Some of these differences can work to your advantage if you know how to use them, whilst for others you need to compensate for the lack of visual cues to which you would naturally respond if the interviewer were sitting opposite.
Follow these simple steps to give you the best chance in your next phone interview:-
Treat a telephone interview exactly as if it were a face to face interview – be just as prepared and professional – don’t fall into the trap of being too casual.
In most cases telephone interviews are scheduled in advance at a prearranged date and time, so make sure you are ready in advance of the call. Make sure you are in a quiet place with sufficient privacy to ensure you are not disturbed – nothing looks worse than an interruption from a ringing phone, a person walking in chatting to you, or noise in the background from music, TV or your kids…
Try to accept the call on a land-line if at all possible as whilst mobile phone signals have improved dramatically in most places, a land line will generally be clearer with less possibility of drop out or distortion. If you do have to take the call on a mobile ensure that the reception is strong enough in the area you have planned to take the call – if it isn’t
find somewhere else.
Makes some notes in advance of the call – these might be questions you have prepared, a list of specific skills and achievements you want to get across to the interviewer or just some background information on the company you can quote to show you have done your homework. It can be helpful to have some bullet points to remind you of a situation you need to explain and so on. You have the opportunity to use notes far more in a phone interview so make sure you use these to your advantage by being organised.
Have a copy of your CV to hand, a pad and pen, together with your notes – you might even have your PC available with the interviewers company website up to jog your memory (but be careful you are not distracted by this).
Have a glass of water ready – you may need it with lots of talking expected – but avoid ice in the glass to avoid distraction of the clinking.
Apart from our brief guide here there are lots of free tips and resources on the internet about how to successfully conduct interviews. Take the time and effort to do your research and your chances of a positive outcome will increase exponentially.
In part 2 we will explore the actual interview and afterwards…
About the Author
Tim Johns is a former Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm. For more information about Tim and Elite Search visit http://www.elitesearch.com.au and The Elite Hotelier http://www.elitehotelier.net