A telephone interview is just as crucial as a regular interview. In fact, I think it’s even more difficult because you cannot understand what impression the interviewer is getting from your responses. There are certain codes of conduct that need to be followed when giving an interview over the telephone to make it work to your advantage. I have detailed the ‘Do’s’ and the ‘Don’ts’ of a telephonic interview for your convenience:
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1. Do sufficient research about the company
When you prepare yourself for the telephonic round, make sure you gather sufficient information about the company itself. If possible, try to get an idea of the responsibilities you will have in the post that you have applied for to give the right answers.
2. Do smile when you speak
A smile can help you to make a great impression. You might be wondering why I am mentioning the importance of smiling in a telephone interview. Well, when you smile in person, it reflects in your voice and gets conveyed to the interviewer. It will make you sound very approachable and positive over the phone.
3. Do go through some common telephone interview questions
The Internet is full of examples of common telephone interview questions and as I mentioned earlier, it’s a smart thing to be as prepared as you can when giving an interview, whether it’s in person or over a telephone.
4. Do stay away from distractions
When giving your interview over the telephone, it’s important to listen to what they say because your responses and answers will be based on what you hear. If you have people in the room with you or the television blaring around you, chances are that you will get distracted and lose focus.
5. Do keep your tone in check
The principle of smiling goes for your tone as well. There are codes of conduct that needs to be followed while giving a telephone interview and this is one of them. Since your interviewer can’t see you, he will judge you on the basis of what you say and more importantly, how you say it.
6. Do be available at the designated hour
Punctuality is important in any interview. Had this been an interview in an office, you would have tried to be there on time. Since this interview is over the phone, be available at the designated hour if that has been mentioned to you.
7. Do keep your questions ready
As much as an interviewer would want to know from you, he will also be willing to answer any questions you might have regarding the position you have applied for or the company. Make a list of your questions beforehand so that you don’t get caught off guard. Don’t feel shy. It’s natural to be curious about a new job but make sure your questions are intelligent.
8. Do follow up
Following up after an interview is very important. It shows an applicant’s eagerness to work with an employer. Even if you don’t get the job, follow up to ask about the areas where you lagged behind this time so that you do not repeat the mistake during your next interview. It will reflect your ability to take criticism and your willingness to grow.
1. Don’t speak out of turn
When participating in an interview, it’s very important to give your interviewer the chance to finish his sentence. Even if you have a wonderful answer in mind, wait for his sentence to end before you begin with yours. That’s just basic courtesy and it should be followed to make a good impression.
2. Don’t sound nervous
Believe it or not, your interviewer will be able to figure out any kind of nervousness. That’s because firstly, nervousness will reflect in your voice when you speak to him. Secondly, people who conduct telephone interviews basically have the talent as well as the experience to analyze a person by hearing his/her voice and listening to his/her answers so keep any kind of jitters at bay.
3. Don’t eat during the interview
This again is a common courtesy. In fact, when people eat while they talk, they are hardly ever comprehensible. This will actually work against you even if you are the most deserving person there. Don’t create such communication barriers for yourself.
4. Don’t answer any other calls
Suppose you are giving a telephonic interview and your partner/parent/best friend calls. What are you supposed to do? Nothing! Never put an interviewer on hold to attend another call because that is a serious markdown. If possible, deactivate call waiting for that particular day.
5. Don’t talk over the speakerphone
Another common communication barrier is the speakerphone. Never receive any important calls over the speakerphone because more often than not, the voices get jumbled up and sound distant. Speaker phones can affect clarity at any point of time so it’s not a good option for answering vital calls.
6. Don’t forget to listen carefully before you speak to your interviewer
Before you start with your answers, carefully listen to what the interviewer is saying. That will help you to follow the same line of communication and help you to give appropriate responses or answers.
7. Don’t try to make things up
Finally, never try to make a lie when giving a telephone interview. The apprehension can be easily read because remember, the person taking the interview knows what he’s doing. He does that for a living so don’t try to fool him or yourself.