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Dearth of time has set off a new-fangled recruitment practice these days- most organisations have now begun to interview the candidates telephonically as a preliminary assessment to sift through the large number of applicants. Once you have sent your resume to an organisation, any telephone ring could find you answering the questions of your prospective employer. And since most people are not quite accustomed to this novel approach of interview, some apprehensions and wavering are only natural to loom over.
But here we are to the rescue- once you are through with this article, all your doubts and fears regarding telephonic interview will fade away, and you'll find yourself in a much better position to get along with such interviews.
Why Telephonic Interview
The reasons may be many and varied, the most common one being the paucity of time on the part of the recruiter and the excess of resumes to screen through. But more than the reasons that lead to an organisation conducting such interviews, the aspect to give accent is the conclusions that the person at the other end draws from a telephonic interview, based on which you may either sail through to the main interview, or be done away with.
What to expect
Since the interview will be preliminary in nature, you won't generally be asked any technical stuff since that is more likely to be saved for the main interview. The focus would be more on reckoning your communications skills and inferring if you have gathered ample information about the company, and some other HR sort of stuff. So as your homework, you need to envisage the likely questions that you might be asked and draw a rough outline of the appropriate answers, so that you don't hum and haw while answering. However, don't be too expectant to the point of cramming the answers and always be prepared for some unanticipated questions. Gather relevant information about the company to prove a point that you are genuinely interested in joining and not just filling in the time.
Since the telephonic interview can be conducted any day and anytime, you need to make some basic preparation beforehand to avoid nerves. The very first thing obviously is to ascertain that your phone is in order! Next, you need to keep important documents and some writing material always near the phone to jot down whatever may be important. Asking for time to get writing material etc. once the interview has begun would send a wrong message. Incase you are not prepared with writing material or not mentally prepared, it's prudent to humbly ask for a five minutes to get into the act, but once the interview has kicked off, you've got to get right down to business. And since the interviewer can't see you, he or she will be counting entirely on the impression you'll manage to make through the telephonic discussion. So be well prepared to avoid being jittery. Remember, being proactive and articulate will be the pros that your interview will hinge upon.
The purpose of the interview is to access you on the basis of whatever impression you manage to make through a brief conversation, so make sure that you give your all to pass with flying colours to the next stage. Bear in mind the following things while you take on the telephonic interview:
Be eloquent and expressive. Avoid long pauses. However, don't be too hasty to the point of uttering something wrong or irrelevant. Maintain your exposure and be calm.
Sound cheerful and effervescent. Vivaciousness always casts a good impression.
Don't let anyone else guide you while answering. This will result in confusion and you might end up stammering. Better be alone while being interviewed. Switch off the TV etc. to avoid distraction.
Don't gab and be confined to exactly what you are asked. Don't delve too much on any topic and be succinct. This applies to all sorts of interviews.
Don't show any scorn or contempt for the earlier or the present employer or organisation. Be very subtle while recounting the reasons for quitting the job. Or else the interviewer might infer that you can ditch his organization as well for some trifling reasons.
Show fervent enthusiasm at the prospect of joining the organization. Inquire about your role and the nature of projects you'd be undertaking. But don't ask such questions in the coarse of the interview; save them for later when the interviewer himself would ask you for any questions or doubts towards the conclusion of the interview.
Speak clearly, and slowly if required. Avoid using words you don't quite know how to pronounce. And never assume that simple language will mar your chances; the only thing that matters the most is what you say and how lucidly you say. However, you can use lexical language only if you are good enough to manage, otherwise better stick to simple but coherent words.
Be assertive and confident in whatever you say. However, don't sound cocksure.
If the interview was shorter than you had expected, don't show dismay or surprise. May be that you were simply good enough to sway the interviewer within a few minutes! Always conclude the interview with a positive note lest all your good work should be ruined. Always wind up positively with appropriate compliments.
So if you adhere to the above-prescribed gimmicks, you'll just fare well enough to end up with an invitation for a face-to-face interview. And the confidence of having cleared the first obstacle will show up there as well!
Before taking up a Telephonic interview
Keep your resume in front of you.
Keep all of your employer research materials within easy reach of the phone.
Have a notepad handy to take notes.
Turn off your stereo, TV, and any other potential distraction.
Warm up your voice while waiting for the call. Sing an uplifting song to yourself.
Have a glass of water handy, since you will not have a chance to take a break during the call.
Speaking of breaks, if your phone interview is at a set time, make sure you answer nature's call first.
Do take telephonic interview as seriously as a personal interview.
If the call is unexpected, ask for a reschedule. It is always OK.
You need to have enthusiasm and sound confident while answering the questions.
Always put across the details on your experience, skills and your strong points.
Answers need to be precise to the questions asked, at the same time do not miss out to list out your strengths.
Avoid / Minimize distractions. Always take a telephonic interview in a quiet place.
Avoid using mobile as there can be some signal problem and it may be problematic.
If using a mobile do not switch on the voice message.
After Telephonic interview
fter a phone interview, send a thank-you note by email that recaps your best selling points.
You can also follow up to know the result of the interview.
9th April 2007 From India, Mumbai