Saturday, January 26, 2013

Five Tips for Telephone Interview Skills

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My sister applied for a Test Analyst role at Deloitte, one of the top four consulting firms in Australia. After a few days, she didn't receive any response from Deloitte so she took the initiative to pick up the phone and speak to the relevant recruitment consultant at Deloitte. It was then that she got the attention of the consultant, which prompted the consultant to review her application. The consultant booked my sister for a job interview with the IT Manager. There were seven candidates that were interviewed and my sister was successfully selected for the job and secured her first IT Test Analyst permanent full time position. She created her own success by taking the initiative to pick up the phone and make the follow up call.

1. Preparation
Just as you prepare for a job interview, before you call a company, ensure you do your research. Have a copy of the job advertisement/description in front of you, your resume and cover letter and information on the company. Better still, if you know with whom you will be talking, look them up on LinkedIn. The company will be impressed if you can demonstrate that you have done your research on them personally as well as on the company.

2. Follow Up Calls
So it is important that you differentiate your application by being unique and make those calls instead of simply applying for jobs and waiting for a response. You can take control of your job search.

3. The Power of the Name
As soon as you call a company whether you speak to the receptionist or the HR person, have pen and paper ready and write down their name immediately. Use the person's name in the first 10 seconds and again at the end of the call. E.g. Leonie, thank you for your time today, I look forward to hear from you. Carnegie (1936) said "Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

4. Tone of Voice
Did you know that tone of voice constitutes to 70% of the communication on the phone? So even if you have the relevant skills, qualifications and experience for the job, if you do not know how to sell yourself on the phone with the right tone of voice, the recruiters will less likely not short list you for an interview. So it is so crucial that you speak with a clear voice, listen carefully to the questions, find a quiet place to talk so that you are not interrupted on the call. Smiling on the phone will send an enthusiastic and positive impression of you as well.

5. Tape Yourself
If you seriously want to improve your telephone skills, record your voice on a recorder and listen to your own voice. Only when you are aware of your weaknesses, then you can turn your weaknesses into strengths. Until you become aware of your weaknesses then you can learn to overcome them.

Telephone communication skills can be learned, develop these skills and succeed in your job search. You need to pass the telephone interview first before the recruiter decides to meet you in person. So selling yourself on the phone is important as face to face.

Alternatively, find a specialist like myself to coach you in your interview skills. You will be surprised at how much more you can achieve. It will definitely increase the chances of you winning the dream job you have been waiting for. In 2011, 80% of my clients secured work after they received interview coaching through my business.

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