Five top tips for a telephone interview

If you’re applying for a job in the Middle East, or anywhere abroad for that matter – you may find that the initial interview stage is conducted over the telephone. This isn’t always the case, as some organisations may choose to send representatives to different countries in order to carry out the interviewing on their behalf. Some companies might also opt to interview using an online link-up (namely, Skype, Zoom, WebEx) – making the interview seem more face-to-face.

Telephone interviews can feel quite alien if you’ve never had one before and many people don’t really know what to expect. Here are 5 top tips for giving a successful job interview over the phone.

1. Check the details

There can often be a long period of time between applying for a role and being given an interview date. Make sure you keep your potential employer updated with your current contact details to make sure they have the best number to call you on. Remember, mobile numbers are not usually the most reliable option.

In addition, if your employer is based abroad - always check that you have the right time zone. If there’s any confusion, always ask for clarification to avoid any embarrassing misunderstandings about the call time.

2. Be prepared

You should do the same amount of preparation as you would if you were having a face-to-face interview. Just because an interview is over the phone, it doesn’t mean it will be any less thorough than the usual process.

Fully research the organisation and make sure that you carefully look over any information you’ve been given– such as the job description and person specification. Also, try to research the activity of any direct competitors and the industry as a whole – it’s helpful to have some wider knowledge to add context to your answers.

3. Get your notes in order

Unlike a regular interview, you’re able to have notes in a telephone interview if you feel it would be beneficial.  Lengthy notes could actually prove distracting, but short, relevant notes about your experience or the company might prove useful to have to hand. Make sure you have clear, legible and succinct notes if front of you before the phone call commences. Also, have a pen and paper handy in case you need to note down any information.

4. Body language

Even though you’ll not actually be in the room with your interviewer, be aware of your body language. Typically, standing up can make you feel and sound more alert and confident. Remember to smile too, it will show in your voice.

5. The right location

Choose the location for your telephone interview carefully. Make sure you have a quiet, comfortable space where you’re unlikely to be disturbed with noise or other interruptions. Ensure that your family/housemates etc. know you’re undertaking an interview so they know not to disturb you.

For more help with your job search or hiring requirements, please contact us today to speak to one of our specialist consultants.

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