Personally, Phone interviews aren’t my favourite thing in the world
Communication goes far beyond the words that come from your mouth, that’s why I find it difficult to really convey who you are as a person by merely speaking over the phone! Like how can you get a sense of who someone by speaking with them over the phone?
The reality is Phone interviews are a very prominent interview method, as organisations tend to use them in the early stages of the recruitment process
So what’s the one trick we can all adopt to make sure we give ourselves the best chance to make a good first impression, as well as be given the opportunity for a one on one interview?
NEVER PICK UP THE PHONE FROM A NUMBER YOU DON’T RECOGNISE….
From experience, graduates tend to have many job applications circulating in the ‘job application atmosphere’; therefore you don’t know who can be on the other end of the line.
If you’re expecting a call and the number is one you don’t recognise, let it go to voicemail, as the voicemail will entail who the person is, what company the caller represents and why they are calling. Listening to the voicemail really gives you an opportunity to prepare for the phone call (or phone interview), as you want to make sure you’re clear with the person you’ve conveyed on your resume and cover letter, as well as the specifics of the company and role you applied for…
This happened to me just recently… I let a call go to voicemail from a number I wasn’t familiar with and basically it was a lady getting back to me about my graduate program application!
I got home 4 hours after the call, I printed out my cover letter and resume, familiarised myself with the company and role description again and from there I was prepared when I called the lady back. Turns out she wanted to have a 20 minute chat with me (it was a phone interview) and she asked specific questions about why I wanted to work for the company, as well as what I already knew about the company.
Here preparation was everything. Preparation is everything….
So what can we takeaway from this?
It’s now your move….
- Let unknown numbers go to voicemail-Again, gives you the best opportunity to prepare if someone of importance is calling and you make sure you aren’t caught off guard
- It’s ok to say you’re busy- If you do decide to answer the phone and an organisation is calling, they will 100% ask you is this a good time to talk. Say you’re busy (ie at work) and arrange a time to call them back that suits both you and the caller! That’s perfectly ok, as employers don’t expect you to drop whatever you’re doing at the click of a finger (if they do stay away)!
- Be enthusiastic- Always demonstrate you’re enthusiastic over the phone, as focusing on your tone of voice is a great way to ensure you’re remembered!! Energy is everything and it’s is something we can all control
- Follow up call with email- If you’re unhappy with how the phone interview or call went, follow it up with an email mentioning how you believed you weren’t able to best convey yourself over the phone and would love the opportunity to do it in person via a 1 on 1 interview. This shows initiative, as well as your interest. Can’t go wrong!!
Hopefully the phone interview isn’t so daunting now…