Tips for a telephonic interview

Tips for a successful Telephonic interview 
Interview is the pivot around which the entire recruitment process revolves. There are different types of interviews conducted based on different job requirements, situations and conditions. These days one of the most common types of pre-screening is done through the telephonic interview.  It is mostly used when the candidate is from out of station or the employer has received a high number of applications and wants to narrow down the number of potential candidates to few who will be invited for a personal interview.
Regardless of for what and which type, interview is an interview and only a successful interview will pave your way to your dream job. To be successful requires a proper understanding of the interview procedure and tactful handling of the questions in a convincing manner.  Every interview is unique and most of the time requires immediate instinctive response from the applicant. However, going through some of the phone interview etiquettes which are valid for every telephonic interview can prove to be very useful. Every interview 
process can be divided into three parts: 
1.      Pre - interview part
2.      During - the - interview part
3.      Post - interview part
Let us look at these parts in details.
Pre-Interview part: 
This is the part where the applicant knows that he/she has been selected for a telephonic interview. Now is the time to do a bit of homework.
1.      The first and foremost thing is to confirm the phone interview. If the date and time fixed for the interview does not suit you then politely ask for a different date and time and then confirm it. Do not forget to ask who you will be talking to and also if the interviewer would be calling you or you are supposed to make the call.
2.      The other important thing is to research about the company and the job in question so that you are well prepared to discuss the company and your future role and responsibilities in case you are hired.
3.      It would also be advisable to brush up your communication skills by doing a self check (with the help of friends or family) for clear articulation and speed of speech.
4.      Many websites offer a detailed and well maintained list of most popular interview questions along with suggestions for possible answers. It would be good to go through these questions and rehearse the interview. Some of the most common questions are:
a.      Tell us something about yourself?
b.      What interests you about this job?
c.       Why should we hire you?
d.      Why do you want to work for this company?
e.      Why are you leaving your current job?
f.        What are your salary expectations?
g.      What is your greatest strength and weakness?
h.      What do you expect from your new job and company?
i.        What were your responsibilities in your previous company?
j.        Have you faced any difficult situation in the company? If yes, then how did you handle it?
k.       What is your motivation?
l.        What challenges are you seeking in your career?
m.     Are you willing to travel?
5.      It is always good to go through the resume once again and be thorough with the last project you have worked upon. Always be ready to explain the gaps in the resume. These are the places which if not explained convincingly could prove to be a setback for the applicant.
6.      Check the telephone connection and wire. It is advisable to use the landline. Make sure that the receiver is in order.
During – the – interview part:

This is the part where actual telephonic interview takes place. This is the time to make a real impression and through your talk convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job. Some of the things which should be kept in mind are:
1.      The interview space should be free of distractions and undesirable noises. Inform your family and friends about your interview and that you need a quite space. It will help them understand and they will not (unintentionally) become the reason of disturbance during the interview. Hang a “Do not disturb” sign outside your door.
2.      Keep the phone line free so that the interviewer can easily get through and reach you on the fixed time. Do not forget the turn off the call waiting. The beeping noise can be a distraction during the interview.
3.      Have your resume in clear view for e.g. on desk or on wall. Also keep a pen and writing pad ready to keep notes if need be.
4.      Always keep a glass of water handy. A slight cough or tickle in the throat during the interview can really turn things to worse.
5.      Answer the phone call yourself. Always answer with your full name for e.g. Michael Smith, so that the interviewer knows that he has reached the right person. While replying use the interviewer title e.g. Dr. Mr. Ms. And their last name. The first name should be used only if the interviewer asked you to do so.
6.       Be calm and take your time in answering the questions. There is no need to hurry but make sure that there is not a big time gap while replying. Speak slowly and clearly.
7.      Listen carefully to the interviewer and do not interrupt him/her. If there is something which you did not understand then politely ask him/her to repeat after the person has finished. Talk when it is your turn.
8.      Take note of things which you would like to be cleared and ask them in the end as clarifications.
9.      Do not chew gum or eat while you are in the interview. It not only makes speech difficult to understand but also does not give a good impression to the interviewer.
10.  In the end when it is your turn to ask questions do not lose this chance. Have a list of questions ready at hand and when the interviewer ask “would you like to ask me something?” then feel free and ask. Remember you will have only few minutes to ask the questions so choose the most relevant ones related to the company and the job. Some of them could be.
a.      What are the qualities you are looking for in the person to fill this job position?
b.      What are the opportunities for advancement with the company?
c.       What are the challenges and responsibilities attached to the position in question?
d.      What is a typical work week?
e.      How is the company culture?
f.        Is there anything else I can tell you about me or my qualifications?
g.      When can I expect to hear from you?
h.      If I am hired, how soon can I start?
i.        Apart from salary, what other benefits am I entitled to? (e.g. health insurance, pension)
Post-interview part:

This is the part where the interview is over and now is the time to thank the interviewer for the time, efforts and energy that he/she has spent during the process. An email thank you message would do the job. Immediately after the interview write the thank you letter addressing the person whom you have talked with and thank him/her. Use this opportunity to address the open issues and restate your interest in the job. If it was a group interview (telephonic conference) then send an individual email thank you message to every interviewer and modify the content so that each interviewer receives a unique message.


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