Want to ace a phone interview? Here's how
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A phone interview is your chance to get a foot in the door and grab a potential employer's attention. While you've made it through the initial stages of the screening process, it's vital that you stand out from the other candidates to make it to the next round of interviews.
Here at KLC, we've gathered some of our best advice together for you so you can ace your next phone interview.
Think about body language
It might seem strange to think about body language when talking on the phone. After all, the person on the other side of the call can't see you. However, it will have a psychological effect on you.
An upright seated posture can reduce negative moods, increase positive emotions and maintain your self-esteem, according to a study titled 'Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomised trial' published in the Health Psychology Journal. Improving your mood will help you give more confident answers, as well as speak in a more optimistic and enthusiastic way.
Additionally, a smile changes the tone of your voice. Try it next time you're on the phone with someone you know. It's surprising how easy it is to tell when the person on the other end of the call is smiling as they speak. Using it during your phone interview will help make you sound more friendly and approachable.
Don't forget to smile when speaking - the interviewer will hear it on the other side of the call.
Refer to your cheat sheet
A cheat list is one of the benefits of a phone interview, as the hiring manager can't see you or any notes you have set up ready to go. Use this to your advantage.
As with any interview, you should do your research beforehand. Note down what drives the business, and its core values. Having these sitting beside you during your phone interview allows you to tie your answers back in to fit with what they're looking for.
You can also use your cheat sheet to note down a variety of examples that you might use to answer some of the more standard interview queries. Having a list of things you're curious about knowing means you're prepared with questions when they ask as well.
Don't forget to keep a glass of water handy, next to your cheat sheet. Talking for long periods, especially when nervous, can leave your mouth dry.
Make sure you enunciate
A phone line isn't as clear as an in-person discussion. To ensure your answers are heard, you need to focus on your enunciation. Here are some pointers to help:
- Slow down.
- Don't mumble. Separate out your words as you speak, so each one is heard individually and not lost over the phone.
- Avoid trailing off at the end of a sentence. Finish what you're saying clearly and concisely.
- Don't move the phone around too much. Shifting it might cause your voice to drop in and out.
Use tone, pitch, volume and pace
In a face-to-face conversation you're able to use body language and facial expressions to help convey your message. Over the phone you're forced to rely solely on your voice. However, within this limitation there's still a lot you can do to make an impression.
Make sure you consider your tone, pitch, volume and pace. Each of these influences how engaging you are in conversation, and can help you demonstrate your passion and excitement for the role. Just remember not to go overboard. While you want to showcase your personality, you don't want to come across too full on. On the other hand, avoid going too far in the opposite direction and talking in a monotonous voice.
Make sure you're prepared to take notes during your phone interview.
Not only is this useful within the interview, it's preparation for the future. Jot down anything that you think is useful to know and that you want to remember later on. After the interview, review your notes. Is there anything that you can do more research on, or is there a clear focus in what they're looking for that you can prepare examples for?
Consider, for example, if it's clear from your notes that the company really values teamwork. Knowing this you can pick out scenarios that illustrate how well you work in conjunction with others, as well as demonstrating other essential skills, so that if you get an in-person interview you're primed.
Knowing how to listen well is a skill. Make sure you focus on what the hiring manager is saying and don't get distracted by thinking about how you want to respond. By actively listening, you're more likely to provide answers to the questions they're actually asking, rather than what you think you heard. It also demonstrates respect for the interviewer and a genuine interest in what they're saying.
One way to show that you're paying close attention is by repeating back to them your understanding of what they've just said.
If you want to ensure that you stand out from the crowd while you're job hunting, KLC Recruitment is here to help. With years of experience assisting both employers and candidates, we can support you in putting your best foot forward.
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