How to have a successful phone interview?

WHAT IS THE PHONE INTERVIEW FOR?

Whether simply in order to make an appointment, for pre-selection purposes, for following up your application or because you are too far away for a meeting in person, you may need to get through the first step of a recruitment process over the phone. And this is one step of the recruitment process which shouldn’t be overlooked!
It can be used to make an appointment, follow up on your application, or more rarely, replace a face-to-face interview, if you are unable to travel.
But usually, the phone interview is a pre-selection process: it is used to validate or clarify certain details on your CV, before continuing to consider your application. This may mean checking that you meet the eligibility criteria (status, agreement and so on) for an internship or a work-linked training contract. The recruiter may also want to evaluate your experience, in order to clarify the position for which your application may be considered: for example, “business market” or “personal market” if you are applying for a senior corporate position in a bank branch.

WHICH SUBJECTS WILL BE COVERED DURING THE INTERVIEW?

The recruiter will obviously ask you about the reasons for your application both for the job as well as in the banking sector. Just as for a “traditional” interview, remember the wording of the advert and find out about the company and its environment.
You will also have to answer questions about your education (school and qualifications) and talk about your professional experience (and skills acquired): memorise short phrases to communicate these key elements of your application.
And lastly, the phone interview is often used to clarify additional points, such as your mobility, your availability, avenues you are currently exploring or your salary expectations: don't be caught off-guard!

HOW TO EXPRESS YOUR MOTIVATION ON THE PHONE?

The recruiter will not be able to see your face or your body language; so you will need to convey your enthusiasm and motivation purely using your voice. The first tip is to smile while talking on the phone, because your smile can be heard in your voice.
Second, pay attention: listen to the questions asked, do not interrupt, do not launch into a long monologue (remember to get to the point quickly and provide enough detail whilst remaining concise).
And lastly, think about your delivery, which should be fluent and intelligible: avoid technical jargon, make sure you don’t talk too fast, and remember to verbalise your motivation (for example, using phrases such as “I am really interested in this job”, “this job meets all my expectations”.

WHAT TO DO

  • Choose a place which is quiet and away from other people.
  • Ask to rearrange at a more convenient time if you are not completely available.
  • Prepare a summary of the key elements you would like to highlight.
  • Take notes: these can be used for a future interview.
  • Have your CV with you along with a description of the job offer.
  • Thank the recruiter at the end of the interview, and reaffirm your interest in the job.

WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Get confused about the job offer for which you have applied.
  • Fail to turn up for the phone appointment arranged (without notice).
  • Be interrupted during the conversation.
  • Denigrate the company or the job in which you are currently employed.
  • Adopt an attitude unsuitable for this kind of interview (smoke, chew gum and so on).
  • Mention details of your personal life.