The telephone interview. Love it or hate it, it’s bound to happen at some point in your IT Sales career.
For most employers the telephone interview is the first stage of the hiring process and gets the ball rolling. Without the added stress of travel, appearance and finding the right office building, a simple phone call with an employer might seem like a walk in the park but you still need to put in the legwork.
In our recent hiring process survey we discovered that most of you (80%) like the idea them – but how do you make a good impression over the phone? What are the essential Dos and Don’ts?
Pick up the phone!
This sounds so obvious we can’t believe we’re saying it, but in the past we have known candidates to simply miss the call. Once you’ve confirmed your TI time and date make sure you’re by your phone ten minutes before, ready to take the call. It doesn’t send out a great message to employers if you miss it and, really, how easy is it to answer your phone?
Use A landline
It’s more dependable than your mobile and will ensure your interview sails along uninterrupted by dodgy reception or incoming texts. However, we recommend always giving two contact numbers just in case.
So long as your TI is for a sales-related position it is vital that you close. Doing this will enable the employer to take you seriously as a sales professional and give you credibility. Not doing this is a schoolboy error.
Have your CV and other important documents to hand
Remember how in school you couldn’t take notes into an exam? Well in a TI you can, and should, have all your relevant information right in front of you. Your career history, P60s, achievement against targets, the company’s website – having these to hand can help you to answer questions smoothly and with a good amount of detail.
Remember to send a follow-up email
Essentially you should treat a TI in the same way that you treat a face to face meeting. This means sending a follow up email. You’ve still made contact with the employer so it makes sense to reiterate your enthusiasm for the position and thank them for the opportunity. Going that extra mile never hurt anyone.
Pick the wrong location
A TI is best done stationary, not on the move. Chose somewhere private and quiet, where you can concentrate and sit down. Not on the train and not in the car, where you’ll be easily distracted by background noises. Again, it’s all about treating a TI the same as a face to face meeting – and you don’t expect to cruise along the M25 in a real meeting do you?
True, the employer cannot see you. But that doesn’t mean you can get away with making a cup of tea or checking emails, and you’ll come across better if you give the interview your full attention. Aside from glancing at your CV, making a few notes or checking the company’s website keep multitasking to a minimum, as your focus should be on selling yourself to the employer.
Again, treat the phone call just like a physical meeting. Do your research and never pick up the phone without knowing a good amount about the role you’re applying for and the company the position is with. Preparation is the backbone to any successful interview – over the phone, on Skype or in person.
Forget to smile!
We know it sounds cheesy but without your physical presence your tone of voice and verbal communication skills are magnified. Answering questions in a confident, upbeat manner and taking care not to sound too monotone will pay off in a TI. Also, if the role you’re applying for requires a lot of cold calling – like an internal sales role – employers are 100% more likely to progress you to a face to face meeting if you demonstrate a great phone manner.