How to survive your telephone interviews!

Whilst I’m working away in the ‘real world’, I have a few friends who have managed to remain in the student world through masters degrees. They may get as many lie ins and nights out as they want, but it also means they have to go through the torture of endless online applications, telephone interviews and dreaded assessment centres. So in light of that, here are my top tips on how to do well in your telephone interview! Remember, I’m no expert, I’ve just had some experience in taking part in telephone interviews.

Preparing for the Interview

RESEARCH the company in detail. Its not just about knowing its vision as a company but what are its main challenges in its industry at this point in time. What are its strengths as a company? If you are able to link these to the reasons you want to work there, then this will only provide more evidence to the person interviewing you.

KNOW ITS VALUES. Almost all companies will have a set of values/behaviours that they work by, make sure you can demonstrate how you fit in with these values. These could be anything from ‘seizing responsibility’ to ‘trying something new’. In a phone interview, I like to have these in front of me but don’t do this if this will distract you.

PREPARE some questions for them. This only emphasises how eager you are to work for them!

Just before the Interview

SMART CLOTHES I’ve found that if you dress up smartly, you are in a much better frame of mind. And remember, every little bit helps. It might be the difference between being successful and unsuccessful!

TIDY Wherever you decide to have your telephone interview, set out the table you’re sitting at. Set out any notes that you want to have during your interview, but get rid of anything else you don’t need. My best tip is to make sure you have a glass of water incase you get a dry throat with all the bigging yourself up that you’re going to do!

ORDER OF SILENCE Make sure everyone else in the house knows that you’ll be having an interview so that they don’t disturb you and make sure you have enough charge on your phone!

During the Interview

SMILE All the interviewer has to judge you on is your voice. So put some effort into it, and its simple to do this. Just smile and naturally your voice will sound happier and more upbeat. Imagine listening to someone talking on and on in a monotone voice!

BREATHE Before answering any question, take a couple of seconds to just breathe and think about the 3 key points you want to make in your answer. (So you’re not rambling) This may feel like a long time on the phone but it’s not! Hopefully, this will make your answers have more clarity and it will be easier for the interviewer to understand the key points.

KNOW THE QUESTION If you’re unsure what they are asking, ask them to clarify the question. I like to write down the main parts of the question quickly so that I don’t forget mid way through my answer what I’m trying to say!

None of these tips will guarantee you success but hopefully it will help someone this year in their phone interview! Good Luck!!

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