Unlike a face-to-face interview, during a telephone interview you won’t have the same visual clues and your interview success is dependent upon your voice. So pay special attention to your tone and inflection in your voice. For example, if you are a slow talker the interviewer may feel you are slow in your work style. If you don’t sound interested or enthusiastic or bored you won’t get the next interview.
Talking too much or not giving enough detail will tell a story about you. After the first question check in with the interviewer and ask if this is appropriate level of detail for them. In general, no more than a couple of minutes for each question and ask if they would like you to elaborate on any point.
Following are important points to consider and practice prior to your telephone interview:
Establish Rapport with the Interviewer – Try to build on common ground. Listen to the interviewer’s style and find cues on how/when to speak.
Try To Match the Style of the Interviewer – Are they informal or formal? For example; try to maintain the same rhythm and pace of the conversation.
Be Attentive to Your Facial Expressions and Body Posture – Smiling comes across in your voice. Slouching or cradling the telephone impacts sound quality. Also avoid distracting habits like clicking a pen, tapping your fingers, etc.
Remember To Listen and Don’t Talk Too Much – Answer the questions with good examples, but look for cues that you have told the interviewer enough. Listen closely to the questions and comments from the interviewer. Often you will get hints of what the interviewer feels is really important.
Reflect Before Answering a Difficult Question – If you are unsure, reply with a clarifying question.
ASK FOR THE JOB! – Let the interviewer know you are excited about the opportunity and look forward to working with them. Enthusiasm doesn’t replace experience, but if there are two like candidates the one that shows greater interest and seems to want the job will win out every time.
Ask yourself the question – Would you hire you?