How to survive a telephone interview

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One of the first steps in many hiring processes is a telephone interview. These screenings are normally done by an HR professional or a recruiter in order to hear the applicants voice and how they react first hand to any questions directed at them. This is a crucial step to getting hired, and should be taken very seriously, and needs just as much preparation as any face-to-face interviews. Here is how to survive the conversation and convince the interviewer, with simply your voice, that you are more than worthy of meeting in person.

  1. Take a shower, get ready and feel fresh

Though they cannot see your appearance- you most certainly can. The way you feel and what you wear can effect the way you sound. If you’re wearing a baggy old shirt that you haven’t washed in a month and a pair of over-worn sweat pants, then you are probably not going to feel or sound very confident. Have a wake up in the shower, and throw on clean set of clothes; Dry your hair and do whatever is needed in order to make you feel good.

  1. Sit up straight or walk around

Although the interviewer won’t be there to watch for your posture or body language, where you sit and how you move will influence your voice. If you lay on the couch or in your bed while in an interview, you are bound to go into relax mode. Your brain will slowly fade into a cloudy place and your answers may sound less professional. Walking around for some people works because it gets the blood pumping to the brain. Others might like to sit at their desk or dining table with a pen and note pad.

  1. Have your CV, motivation letter, pen and the job description at hand

Have what you normally would in a face to face interview by your side. Though this conversation will probably last about 20 minutes a lot is going to be said, and the questions will almost be like fire rounds. Should the interviewer ask for any details on your CV, make sure you’re aware of what you wrote in the first place to back up your answer. If you haven’t prepared any questions ahead of time, make sure that you have the job description next to you so you can take a closer look at it and ask any questions you may have in the moment. And of course, the trusty pen and paper to take your own notes during the interview to review afterwards

  1. Eat something that will give you energy

30 minutes before the interview, eat a healthy and nutritious meal that will give your body a pick-me-up. This will help take away any butterflies that you may have; you won’t have an empty stomach to distract you either. Make sure not to eat anything that could make you experience gas, it might be a bit awkward if you let out a big burp mid-sentence. Also, try not to drink too much before so that you’re not tempted to visit the loo during the interview.

  1. Have a Drink

Before you misinterpreted that, allow me to explain a bit further. Have a glass of water by your side in case you get a bad case of cotton mouth, or a cup of tea that will wake your senses, like peppermint or lemon and ginger.

  1. Smile

This interview is all about your voice. They have seen your photo in your resume and social media, and now the interviewer is putting the voice to the face. Your tone will determine how you come across, are you monotone, high pitched, sarcastic, friendly, funny, etc. If all else fails, make sure that you’re genuinely smiling. Psychologically, smiling just automatically makes us happier and a more positive figure to communicate with.

Put your best voice on and nail that telephone interview!



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