The need to find the right candidate for the job has never been stronger. This has brought about a huge increase in candidates doing a telephone interview instead of the traditional face-to-face one.

Succeeding in a telephone interview is just as important and you will need to be prepared to be selected. Do not take the interview lightly, as though it is just a formality. Here are 10 things you should do to pass this test.

1. Plan your interview beforehand

telephone interview

Very often you will be notified beforehand about the date and time of a telephone interview. Think of the space you will be using during the interview. Look for a room which is well lit, quiet and, just as important, set at a comfortable temperature.

The last thing you want is to be sweating whilst answering your questions as this will naturally interfere with your ability to concisely respond to the questions put to you. Check that your phone has good coverage in that room and that you won’t be disturbed during your interview.

2. Research the company you want to work with

During the telephone interview give evidence that you have researched the company. It is important that you know, at the very least, what the company does, such as its products or services, and who its customers are.

Without this information, you will seem unprepared. There are a lot of people who send out applications randomly to see who will employ them. Trained interviewers can spot such people easily in interviews and immediately fail their interview.

3. Show that you are the right person for the job

Whilst you cannot say that you are the best person for the job, you can show why you would be an excellent fit. Use every answer you give during a telephone interview to show how you will succeed in your role.

Your work experiences, your skills, and your education are all relevant to the interviewer. Decide which ones you will be using most in the job and focus on them in your answers. Make the interviewer’s job easier by helping him or her make the decision.

4. Answer questions with a smile

You might think that the interviewer won’t notice whether you smile or frown during a telephone interview. You would be wrong. Your tonality of voice is greatly affected by facial positions. In the same way, use your body language as though you are talking to a person in front of you.

Essentially, doing this will make your voice sound friendlier. Remember that in a telephone interview your voice is the only thing that the interviewer has to work with.

5. Look out for feedback

telephone interview

One of the disadvantages of a telephone interview is that you do not get to see who is asking the questions. What’s worse is that you do not see the person’s reaction to your answer, which may make it a bit hard to determine the nature of their feedback to you.

As you are answering the questions, pay attention to any sounds from the interviewer. If, for example, during the telephone interview, the interviewer is constantly interrupting you, your answers might be too long or out of point. It is best to start with brief, clear answers and expand if the interviewer asks you to.

6. Give positive answers to all questions

During a telephone interview, you might be tempted to criticize your past boss or the company’s competitors. Make sure you do not give into temptation. Candidates who speak negatively during interviewers are seen as having negative attitudes.

Instead, use the telephone interview as an opportunity to focus on what you’ve learned in your old job or what you believe makes this company better than the rest.

7. Dress appropriately

You might think that this is crazy, but it isn’t. Even though you will be having a telephone interview you should dress appropriately, in smart clothes. The reason for doing this is all psychological.

By so dressing, you ideally set your mind to automatically think and speak as a suitable candidate. Instead, if you were to be in your underwear or sweatpants, you will be in clothes which are too comfortable. Your mind will therefore not work as hard to give the right answers and impress the person carrying out the telephone interview.

8. Stay calm and confident

As the telephone interview is moving along you might start getting tired. However, the interview is not over until the interviewer hangs up, so you need to remain focused. Sometimes the interviewers read questions from a list and they tend to rush from one question to the next.

Do not let this make you nervous. Take your time to think of the question and answer appropriately. Remain calm and remember to breathe. Doing this will show that you are a confident person and one who is in control of the telephone interview.

9. Do you have any questions?

Your final question in the telephone interview will probably be whether you have any questions. Many times candidates fail this question by saying that they don’t. This shows that you’ve had enough and are not interested in the job.

Instead, ask about your role in more detail and maybe if the company carries out any community work. This shows that you are eager to become a full part of the team, during and after working hours. You will really impress during the telephone interview in this way.

10. Don’t forget the next step

Unlike in traditional interviews, the wrapping up of a telephone interview can be very brief. Once you get confirmation from the interviewer that the interview is over make sure to ask what the next step is.

Ask when you should be hearing from the company and which communication method they will use. Additionally, be sure to keep a note of the interviewer’s name so that if and when you meet them in person you will know who they are

It is rare that a candidate is selected solely through a telephone interview. If you are successful in the first stage then you will be invited for a second, face-to-face interview.

In this interview, the company is looking for anything which makes a candidate stand out. Consider writing a brief thank you email to the person you spoke to during the telephone interview, just to do something considerate and different, that the other candidates probably didn’t do.

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