Author Topic: Telephonic Job Interviews – Five Ways To Ace Them  (Read 1575 times)

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Offline Zahida Raees Raji

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Telephonic Job Interviews – Five Ways To Ace Them
« on: August 20, 2011, 05:03:55 PM »
Telephonic Job Interviews – Five Ways To Ace Them

Many employers are resorting to telephonic interviews for recruitment and selection of their employees. In the fast-paced job market, companies try not to compromise on their workforce productivity (as well as costs). For convenience and cost-effectiveness, several organizations perform their job interviews over the phone.

 Telephonic interviews are not restricted to any specific level of job. Fresh graduates to top-managers could be interviewed for a job over a phone call. You might also have experienced a pre-screening conversation from a prospective employer or even a detailed final interview conducted over the phone. Apparently, some people would consider telephonic job interviews as relatively “easier” since you are not required to show up in person or be scrutinized by the interviewer for your dressing and body language.

 That is a “wrong” notion!

 Job interviews taken over the phone are more challenging because your language, voice tone, telephone etiquette and thinking process are monitored in greater detail. In a physical or on-site interview, you body language and facial cues also reflect your compatibility with the offered position. In case any miscommunication takes place in this scenario, you would be able to cover it up in a more dynamic manner. However, with telephonic interviews, the margin for error is quite less. Employers perceive it as – Either standout from the crowd, or STAND OUT. So, what can be done to make your mark?

 Preparation is the Solution

 You can easily implement these 5 suggestions to make the telephonic job interviews work for your benefit:

 1.      Choose Appropriate Surroundings

The ease of communication is achieved through clarity. A good interview spot is usually where you will be least disturbed. You should ensure that the background of the call has minimum distortions or distractions. Lock the room, if possible, or choose a secluded area. In case of scheduled job interviews, move to a comfortable environment at least 30 minutes before the interview and free yourself of pre-interview jitters. This will also help you to adapt yourself according to the room/area temperature. Try that the temperature is adjusted to comfortable because your voice quality changes significantly when you are feeling cold or sweating profusely. Also, you should disable “call waiting” option to avoid being interrupted in the middle of the call. It actually leaves a very unprofessional message with the interviewer if you say “Hold on a second!”

 If the job interview is unscheduled and you are in a meeting or gathering that you cannot get away from, it is best to request a callback politely. This is a crucial step, so you must make sure that you sound pleasant and respectful. In this way, a considerate employer would contact you at an agreeable time. You can also offer to call them back at a feasible time. An important point to mention here is that you must never take a job interview over the phone while driving any vehicle. Regardless of your speed, this constitutes a traffic violation as well as the noise factor might tick an interviewer off. Requesting a few minutes’ time with a valid reason would not harm your prospects.

 2.      Keep Resources Within Reach

 Frequent shuffling of papers and lag in the conversation while you are finding something – a certificate, project document, CV, etc. – can make an interviewer impatient. This also sends a wrong message that you are not organized. If your interview is taking place after a prior appointment, you should take care that any relevant resources e.g. documents, water, tissues, computer, internet, etc. are working smoothly. It is understandable that you cannot always control these factors, but you should prepare ahead of time to keep any pointers ready or have backup for light, internet and files, if possible. For instance, a smart move for you would be keeping printouts of your resume, as well as a soft copy open in the computer. Any projects that are most suitable could also be opened or printed beforehand.

 While striving as a job seeker or professional, it is the best if you are organized and disciplined. Accessing the needed resources becomes easier even if you are not offered a lot of preparation time before a telephonic job interview.

3.      Dress Suitably

 This might sound unconventional, but your attire does matter even when you giving an interview over a call. Many of you might be able to relate to this example – If you are wearing a suit, you might “act” in a certain manner that reflects the formality of a tie-suit. Similarly, you could have done the same thing differently if dressed up in a pair of jeans. So, people are sometimes reflective of how they are clothed.

 You don’t have to wear anything uncomfortable, but your dress should convey your decency and alertness. This will just be an added effort on your part to sound professional over the phone.

 4.      Pace Around The Area

 Sitting still is not an ideal way to give a telephonic job interview. It is better to move around the area naturally or take this interview as a presentation that you are delivering while standing. A hands-free device would actually help your mobility. You would be able to use your hands for natural gestures and movements.

 Again, care should be taken that you do not nervously keep moving, because it would cause shortness of breath. Heavy breathing is easily observed over the phone by the interviewer. It is a depiction of your stress and/or lack of confidence. Keeping in congruence with the previous points, your movements should not be such that you get considerably away from the suitable environment or from needed resources.

 5.      Interact Dynamically

 It is true that your conversation should be confident and polite. You must not be deadpan quiet for a long time. Alternatively, it is also important that you do not cut off the interviewer while he/she is making a point. Your communication skills are tested at this point, where you should process information quickly and speak impactful, positive language. Your credentials are your achievements that you have to highlight – without bragging.

 Always ask questions regarding the evaluation of a telephonic job interview by the particular organization. You can address any queries at the end of it – decision making deadlines, who is making the decisions, etc. Maintain your concern without repetition of questions or pestering the interviewer with something.

 Most importantly, always end your telephone interview with a positive, hopeful and professional “Thank You Note”. This reinforces good faith and etiquette. Such gracious close could be an opening to your consideration for future job openings!

Zahida Raees :Raji: ,
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