The Ins and Outs of Telephone Interviews

When a possible job opportunity is on the line, the telephone line that is, it may seem that ‘normal’ interview rules don’t apply, but you’d be wrong!

 As they say “the more things change the more they stay the same!” Although the technology and the medium is different, the same rules apply but with a bit of a twist. So how do you avoid some of the common miscommunications, confusing connections or voicemail mayhem that come with the new medium? Here are some tips to make for a smooth process:

 Clarify!

 ImageIf the technology is new to you (like Skype for example) let the employer know, sometimes the HR person can get you in touch with IT and they can talk you through the process of setting it up.  Also make sure you do a test run before hand to make sure it works! I once had a client who found out a few minutes before his interview that the phone he was using didn’t have a long-distance calling plan making it impossible to call an employer in the U.S. If you run into this problem, check the company website to see if you can call a 1-800 number instead or if they would be willing to call you directly.

 

Pick your place

 

If you have a rough idea of when they will call you, or when you are need to call them, prepare your spot ahead of time. Have your resume laid out and a piece of paper and pen for possible questions. If you have children at home or a pet that could interrupt during the conversation make sure they are out of the room. I know it sounds strange but even if you’re not using Skype, dress up in formal attire; it will automatically put you in a more professional mindset.

 

Be honest

 

Often telephone/online interviews are a prerequisite to in-person ones. It is a way for employers to filter out unsuitable candidates and it’s a chance for you to ask questions. Therefore, make sure you do your research on things like wage expectations beforehand since this is most certainly going to come up.

 

If the timing of the interview doesn’t work or they catch you off guard let them know, don’t try to wing it you’ll end up sounding scattered. Just politely ask them if you can call them back in a few minutes so that you can give them your full attention.

 SMILE! 🙂

 Have you ever talked to someone on the phone, like a customer service rep, and it’s obvious they weren’t happy? Well chances are your hunch was right! Practice smiling in the mirror beforehand it will come through to the listener and convey a friendly and open attitude.

 Now don’t forget to practice as you would for an in-person interview, you don’t want to miss the chance to connect and land that job!

Elaine Logie is a student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College and a MCACES Blogger. MCACESBlogs helps readers with all sorts of job search and career development tips and tricks!

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