As the job market has changed, many companies have changed their hiring practices. Fast growth companies can't afford the time or money involved in a face-to-face interview unless they're positive the job seeker is a very good fit for the position. Therefore, you need to be prepared for a phone interview, which means that you cannot respond blindly without doing research on the company.
Interviewers want to hire people who demonstrate that they are genuinely interested in becoming a part of the team. If you show enthusiasm and interest about the company on the phone, you set yourself apart from the other applicants.
Successful job hunters know that they must get the interviewer talking. You need to ask good questions, and be concise in your answers. If the interviewer has your resume, do not launch into a two minute summary of your career. You should be talking only 50% of the time. At the end of the phone interview, ask what the next step is and how you can move forward.
Simple Telephone Tips
Although telephone interviews can sometimes be at short notice it is important to prepare as much as you can.
Do your best to get to grips with the job description so you have an idea of what the interviewer is looking for and make sure you research the company.
Schedule the interview for a time when you know that you'll be able to talk. You need to be in a quite area where you can concentrate and the interviewer can hear you properly.
If possible, a landline is preferable to a mobile. It's a lot easier to talk and there's no danger of your battery running out mid conversation.
Sound lively and enthusiastic. It is important to speak clearly and concisely. Try standing or walking around as you talk - this will help you think more quickly and sound more dynamic. Also talk with a smile from time to time as it will really shine through at the other end.
A telephone interview is about rapport, listen very carefully to what the interviewer is saying, take your time and think about your answers. A good technique is to mirror their style of talking - if they speak quickly and to the point, try and do the same. If they are more relaxed or softly spoken follow suit. If you speak in the same sort of tone, pace and volume they will feel like you are someone on their wavelength.
Interviews are often quite stressful but there are many things you can do to prepare and give yourself the best chance of success. Please use this section and the Common Questions section to polish your interview skills and help you gain confidence that will shine through when you’re in the hot seat!
Why do candidates fail at interview?
The number one reason is usually a lack of skills in the required area, or you may have been offered the job if it weren’t for a candidate that was a slightly better match. Whilst there’s not a lot you can do about this except curse your bad luck, there are a number of other reasons why candidates are rejected out right.
Bosses from 5000 businesses across the UK were asked to name the one aspect of interview behaviour they disliked most. The top 10 results were as follows:
26% disliked improper dress for an interview above all.
19% cited lateness as their greatest frustration.
15% of interviewers take the greatest dislike to a disproportionate interest in salary.
11% primarily dislike candidates that are cynical about colleagues - past or future.
9% rate a poor handshake as the beginning of the end.
7% were primarily unimpressed by a lack of clear goals and career ambition.
5% said that lack of eye contact was their pet hate.
4% said that failure to research into the company and its business structure is the biggest mistake.
3% cited mumbling as the top reason to discard a candidate.
the final 1% dislike the know it all candidate and agree that every candidate has something to learn.
5 of the above 10 elements of interview appearance and behaviour are recognised before the questions have even begun. A casual and loose handshake for example will either signal a positive intent or a cagey, indifferent attitude. It’s a shame to get off on the wrong foot.
Format of the interview
Find out in advance what format the interview is going to take and who will be present. Interviews can range from relaxed chat in a bar to a highly formal panel interview.
Information about the role
Ask for a Job Description or Person Specification to a gain an understanding of what the role entails and the type of person required.
Assess your strengths and weakness
Analyse yourself; know what your strengths and weakness are and apply these to the role in question. Be honest about any areas for development and turn it into something positive.
Information about the Company
Gather as much information about the Company as you can. Make sure you look at the website. The interviewer will be impressed by your enthusiasm and use of initiative.
Anticipate the interviewer’s questions
Try to think about the questions the interviewer may ask and prepare answers. Try only to memorise the key points so you can offer answers in a natural and spontaneous way (see the common questions section on this website for more information).
At the end of the interview process you should be quite clear as to the exact nature of the position and what will be expected of you. Remember the questions that you ask an interviewer will reveal a lot about yourself. Your questions should be relevant and indicate your interest in the position. Most organisations should welcome questions on the nature of the role, their IT department and the wider group.
Be on time
Finally you need to arrive promptly for your interview, so if possible travel to the premises beforehand. 1out of 7 candidates are late for an interview. Make sure you’re not one of them.
Whilst there are many various forms of interviews, there are several hints and tips, which you can apply to most situations.
Listening to and answering questions
Listen to the questions
Listen carefully and allow the interviewer to finish before offering an answer. If you miss the question or are not sure about it, ask the interviewer to clarify.
Think carefully before answering, it is better to pause than to provide an answer in a hurry. Make sure that you provide information that will enable the interviewer to evaluate your suitability and support your answers with relevant evidence.
If you do not know the answer to a technical question, be honest, but attempt a constructive reply such as how you would go about finding an answer.
There are very few people, if they are taking the process seriously, who do not feel at least a little nervous before an interview. Such feelings are quite legitimate. Most interviewers recognise this and, during the first few minutes of an interview, will make allowance for it. Just take a few deep, controlled breaths before the interview and you cannot help but relax.
When to talk about Money
In an interview, you are a product and your initial focus should be on establishing your suitability for the position and not the position's suitability for you. It is not unusual for interviewees to fall out of contention for a position because they addressed the remuneration level at the wrong time. You bargain on terms and conditions, for example salary, hours, away travel, expenses, holiday entitlements, study assistance, location and relocation once the product is sold, not before. If you are not comfortable discussing money at an interview simply tell them that you’d rather Intapeople to handle the salary negotiations and we will do the rest.
Shaking hands with your interviewer helps to create a friendly and professional image. Make sure your handshake is not too strong or too weak – if it is you can blow the interview before you’ve even sat down. Try and meet them with a firm but relaxed grip, look them in the eye and smile.
The key is to feel comfortable, sit upright or perhaps lean forward a little to project an eager and confident image.
You should look at all interviewers when answering questions. Don't just maintain eye contact with the interviewer who asked you the question you are answering.
A friendly smile will show enthusiasm, but at the same time try to project a serious and professional image.
You should speak clearly and relatively slowly, ensuring that you talk in a concise manner.
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