So you’ve applied for your dream job and you now have been invited to the first step of the interview process a telephone screening.
Firstly, telephone screenings are now very common, I am finding more and more companies are carrying out telephone screenings at the initial interview process. Secondly, Congratulations – getting to the first stage is often the hardest part, so your CV has impressed them. However, whether you’re a natural on phone calls or they fill you with fear, the telephone interview should not be overlooked.
What is a telephone screening?
Telephone interviews are a way to filter out candidates who they feel are unsuitable based upon the job description, personality and experience required. It can be carried out by HR and recruitment teams, or it might be with your potential new line-manager.
It can be as short as 20 minutes, or take up to an hour, and it’s essentially a way for your potential new employer to ensure that your CV is factual, before they bring you in for a face to face interview. So take it as seriously as an in-person interview
Below are 5 tips to help you ace a telephone screening:
Tip no 1
This is an interview so treat it like one - Plan ahead…research research research! They will be fact checking your CV so make sure you are comfortable talking through it. Tailoring your answers is the best possible way to ensure that not only are you satisfying what the interviewer is asking, you’re positioning yourself to be the best possible candidate for the job…or, dare we say…the perfect candidate!
Tip no 2
Cut out all distractions - find a quiet place with no distractions have all your prep materials nearby for easy access. Make sure you’re presenting yourself in the most professional way possible, from the very first “Hello,” all the way to the “Goodbye.”
Tip no 3
Listen and do not dominate the conversation - Yes, this is an interview which means they’re going to be asking you questions, but it’s also an opportunity to show your potential employer that you’re good at listening too. Talk, but do not dominate the conversation. Ask questions about the job that weren’t covered in the job posting…ask about specifics and get details.
Tip no 4
Speak clearly - Take a breath between the interviewer asking you a question and when you start answering it. Also, as you’re pausing, it gives you a chance to really think about what you’re going to say. A common mistake people make when on a telephone interview is that they start to waffle. Be comfortable to stop talking once you have answered the question and wait for the next. Structure your answer using the STAR method.
Tip no 5
Remember, this stage is about making good first impressions and the fact that you’re doing this all via phone makes the follow up even more critical. Make sure you end your phone call on a positive note and send a thank you email.
Below are some questions that you can prepare for in advance of a phone screening
- Tell me about yourself and your experience
- Why do you want to work in this industry?
- Why do you want this role?
- Why do you want to work at this company in particular?
- What is your greatest achievement?
- Can you share any experience of when you managed a team?
- Tell me about a challenge you have faced and how you solved it
- Where do you see your career heading in the next five years?
- Why should we hire you?