Phone or Skype interviews are becoming increasingly common as a first stage in the recrutiment process. For many people, being interviewed over the phone or by Skype can be a daunting prospect. It’s easy to see why. First, there’s a lot at stake here. Second, to get to this stage, you’ve already had to overcome the first significant obstacle to landing that perfect role for you - getting your CV noticed above everyone else’s.
When you’re being interviewed, especially over the phone or Skype, a number of things about the way you speak are being judged by your interviewer – your choice of words, your ease of delivery, your tone of voice, and much more.
Here’s our quick 2-minute guide to getting both your voice and your words right so that you leave those in charge of hiring you with the very best of impressions.
Do the following…
- Speak at a measured pace – The calmer and more measured you speak, the more confident you sound and the more your words are listened to. You also will sound effective and in control.
- Emulate vocabulary – have you read your prospective employer’s website and literature? Is your interviewer coming out with particular words and phrases that seem distinct to that organisation? Whether you have a “cultural fit” with an employer is an important factor for many people in charge of the hiring process so using the language of the employer will make you seem more like one of them.
- Keep to the point – try not to let your mind wander or your train of thought derail when you’re speaking. Answer the questions asked of you directly and with clarity and don’t allow yourself to drift off onto unrelated topics that may not be of relevance or even understandable to the person interviewing you.
- Practice before you get in – this is good advice anyway for interviews in general but practice delivery of your key points before any Skype or phone interview. Not just the words but your manner of delivery too. The human mind only remembers 10-15% of what it hears within an hour of being told, so make sure that you make you deliver the best things about you in the most impressive and memorable fashion possible.
And avoid the following…
- Filler sounds and phrases – try not to fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of mumbling “ums”, to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling. Sometimes, during stressful situations, we’re so keen to get our thoughts out that our mouths say the words faster than our brain can process the thoughts we need to express ourselves in a succinct way.
- Lack of confidence in assertions – this includes the use of phrases like “I think, like…”, “…do you think?”, “maybe”, “you know”, and so on. Try not to turn questions asked of you back into questions for your interviewer because it’s not their job to provide the answers and it makes you sound very uncertain about the subject matter you’re discussing.