During your job search, it is vital to prepare yourself for an initial phone interview, at the drop of a hat.
Some phone interviews are scheduled in advance, so you can prepare yourself accordingly but, in most cases, an initial phone screen will be conducted, asking if you are available for a chat about a vacant position. Here are some helpful hints to better prepare yourself for those surprise calls and how you can conduct yourself, so you have a better chance of being invited in for an interview.
Let’s start with the simple things first:
- Voicemail – make sure that you have a clear and professional greeting. Recruiters do understand that people aren’t always available to speak but a good voicemail does leave a good first impression.
- Answering – you never know who might be calling to discuss your next opportunity (especially if you are in the job market). So if you see an unfamiliar number pop up on your screen, always answer the phone professionally, providing your name.
- Repeat the consultant's name so you don’t forget it.
If it is not a good time to speak, make it known to the caller and reschedule another time to discuss.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Do say what attracted you to and made you excited about the role and what your motivators are. You want to avoid saying “because I need a job”
- Do take your time to answer, it is fine to take a moment to think about your answer
- Do smile, it can be powerful, as it does change your tone of voice and projects it positively.
- Do keep answers brief and not go off on tangents, you want to stay focused on the question asked
- Do remove distractions and try and find a quiet place to talk
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer
- Don’t give one worded answers, be expansive
- Don’t criticise your current/previous employer
- Don’t say things like “I have applied for so many jobs what was this one again?”
- Don’t forget to be proud of your accomplishments! When appropriate give an example of something you did, of which you were especially proud.
Remember to ask any relevant questions that you may have and always thank the interviewer for their call. Always reiterate your enthusiasm for the role.