You’ve been sending out your résumés and wondering when will you be called for interview. While alternating between twiddling your thumbs and trolling for more jobs to submit, your phone suddenly ring! It’s an unfamiliar number, your palms suddenly become sweaty….maybe, just maybe…it might be just one of the companies you send your résumé in.
First of all, don’t panic. Secondly, always try to find a quiet place to answer the call. If you can’t, excuse yourself and quickly pick up the call, let the other person know now is not the convenient time for you and could he or she leave a number for you to call back. Please don’t try to say you are good for the call and suddenly realized that the person on the other line wants to conduct a long conversation hence, it is preferable to schedule a time back when you have at least an hour, a quiet environment and good reception.
Always have the following at hand to prepare in advance. Do remember, you can never over-prepare yourself.
Companies in Mind
First thing first, you should never mass send your résumés out to every Tom, Dick and Harry companies out there. Not only you’ll not remember what you applied for, it may also seem that you are not focused enough to know what you want. At any one period, apply for not more than 3 jobs at 3 different companies.
Studied in advance
Knowing the individual companies and how their culture is very important. It might be the straw you need to get into the first or second interview. Some companies are formal while others like creativity. Instead of treating companies as a whole, take the time to learn their history and their current events might give you an edge in the interviews.
Memorizing your own CV
You may be surprised but as a previous hiring manager, I do quiz on what has been written in the CV of the incumbent and I do get folks for forgotten what they have written. Doesn’t seems at all sincere or genuine if you can’t remember the scope or the details you have put in your résumé, allowing one having the impression that your CV might not have been written by you.
Tone of voice
When I do the calling instead of HR, (yes, some companies will ask the hiring manager to call instead of HR), I gauged the tone of voice as well. Before I schedule for a face to face, one important thing we note is your tone of voice. Do you sound like you have just got out of bed in the mid afternoon? Do you sound enthusiastic about the job? Do you sound upbeat and interesting? This is especially important if the job entails you to talk to our customers.
Gap of Silence
During the phone interview, try not to leave too many gaps of silence for the interviewer to fill. You should be the one doing most of the talking and try to squeeze in as many information about yourself and your desire to join the company in the short span of the phone conversation. Too long a gap, it can be really awkward, however, do leave room for the other person to ask questions or to clarified what you have just said. Rattling on like a bullet train will not score points.
Trying not to have big words or difficult words in your conversation. The enunciation of a long difficult word may make it even harder for the other party to hear you over the phone especially if the reception is bad. Keep it to simpler words and phrases like what you would normally use in a phone conversation. Trying to show off your vocabulary is futile during a phone interview, keep it for the face to face session.
Always do try to filter the background noise to zero. The best is to have a phone interview behind closed doors. I have had to strain my ears and asking interviewees to repeat themselves when I couldn’t hear them over traffic or worse, over the mall’s announcements. I even had an interviewee doing his phone interview in the subway, all I kept hearing was babies crying, reception crackling, train station arrival announcements and people talking in the background, pretty distracting. The phone interview was supposed to be over in half an hour, but we took an hour because most of the time, we had to ask him to repeat his answers.
So there you have it, the golden tips to score a phone interview. If you’re in this situation right now, I wish you all the best of luck! If you have great advice, do come and share yours at below comments!!
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