When you’re applying for your dream graduate job, it is exceptionally likely that if an employer takes an interest in your CV, they will phone you to discuss your suitability for the position, before deciding on whether to add you to their shortlist for face-to-face interviews. Here are our top tips on how to ensure that your telephone interviews always result in your progression to the next stage of the application process.
Be Ready Early In The Morning
When employers phone you, it they will probably call very early in the morning. It is not uncommon for these calls to be made before 9am. They do this to see whether you manage your time in the way that they would expect successful candidates to manage theirs. If you answer and you sound like you’ve only just woken up, your interview could be cut short then and there. If an employer can’t guarantee that you would be able to receive a business call professionally early in the morning, how can they guarantee that you would arrive at the office early and work productively throughout the morning? By answering unscheduled phone calls in an alert and professional manner, you will immediately impress employers and you’ll go a long way to persuading them of your suitability for the job on offer.
If A Telephone Interview Is Scheduled – Answer Your Phone At The Agreed Time
One of the worst feelings in business is when you arrange an appointment with someone and they miss it without giving you any notice. If something goes seriously wrong which means that the agreed time is no longer convenient for you, email your contact at that company in advance to request that the call be rescheduled. Missing your phone interview without good reason will be seen as disrespectful. As well as not putting you on their shortlist for the job, an employer will almost certainly inform the recruiter who arranged the telephone interview, if you do this. That recruiter might then terminate their relationship with you completely. Make sure that your ringtone is on loud so that you hear it ring. Missing that crucial call because you’d left your phone on silent would be an awful mistake to make.
Most importantly, be sure to take the call in a quiet place. Background noise of buses and pedestrians rushing to work during your call will do your job application no favours.
Prepare In Advance
Research the company before your interview so that you can ask interesting questions while you’re on the phone. You only have a finite amount of time to make a good impression during the call. Showing a genuine passion for the business you’re applying to, and clearly expressing why your skills would boost their growth will immediately set you apart from other candidates.
Speak Loudly And Clearly
It will be difficult for an employer to assess your answers to their questions if they can’t hear them. If you’re speaking quietly and nervously, would you speak like that on the phone to a client? Would that perceived shyness and lack of confidence in your employer’s products and services cost them what would have been a massive sale? If they’re having to ask themselves either of these questions when speaking to you; you won’t be called to a face-to-face interview.
Listening Is More Important Than Speaking
It can be easy to interrupt employers while they’re speaking during these interviews because you’re very nervous and eager to show them how perfect you would be for the job under discussion. However, this will come across as rude, and will lead them to question immediately how effectively you would be able to listen to and make accurate notes about client enquiries. By listening to what your interviewer is asking you, and making notes about each point that he or she makes, you’ll be able to address each of these points confidently and in detail when you’re answering questions.
Focus On Your Skills
Keep each of your answers brief and to the point. That doesn’t mean skimping on detail. It just means that you have to pick and choose the right details to include. All of your answers should emphasise how the skills that you’ve gained throughout your previous work experience and academic studies would help you to generate revenue for the company you’re applying to. You should also mention how these skills would allow you to fit seamlessly into that company’s corporate culture. Remember to always link back to why your unique skills make you perfect for that particular role. Don’t go off at a tangent. Employers don’t want or need to hear your life story. They just need to know why you would be a better fit for the job than the other candidates who they are phoning about the same position.
End The Call Positively and Confidently
When the call finishes, definitely thank the employer for taking the time to speak to you about the position. Then ask them what the next steps are. This will show them that you’re a confident and polite individual who is ready to take on the new role as soon as possible.
We hope that these tips have helped you to get ready for your next set of telephone interviews. If you need any more help, please feel free to get in touch with us. We’re always happy to help and would love to have a chat.