Telephone Interview Dos and Don’ts

As companies are receiving more applications for job vacancies than they did in the past, they are increasingly resorting to telephonic interviews for screening out candidates. A telephone interview is perhaps the best way for any organization to assess the potentiality of a job applicant before deciding whether to call him or her for a personal interview.  A telephonic interview nowadays, in most circumstances is used as a convenient screening mechanism by firms for weeding out candidates they possibly would have rejected in the first place.

Holding a preliminary round of interview via the phone is increasingly becoming popular with many firms and commercial establishments. This is so because it almost costs nothing to conduct a telephonic interview. Telephonic interviews are also the best way to filter out candidates, bring down costs, and pare down the posse of job applicants who’ll be called for direct interviews.

On your part, you should give the same weightage to a telephonic interview as you’d give to a direct or personal interview. Consider the upsides of a phone interview. Firstly, you won’t need to be in formal attire as you’re not visible to the interviewer.

Secondly, you have free access to ready notes and information that you can refer to while replying to your interrogator over the phone. Thirdly, you can move about freely and be all by yourself while talking on the phone. In a personal interview, you’d find yourself sitting in one place.

However, you’d have to be very cautious about how you speak over the phone and be alert. It’s very easy to get carried away during the telephonic interview as you might end up using slangs. You’d also need to keep your composure while replying to questions.

You’d need to speak clearly and coherently so that you’re distinctly audible to the interviewer. You can do your homework by practising mock telephonic interviews. Nevertheless, there are some Telephone Interview Dos’ and Don’ts that you should keep in mind while getting ready for one.

Telephone Interview Dos and Don’ts

The Dos’ of Telephone Interviews

1. Research As Much As You Can About The Organization

It does not need to be stressed that you’d be making a good impression on your interviewer if you convince him or her about your knowledge about the organization. Being aware of the company’s growth and development profile means you take a keen interest in the company and its performance. So, a week before you telephone interview, go online and carry out extensive research about the entity.

The website of the company will, in all likelihood, provide you with all the information you’d need to have about the organization. Do not forget to find out as much as you can about the job position that you’ll be interviewed for. Explore about the responsibilities associated with the position.

Garner information about the organizational hierarchy and the key people in the firm. Equip yourself with facts regarding the entity’s services and products and the markets it caters to. Also browse through the websites of the firm’s competitors to gain a wider perspective about the company’s competitive edge in its service area. As far as keeping yourself updated about the organization is concerned, leave nothing to chance.

2. Prepare a Checklist and Keep it Handy

This is another important do that you can’t afford to be careless about. Firstly, update your resume with the current and relevant data if you haven’t done so lately. Make several copies of the same and keep them in a folder file from where you can retrieve them easily when required.

Make short notes on how your academic qualifications and previous working experience commensurate with the advertised job position. Also make a comprehensive list of the probable questions that you might be asked and write down the answers as simply and briefly as possible. Refer to relevant websites for getting a fair idea about the sort of questions that you’ll be enquired.

3. Don’t Let Distractions Come in Your Way

You will need to get rid of all the disruptions and distractions that might interfere with your telephonic interview process. That’d essentially mean engaging a babysitter to take care of the kids.  See to it that your pet dog or cat does not loiter around at the time of your interview. Confine yourself to a secluded place in your house and ensure that nobody enters your private space for the entire period of the interview.

4. Use Your Landline Number

It is better to have your interrogator call you on your landline than your cellphone. You’re unlikely to miss any call coming through your fixed or landline telephone as they ring loud and clear. To receive calls on your mobile phone, you’ll need to keep it constantly charged so that you don’t miss any incoming call. Turn off call waiting, text or email alerts and other standard cellphone features that might cause distractions.

5. Be Attentive

You’d need to concentrate very deeply which can be really tough as far as your telephonic interview is concerned. You’d have to be all ears when the interviewer will ask you the questions. In case, you’re not able to make out a particular poser, be sure to communicate the same to your interviewer.

6. Speak Coherently and Consistently

Your interviewer will have a fair idea of how well prepared you are for the interview via your manner of speaking. This necessarily has to do with your voice modulation and intonation. Speak slowly and with confidence instead of trying to rush through your reply. Don’t let your interrogator have the impression that you want to be through with the session as soon as possible.

The Don’ts

1. Don’t Let Your Interviewer Overhear Typing or Clicking Sounds

Nothing could be worse than your questioner overhearing you typing on the keyboard or shuffling the pages of a reference manual while he or she poses a question to you. Ensure that your typing or turning pages is almost inaudible. Keep a ready reckoner of all relevant data or information handy for instant referencing.

2. Don’t Try To Show As If You Know Everything

Even after preparing thoroughly for the phone interview, there might be areas in which you were unable to gather enough or substantial information. So, you might come a cropper if you were told to answer a question pertaining to those segments. You’ll be putting yourself in a bad light if you pretend that you know everything that there is to know. Rather, honestly confess to your ignorance if you find yourself fumbling for a reply to a specific question.

3. Don’t Beat About the Bush

Try your level best to answer question that are to the point and germane instead of beating around the bush. Keep your replies short rather than being long winded or else you’ll seem to go on and on. Your answers will sound more meaningful if they’re concise and relevant.

4. Don’t Contradict or Argue Unnecessarily

There might be occasions when your interrogator tells you that your reply to a particular question is incorrect although you’re confident that you’re in the right. To prove that you’re right, you may enter into an argument unwarrantedly and become desperate but that’d be taking a wrong approach. Instead of arguing, explain humbly and logically as to how you arrived at the answer. In case you’re not sure about the right answer, agree with your interviewer.

5. Don’t Go Overboard in Asking Questions

You might feel stressed out after a while as you keep fielding questions. You’ll more often have the urge to ask questions on your own which your interrogator will also welcome. However do not go overboard with your questions and give the impression as if you’re taking the interview. Moreover, refrain from asking questions that are off the cuff and inappropriate that might end up frustrating your interviewer. For instance, never ask whether they like what they’re doing.