about 5 years ago
You are used to standard and classic interviews, and now you have a phone interview coming up? Get ready with us and learn the mistakes you need to avoid.
These days, phone interviews have become an inevitable part of the job-hunting process, and for a good reason: They allow everyone to skip the classic journey, plus minutes of waiting for the interviewer to be ready. But that doesn’t mean they are expecting less effort and preparation.
Yes, you should spend more time preparing for an in-person interview, but many companies treat phone interviews as the official first round of the hiring process. It means candidates are expected to be prepared with as much information about the company, position, and key skills to show off during the process.
Based on our recruiters' experience, here are the main mistakes to avoid.
Even if everybody agrees, it is easy to mess up a phone interview; it is also very simple to come across as the perfect candidate.
1. Watch your space
It is common sense that you need your own space to put your head down and obviously, everybody would agree on securing a quiet area for the interview, but you’d be surprised what interviewers have experienced. Babies screaming, noisy traffic or screaming children they got it all.
Recruiters understand things can happen, but the more time spent anticipating what could go wrong, the better prepared and organised you will appear to the interviewer.
Even for you, the better the space, the more you can focus and give the best of you.
Following the same idea, do not think the connection will always be good. Make sure you have tested your connection beforehand because there is nothing more frustrating for a recruiter than having to ask the same question over and over because you can't understand or hear the candidate.
2. You are not chatting to your mum
Phone conversation tends to be linked to gossip and long conversations, but unless someone is asking you to talk about yourself, don't!
What recruiters are looking for is more information about your professional experience and skills. Do not forget, recruiters are trying to understand if you could be a good match for the role. Clients give them a whole list of boxes to tick. The more recruiters know about your skills and achievements the easier it is to qualify you for the job. As they don't have all the time in the world, talking about your five years lifetime plan is irrelevant for them when you could have spent those 10 minutes explaining how you are planning to improve yourself and why you want the position you are applying for.
In the meantime, maybe you are used to doing plenty of different things while you are on the phone with your BFF or mum, but you better avoid this during your phone interview. If you are not 100% into the recruitment process, your interlocutor will feel it. It comes across like you are not that interested in the role and that's not helping you to progress to the next stage, so stay focused.
3. Straight to the point.
If it helps, try to record yourself answering some random questions, and you will see how many times you use filler words.
It is hard not to say "hum", "well", "uh" or "like" but at least try to control it.
Verbal habits become much more pronounced when speaking on the phone, and its not pleasant to hear.
Having good telephone manners is vital as recruiters will pay a lot of attention to what you say. On a face to face interview, the whole body language creates an interaction that doesn't exist over the phone.
Talking about your telephone manner, do not speak over your interlocutor.
The interaction you have with someone is entirely different over the phone. It already sounds rude not to let people finish their sentence, but it is even more unprofessional over the phone. You might be eager to talk about your experience, but you will need to wait for your speaking time.
4. Give recruiters the time they deserve
It starts by not being late and not putting your interlocutor on hold. Two things that seem perfectly obvious but recruiters have plenty of examples of people being too early, late or not even showing up. Being on time and ready for your interview shows your attention to detail, remember you are giving them clues, so give the right ones.
Then, do not put your interviewer on hold. You may be waiting for an important call, but your phone interview IS your important phone call. If something is happening in your personal life recruiters can understand, but make sure you are making them aware.
5. Finish it well
As after a face to face interview, the interviewer will inevitably ask you if you have any questions and the right thing to do is precisely the same as a face to face interview: Always ask questions. The absence of question shows a lack of interest in the role.
It is essential to show you are ready; you did spend time learning about the company and the job you are interviewing for. Surely, if you made you research and if you’re interested in the position, you can think of something to ask your interviewer but, not talk about money. It is just too early at this stage to negotiate your salary.