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5 tips for the best phone interview

You have sent your fantastic resume and now you expect the phone to ring. The first (phone) contact with the recruiter is just as important as the face-to-face interview.

Make sure you follow the 5 steps below and create the best impressions already on the phone.

1. Prepare yourself

After submitting your resume, make sure you are ready to talk at any time about:

  1. The name of the company you are interested in and short details about it. What is this thing that makes you want to work in this hotel?

  2. Position title and summary. The job description must be stuck in your notebook and you should revise it a lot! Underline what “spoke” to you in the description and what makes you the right candidate for it.

You must know your resume well. You need to know why your skills are aligned with this particular job and you should be always ready to talk about them.

This information should be kept in a place with direct access because you never know when your potential employer will be call. There are few things that will make a recruiter to disqualify a candidate as long as the latter does not know what job he was applying for!

2. Time to talk

When the call finally comes, evaluate your surroundings. If it is not a quiet and comfortable place to talk, let the call reach the answering machine or respond and with respect, inform the recruiter that it is not a good time to talk. Do not forget to ask for his/her name and number to call back in 15 minutes after finding a better place.

It is far smarter to delay for a few minutes, to move somewhere quietly and to concentrate your thoughts than to destroy the first impression by noise or distractions. When you return the call, you have your personal notes not in your hand and you are ready to talk about the company, your position and your skills.

3. Answering machine

There is a possibility not to be near the phone when the recruiter calls you. In this case your voicemail becomes your first impression. So make sure it’s good. Often we do not pay attention to the voicemail, but it can actually convince or prevent the recruiter from calling you again or not.

Things to avoid at any cost:

  1. Music as your message. The recruiter is not interested if you love Beyoncé’s last single.

  2. Too much intimacy. “Hello, you know who I am and what you have to do!” They neither know nor do.

  3. Family greeting. While your daughter’s voice can melt your heart, in a professional search try a more polished approach. You’d better use a short, professional message like “Hello, you have called Eleni Papanikolaou, I’m sorry I missed your call, please leave me a detailed message and I will return as soon as possible. Short. Sweet. Professional. I adore it.

4. Chewing gum

That is easy. No chewing gum. No food. Nothing in your mouth should distract you from your message.

5. Name and number

Before you start the conversation, get the full name and contact details of the recruiter whom you speak with. Do not wait until the end of your conversation because:

  1. If you are on a cell phone and the signal is lost, you need to have his/her details to call back immediately.

  2. During the discussion, enthusiasm can be overwhelming and you may forget to ask the contact information at the end. Do not let it happen.

  3. If you do not plan the face-to-face interview right away during the call, you need the details to do the follow-up in a few days. Wait at least two days before calling. And when you do, remember the recruiter you spoke, the time you’ve contacted and for which position.

Follow these tips, and your interview will take off without any doubt!

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