How to handle the telephone interview?

BY Saravanan Jul 19, 2018

Telephonic interviews are one of the most common mediums employed by many companies. It's an inexpensive way to screen candidates in the initial stages of the recruitment process. And one of the best things about a telephone interview is that candidates need not be worried about how they look. Besides, it cuts down the cost of transportation. But, candidates need to be as prepared and well presented as they would be in a face to face interview.

In most of the telephone interviews, the recruiter might just be looking for responses which should be a confident and intelligent. But candidates should not lethargic and shouldn’t do speak for granted. Most of the interviewers expect detail answer about the candidate’s previous roles and achievements which last from just a few minutes to an hour.

If the candidate is not able to make some quiet time when the interviewer calls then set a time for the interview to take place. Candidates have to be a bit more organised about the telephone interview because it's on their personal place. They must remain isolated and make sure no one would interrupt and be sure to charge their phone in advance. Always keep a copy of their CV by the phone and all the other relevant information they might need. It is better to take a deep breath and prepare in advance. Because any confusion or disorganization they might not get a second chance.

Candidates must be prepared by gathering some information from the prospective employer about the role, business type and company. Candidates must think twice before answering question related to competency and capabilities. It is better to research and prepare a few questions and practice with their friends during a mock telephone interview.

Despite the fact that the interview is not physically present, candidates must smile when they talk on the telephone. Because it makes them more relaxed, the smiling helps to change your body language. Besides, candidates might feel more confident and assertive. When they are serious, their strong voice might turn into hard one. It is always better to use a headset for telephone interviews. Apart from the fact that it will make it makes everything comfortable. It helps concentrate on the conversation rather than on balancing the phone between shoulder and ear while searching for a pen or adjusting the seat.

Candidates must treat the interview as a gateway for their future. Often a telephone interview is likely to feel less spontaneous, less comfortable and flexible than a one to one. Since the interviewer does not see your eyes or body language they might rush through the questions or follow a set script of questions, which might bore the candidate, but one should get lazy or bored together.

Besides, telephone interview offers very less scope to engage the interviewer in a two-way conversation. It would be very hard if the interviewers have a set of questions and a row of tick boxes. In such cases, it might be useful to ask questions such as ‘But, it depends on the situation, can I explain you in detail ?’ ‘Can I offer one more answer ?’ ‘is that what you needed to know?" or "do you want me to go into more detail?"

Finally, make sure you sound enthusiastic, the sort of a good players they want in their team. Try to match the interviewer’s style and speed, but don’t over do it. They might feel irritated.

Candidates should be aware that interviewers might be pushing them to answer as part of their interview technique. So pay attention to every part of the question and listen carefully and if you don't fully understand the question, ask for clarification or repeat the question. Always remain patient and remember the interviewer may need some time to make notes between questions.

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