All recruiters will agree that we like to get the best talents on board. And the key element in the recruitment process is the JOB INTERVIEW. Interviews set the pace of how things will proceed. One of the most interesting types of interviews is the phone interview (or preliminary screening call) where recruiters try to screen out all the unprofessional or irrelevant job seekers and send only the best to the hiring managers.
As a candidate, your CV might make you look like a champion in your field and help you get shortlisted for a phone interview, but you will still lose the race if you don’t have what it takes to actually sell yourself over the phone. A few of the skills needed to ace a phone interview are listening and speaking skills, and of course, phone etiquette. If you want to run your career with an employer of choice, then you have to take things seriously and train yourself for every step in the recruitment process. It is immensely important to perform well in all different phases of the process because your performance during interviews predicts your performance on the next steps leading to a job. A recruiter is your ambassador and best chance of getting a job, and getting him or her on your side would be a great idea!
Here are the 13 most common mistakes job seekers make in a phone interview that can ruin their chances of getting the job:
1. Not answering the call at the set time. Please make sure you are available on the time of the interview. If not, then do re-schedule if an emergency arises. Otherwise, it will reflect on your professionalism and seriousness in getting the job.
2. The tone of your voice.The tone of your voice during a phone interview reflects a lot on your personality. A seasoned recruiter can make predictions on your personality traits simply by listening to your voice. So try to avoid sounding shy, hesitant, scared, unsure, or arrogant.
3. Being uninteresting. Try to sound excited and keep the recruiter interested in what you have to say. Let your enthusiasm reflect in your voice and answers. Take your time and think before you answer, and avoid the “Uh”s and “Um”s.
4. Talking to someone else and ignoring the recruiter. Please, if you have other things to do, schedule the call for another time.
5. Giving random answers. Instead of throwing random or irrelevant answers, try to listen closely and write your answer on a piece of paper while being interviewed. This will help you stay focused and give the right answers.
6. Eating while on call.This is probably one of the most unprofessional behaviors during a phone call with a recruiter. Remember, the phone interview is just like a regular, or physical, interview. Would you eat during an interview?
7. Taking the call casually.There’s nothing more annoying to a recruiter than not being taken seriously. So try to find a quiet spot and give us all your attention, please.
8. Yawning. This is just like eating, would you do that if you were being interviewed in person?
9. Diverging the question.Try to not stray away from the question being asked. If you don’t understand the question, simply ask your interviewer to explain it or give more details.
10. Volume. Don’t speak super loud or super low. These two extremes are a deal breaker, trust me.
11. Saying “I am not interested” straight away. You may blow your chances before even getting details about the job at hand. You never know, this might well be the job of your dreams, so ask for more details; you may love the job once you know more about it.
12. Asking about the salary. So many fresh graduates and job seekers start by asking about the salary. Of course you should be concerned about the compensation, but if that’s the only thing you are considering then you are choosing a path where you can make a few dollars but not a substantial career. Soon enough you will want to work for less money and more learning but that may be too late.
13. Interruptions. Not letting the recruiter finish the information they’re sharing or questions they’re asking is a big no-no. In fact, interrupting your interviewer will break their stream of thoughts and most likely upset them.
I hope this article helps you understand the significance of these screening calls and make an effort in learning from these mistakes. These calls can come at any time, so be prepared to talk to your ambassador – I mean, recruiter!