A normal part of any interview process to some but for many a telephone interview will be the easiest hurdle to stumble upon; with the ever growing concern of Covid-19 it’s only normal to see an influx of this practise in an effort of social distancing so you must make sure you are prepared to make every minute count! From etiquette to non-verbal communication, to video set-ups and quiet zones, we’re covering as much as possible to encourage you to give it a go. Many of our clients have employed this technique for years whereas for some this will be new; we’re right behind you and can help you through it!
An obvious area but not to be overlooked, particularly if you are applying to work in a job that will require telephone communication. During any job search you should be on high alert every time the phone rings, answering confidently and introducing yourself enthusiastically i.e. “Good afternoon, Bob speaking, how can I help?” is the first step and will set the conversation off to a great start. Yes, its possible PPI are on the other end of the line but answering your phone as if it’s a sales call is going to work against you.
Whilst taking the phone call and answering professionally is a great start, it won’t be well received if there is a screaming baby or barking dog in the background. I get it, it’s not always possible to avoid these things, although I strongly suggest arranging/diarising telephone interviews so that you can control your environment and the noises that surround you. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to suggest a call back once you are in a quieter location, acknowledging background noise; your research, skills and strengths are not going to be heard with sirens wailing in the background! Ideally a home office will best suit, alternatively a known-quiet coffee shop but isolating yourself is important to reduce distractions and noise.
Verbal vs. non-verbal communication
Before conducting telephone interviews, have a think about your communication style and feel free to ask friends or family too. Do you tend to use your body language when you talk? Do you express your emotion using tone of voice? It’s very important to think about how you can best express yourself via the telephone - often I ask candidates to practise telephone conversations in the mirror ensuring they convey any lost facial expression or physical gesture using their voice.
Video interviews might feel like a big step up but this is no different to having a face to face interview. You simply just have to ensure that you are also seen to be set up in a professional, distraction-free environment i.e. a clean white wall behind you would be a lot more professional than the contents of your bedroom floor or the leftovers of what you ate for dinner last night. If you do choose to conduct yourself at home however, you must get dressed and present yourself as you would in a face to face meeting/in the office! This is not an excuse not to brush your hair, polish your shoes or iron your shirt, first impressions always count. Finally, one thing I have had experience of is a short delay in video communication therefore speaking slowly and taking your time to enunciate yourself clearly will be vital.
As in any typical interview setting, you are often given the opportunity to ask questions although there are occasions where finding the opportunity to take back control of the conversation over the telephone in order to ask your prepared questions can be difficult, but not impossible. Don’t let this opportunity slip and before you say goodbye, ask them if they have some more time to answer a few questions that you have. This is where you must think on your feet as it is likely you prepared these questions in advance; have they already answered your question? Asking a question that has already been answered is arguably one of the most annoying things as an employer. Don’t get me wrong, you can ask for clarity but don’t simply ask the question because it is on your list without considering what you have already discussed with the interviewer.
We are employing a number of different methods to interview virtually in addition to conducting business as usual; if you are looking for a new job or new employee in the property sector GKR London Property Recruitment can help, we are your property recruitment specialist.