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Ace your telephone interview with these 6 tips

7 min read

Have you got an upcoming phone interview?  

Trying to figure out what went wrong in previous telephone interviews?  

We all have been there and done some mistakes that have gotten us off the race to job.  

A phone interview isn’t as easy as it sounds but with little caution you will land yourself a dream job. I’m here to help you out to get there, stay with me to know how.  

What is a telephone interview?  

A telephone interview is a stage where the employer screens the candidate over a call. It helps them to validate a candidate’s qualifications, experience and other details mentioned on the resume. Phone interviews usually happen before the main interview as it will help employers narrow down total candidates to the right ones.  

Why companies do telephone interviews?  

Phone interviews allow employers to screen job seekers across geographies and hire the right talent for their company. Unlike face-to-face and video interviews, telephone interviews take less time and are more convenient for both interviewers and interviewees. Owing to Covid-19, many businesses have mandated phone interviews to adhere to Covid protocols and hire talent safely 

6 tips to ace the phone interview  

6 tips to ace telephone interview

For most, phone anxiety kicks in on the day of the telephone interview. As a result, they tend to defy their preparedness unintentionally and don’t perform optimally during the call. Here are some tips for you to minimize the mistakes and exhibit the best of yourself.  

Set the environment  

Maintaining etiquette is paramount to winning the interviewer’s attention.  

The interviewer would always appreciate a quiet ambience from your side. Background noise can distract the interviewer, which will affect the evaluation process. Moreover, a calm and clean environment helps you contain your composure and aids your focus during the call.   

If you are at your home, organize your surroundings and draw boundaries by letting your family know about the call, in advance. However, if your ambience is intrusive, notify and request your interviewer for a rescheduled call.  

Be clear about your resume  

Remember, a phone interview’s main purpose is to authenticate information on the resume.  

Putting a load of fraudulent qualifications on your resume would surely grab the recruiter’s attention but some time or later, the covers will be blown. Whatever you mention will be questioned so being honest is the only way out.  

Rehearse answers on your achievements, qualifications, strengths, and other CV details so you don’t stutter or give inaccurate information during the call. Even if you did practice well, anxiety can change the game during the call and in that case, ask the interviewer to give some time for you to settle and pick up where you left off.  

Listen more and answer accordingly  

Enthusiasm and confidence at high levels can make you lose control of your responses. Being quick to jump on answers without actually comprehending questions can only yield irrelevant statements from your end. What it translates to the interviewer is that you lack thoughtfulness and are less cautious of your actions.  

Pay close attention to what the interviewer is asking, don’t hesitate to ask for repetition of the question to be double sure. Formulate a logical and appropriate response to the question in your mind and give it a shot.  

Keep your words clear and concise  

Answering every question is important but the way you go about it is much critical.   

You should neither keep your answers to a bare minimum nor be verbose about them. There should be a healthy mix of information and garnish, anything more or less can make the interviewer judge quickly and subsequently have the same feeling throughout the call.  

During your rehearsal process, define pointers you can speak about your resume. Mine out insights from your experiences that can bring value to existing resume information and exclude those which don’t feel relevant. To sound more logical, connect different areas and elements of your resume while you speak if necessary but don’t overdo it.  

Ask questions  

Just giving the interview isn’t enough to find a place in the interviewer’s shortlist, you should show that you’re passionate about the job and company.  

One way to show it is by posing meaningful questions.   

Don’t ask right away about how well you did at the interview or if you got shortlisted. Ask about how your skills will be put to use, ask about the learning curve at the prospective company.  

Questions like these send positive signals about your interest in the job and invite the interviewer to give insights about the company. The interviewer would look at you as a person with unfolding purpose, which increases your chances of getting hired or promoted to the next stage.  

Show gratitude  

It’s always a nice thing to spread positivity, don’t think twice to thank the interviewer.  

Send a mail thanking the interviewer for making the phone interview process easy and comfortable. Specify little details such as their patience or hospitality during the conversation that helped in calming your anxiety. Do mention the things you have learnt from them.  

Regardless of what the result is, staying optimistic is essential. When attending a phone interview, remember that you are not only trying to get the job but also building bonds during that journey. Even if you fail at an interview, remember that you tried your best and formed a good relationship with the interviewer. When the time comes, he/she might play a key role in helping you get a job somewhere else.  

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    Meet the author


    Product Marketer

    Sarath is an enthusiast product marketer here at Keka. He is keen on writing articles, social media, and creating content for the HR domain. During his leisure, you can find him making videos and learning cinematography.


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