There are several companies which conduct telephone interviews to save their time on unsuitable candidates. Google is one such company which conducts a telephone interview before calling a candidate for a face-to-face meeting.
Despite the rising prominence of telephone interviews, most people still feel disconcerted about the whole idea. The fact that we cannot see the person we are talking to always makes us feel uncomfortable. In fact, a telephone interview is much like talking to a girl for the first time over the phone. There is always a little bit of awkwardness to it.
However, if it is a government job interview, you do not want to foul your chances of getting selected. Phone interviews are not as monstrous as they seem to be. If you have a phone interview scheduled with a company, here are some tips that will help you sail through it:
- Schedule it correctly- Always schedule your phone interview appropriately. Always pick a time when you are sure you would be free and when there would be minimal distractions. For people who are at home, it is usually afternoon time when there are minimal distractions. Just in case you have a last minute meeting scheduled that you cannot miss, always be polite enough to reschedule the phone interview. You do not want to be at a noisy place when you take up the interview questions. It is unprofessional and always disconcerting for interviewers.
- Make yourself comfortable- Right before the phone interview is scheduled, make yourself as comfortable as possible. Pick a quiet corner of the house or wherever you are. Sit in a comfortable position and arrange all the documents that you would need for the interview. Issue stand down instructions to friends and family not to disturb you during the scheduled time. You don’t want your cat or dog to disturb you either while you are answering important questions. Keep them away too!
- Dress professionally- It helps if you treat your phone interview just like a regular face-to-face interview. While your boxer shorts may be too comfy to get out of, it helps your confidence if you dress professionally. That way, you tell your brain to be serious and more attentive to the telephonic interview. When you are more attentive to questions being asked, you are likely to fare better.
- Walk around- It is important that you feel natural about talking on the phone with the interviewer. That’s why, it is important to replicate the actions that you do while talking over the phone with friends and family. Most people feel comfortable walking while talking on the phone. If that makes you feel comfortable too, don’t hesitate to do that.
- Take time answering the questions- Most of the times, people feel rushed when they are asked questions over the phone. They feel obliged to give immediate replies. However, that is never a pre-requisite for successful phone interviews. You can always take a second or two to comprehend the questions and formulate a reply. In fact, it is always better to do that than rush into your answers.
- Give them time to assimilate information too- Most of the times, interviewers will pause for a while before answering the next question. However, since you cannot see them, you tend to feel restless when interviewers do that. Don’t feel restless about it. Give interviewers time to assimilate the information you have supplied them. You can always use this time to catch your breath and gather your concentration again.
- Never think about the next question- When we are talking on the phone, it is very easy to think ahead of ourselves. Most times, we tend to formulate plausible replies in our own head and formulate the next set of questions. Doing that can cost you the interview. Always be present in the moment. Pay full attention to the current question being asked and respond to it in the best possible fashion. Thinking ahead only complicates matters.
- Do not lie- It is common knowledge that it is easier to lie on the phone than in person. The other person cannot see you and hence, you can get away with it. However, when we lie, our voice gives it away too. Many companies have a voice analyzer during a phone interview to catch probable lies by candidates. Just because it is a phone interview does not mean you will lie about things. Honesty is always the best possibility, so stick to it.
- Keep it concise and clear- Most people tend to blabber on the phone. Part of it is because of nervousness while part of it is because you cannot gauge whether the other person is listening to you or not. It is important that you keep your answers concise and clear during the phone interview. Interviewers are always listening to you, and just in case they can’t, they will always ask you to repeat what you said.
- Establish clear communication- Right from the time the phone interview starts, it is important to establish clear communication. You must set an audible tone and speak at the correct pace. Always ask the interviewer whether he/she can hear you before proceeding. It is also important that you hear him/her clearly as well. If he/she is not audible, politely ask him/her if you could be a little louder. If that does not solve the problem, you can always ask for a call back.
- Always end it on a good note- It is important to end the phone interview just like you would a normal interview. Say your greetings and ask any questions you have. In fact, it is a good practice to have a list of questions handy to ask at the end of the interview. Politely ask about the result date and when it might be a good time to do a follow-up.
Amit Kumar is blogger based in India and get popularity with India’ No 1 Government Jobs Portal.
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Keys to Overcome a Phone Interview Successfully