How do you shine in a telephone interview?

As soon as the CV is sent, we are likely to be called by a recruiter who will immediately give us a telephone interview. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of these impromptu interviews, where a firm handshake and a sparkling look are no help at all.

A common practice
“Before meeting with candidates, I always conduct telephone interviews. This is an important step in the screening process,” says Ginette Desforges, partner at Brio RH.

What it checks at this stage: the availability and motivations of the candidate, his professionalism, his salary expectations. His/her English language proficiency, too, if this skill is required for the position to be filled. “It saves both the employer and the candidate from wasting time,” explains Desforges.

To have on hand
The best way to ruin your chances when a potential employer calls you? Have only a vague recollection of the job description and the company offering it.

To avoid this awkward situation, there is nothing like a document that records:

  • the title of each position you applied for;
  • its specific requirements;
  • the name and contact information of the person to whom the shipment was addressed;
  • the date the file was sent;
  • some key information about the recruiting company or organization.

Dr. Desforges recommended consolidating this information using a spreadsheet program such as Excel.

Claudie Hugueney, CHRP, career transition counsellor at Phénix Conseils, prefers notes on paper. She also suggests always having a printed copy of her CV and a list of her strengths and accomplishments on hand. The goal: to easily find the information you need so that you can avoid silences and hesitations.

An appropriate environment
Does the recruiter reach us while we’re grocery shopping or taking care of the kids? We are enthusiastic, we thank him for the call, but we postpone the conversation to a time when we will be more quiet to talk. “The recruiter won’t blame the applicant. The recruiter won’t blame the candidate,” says Desforges, “He’ll understand that a job seeker may not always be available to talk to him or her. The ideal is a quiet time and place to minimize the risk of being disturbed.

What can’t be seen but still be heard
“I always say that a smile can be heard,” says Desforges. Claudie Hugueney agrees. She even advises putting up a mirror so that you can see yourself while you’re talking on the phone. It makes you aware of your facial expressions, which affect the way you speak. The same goes for posture: you stand straight in your chair or even upright.

The two specialists also agree on the importance of dressing every day as if you were going to work. “Clothing helps us to put ourselves in the right mental state and project a dynamic image, even on the phone,” says Hugueney.

Friendly, courteous and professional
During the discussion, you have to be willing. One tries of course not to interrupt the other.

Ms. Hugueney feels that a little chat at the beginning and end of the interview is a good way to lighten the mood. It’s a good way to build a bond with your interviewer, as long as you stay professional: “It can make a difference and make the recruiter feel like it clicked. »

In closing, we would like to thank our contact for having contacted us and reiterate our interest in the position. The last few minutes are also a good time to add an element that would have come to us after the fact: “We shouldn’t be embarrassed to go back on an element of the conversation or to complete a response later in the discussion,” says Claudie Hugueney. The end of the conversation is a key moment to make a good impression,” she concludes.

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