cap off the conversation and gives time for any last minute concerns or instructions.
What’s next? Ask for the next steps to do after the interview and when you can expect to hear about a follow-up.
Appreciation. If it’s possible to send a thank you note, that will be very much appreciated by the interviewer.