5.5 Sales Tricks for Success in a Telephone Interview (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

Employers often use a telephone interview as a preliminary screening tool before deciding whether to schedule you for an in-person interview.  If you treat a telephone interview like nothing more than a formality, you will never make it to the next phase of the interview process.  

I’ve made thousands of telephone sales calls for various businesses during my career after college, and there are many similarities between a telephone sales call and a telephone interview for a job.    Here are 5.5 sales tricks I have picked up that will help you get an in-person interview after your telephone interview:

  1. Treat a telephone interview like an in-person interview.  Prepare ahead of time, do a mock interview(s) with friends or family beforehand, be on time for the call, follow-up quickly afterwards, and so on.
  2. Monitor your body language and verbal language carefully.  One thing I have learned from making thousands of telephone sales calls is that your body language “comes through” over the phone.  During a telephone interview, make sure to smile often, to minimize your fidgeting, and to sit up straight (or stand up).  You should also dress professionally for telephone interviews.  While the interviewer will not be able to see if you are wearing pajamas, you’ll project yourself much more confidently if you look your best.  In terms of verbal language, make sure to enunciate clearly, to choose your words carefully, and to minimize filler words like “um” and “ah.”   These filler words are much more noticeable in telephone interviews than in-person interviews, and they make you appear less eloquent and less confident. 
  3. Use the right equipment.  If possible, use a landline.  If not, make sure you take the call from a place where you get great service on your cell phone because you don’t want to deal with any technical difficulties during a telephone interview.  Either way, use a headset so that your hands are free to take notes or to move naturally. 
  4. Focus and optimize your environment.  It is very easy to get distracted when you are on the phone and not looking at the person on the other end of the call.  Make/take the call in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed; eliminate any potential distractions by turning off the tv or radio and by making sure no one is within earshot of you.  Focus and listen carefully during the telephone interview.  You should also have your resume, list of questions to ask, and other talking points in front of you.
  5. End with a call-to-action.  Just like a telephone sales call, you never want to leave your follow-up to chance after a telephone interview.  If you have decided you want the job, the goal at the end of the telephone interview is to be invited to an in-person interview.  End the telephone interview with a 30-60 second closing statement where you reiterate why you want the job and why you are the best candidate.  Then, ask when you can come in for an in-person interview.

5.5   Ace a video interview.  If an employer wants to interview you via videoconferencing (i.e. skype), the same rules apply as for a telephone interview or in-person interview.  However, pay extra attention to the environment you will be taking/making the call from (since it will be visible), and test your system ahead of time to make sure you know how to use the videoconferencing program on your computer.

Approach your telephone interview like a telephone salesperson, and you will be one step closer to getting your dream job!

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert, Speaker, and Coach

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour




Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.

Explore posts in the same categories: Get Your Dream Job NOW, Interviews

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