Telephone interviews can be tricky, especially since you can’t see your interviewers’ facial expressions and body language. When you’re interviewing via phone, you’re going to have to work even harder to make sure you are coming off as personable, capable, and above all…the perfect candidate. But if you prepared well you will nail the interview and can prove you are really the best person for the job in a face-to-face interview.
As a telephone interview can come across very informal, it is easy to treat it like that. But keep in mind that it’s still an interview. Be sure that you have done all your research just as you would have done for your actual face-to-face interview. This will also make it easier again to prepare for your second interview as you already went through all the information before.
In the networking industry it happens many times that before you move on to the stage of the actual face-to-face interview you first have a telephone interview. Telephone interviews are an initial screening technique and often they are more personality based than checking your technical skills. Although this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brush up your technical skills. Preparing for a telephone interview is very similar to preparing for a face-to-face interview, apart from a few slight changes. Some tips:
- Have your CV and cover letter in front of you
- Have some information about the company in front of you (a cheat sheet).
- Make sure that you are in a quiet place where you have a good phone connection and use a fully charged phone.
- Don’t lie on the sofa. Sit straight behind a table or desk and have all the right documents in front of you. So, no slouching around, this will come through in your interview, even if you are trying your hardest not to.
- Have a shower and dress up a little. In this way you will feel more professional than when sitting in your pyjamas. A job interview is just as much a mental game as a physical game and dressing the part can help you get your mind in the right mode to get the job.
- Have pen and paper ready to write down notes or questions
- Smile! Even though the interviewer can’t see you, the interviewer can hear a difference in enthusiasm in your voice when you smile.
Even though the hiring manager might just want to get to know you a little bit and to find out how your personality comes across to see if you will fit in the team, still be prepared for technical questions. You don’t want to get caught off guard. Go through some materials you haven’t studied or used for a long time to refresh your mind. Have a look at projects you have done before, so you can easily explain them if needed. Furthermore, write down:
- A few of your interests and passions
- Certain skills and experience you would like to emphasize
- Some future goals (i.e. becoming a CCIE within X years)
- A few questions to ask the interviewer i.e. about the different aspects of the job and express genuine interest in the role. (Find more questions to ask here)
Don’t forget to finish the call on a positive note. If you are really interested in the job, let them know. Say something in the lines of “thank you for the call. I’m really interested in the job and I like what you told me about the company” or “I’m very interested in this role and would be pleased to meet you in person”.