Executive Career Moves – 10 Tips on Acing Your Next Telephone Interview
©Irene Becker Just Coach It-The 3Q Edge™
Helping smart people & organizations move forward smarter, faster, happier
Focus on developing rapport and credibility, and understanding next step in the employer’s interviewing/hiring process
1. Position yourself for success. Relax. Get ready. Remember to talk directly into the mouthpiece. Hold the receiver approximately three inches from the mouth, not below your chin or above your nose. Speak in a relaxed, conversational style as though the other person were in the same room.
2. Get empowered. Be confident, not cocky. Avoid sitting in a hunched position, grasping the phone in a vise-like grip. Before your interview you need to feel empowered, think about and feel your strengths, focus on why you are a terrific fit for the position.
3. Set your three intentions for the telephone interview: Developing rapport, developing credibility, asking about next steps. Remember rapport is critical at this stage. Listen for statements that will give you clues about what the interviewer is looking for, problems you can solve, functional areas that you will excel at, behavioral strengths that will help you help the organization achieve its goals and objectives.
4. Make sure that you have done due diligence and understand how you are a great fit with the job description. Remember the initial stages of the interview process are all about demonstrating that you fit within the box of the job description.
5. Pay attention to the interviewer’s voice patterns; does he/she speak slowly or rapidly? Try to match the cadence so that the conversion flows smoothly and you develop rapport. Adjust your speaking rate, voice volume and phrasing to be more in rhythm with the interviewer.
6. Sound upbeat, attentive, engaged, interested. Genuine enthusiasm is contagious. Smile to show a sense of humor. Smiling oxygenates your brain, raises your mood. Stay focused an up, because you only have three goals: 1. Develop rapport 2. Develop Credibility 3. Find out about next steps.
7. Listen, listen well, listen carefully to get the big picture, and to avoid saying something that indicates any momentary mental distraction. Allow the interviewer to complete questions without you finishing his train of thought or blurting out answers prematurely.
8. Respond do not react. The interviewer may throw in several to test your alertness or mental keenness. Showing verbal adeptness is a sign of how quickly you can “think on your feet.” Be cautious: the interviewer may say something that puzzles you or that you firmly disagree with. Voice your thoughts in a professional manner. Whenever someone raises an objection, the tension level rises. What you want to achieve in step one is to reduce the tension level.
A= Acknowledge the objection because you need to lower tension, while coming to the middle of the table by acknowledging what the interviewer thinks is important (his/her opinion). Example: “I understand your concern. You have brought up a point that is important, and I would like to address it.”
R – Redirect the person’s concern by focusing on how you can handle the situation.
T – Test to be sure you’ve removed the concern.
S – Use a story to make your point; a story the interviewer can relate to, and that will engage him/her.