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Big Call: How to Nail Your Next Telephone Interview

As the daily demands and pressures on HR and Hiring Managers continues to increase, telephone interviews are becoming an integral part of many pharmaceutical companies’ recruitment process.

For candidates, it’s important to realise that it’s a situation which demands a completely different set of skills and requires a defined approach.

To give you the inside track on how to nail your next telephone interview, this is what Andreas Knight, a Senior Recruitment Consultant at CHASE People, feels every interviewee needs to know.

Preparation Is Key

In many ways, the telephone interview can be even more mentally challenging than a face-to-face situation, as it invariably requires more focus and concentration. In the same vein as a face-to-face interview, however, careful preparation is key to getting the most from a phone interview.

The distinct advantage here is that you’ll have all of your notes in front of you, so research the company as thoroughly as you possibly can.

Depending on what stage of the recruitment process you’re at, the person interviewing you could be at a different level within the organisation. Therefore, you may need to tailor your answers slightly.

Here’s an example …

If this call is in the very early stages of the recruitment process, you may get a call from HR. However, if it happens later down the line, then it will likely be a senior manager or even the GM.

Remember: ask in advance who will be calling you – this also gives you the opportunity to research them via LinkedIn or the company website in order to gain some vital background information.

Top 3 Phone Interview Tips

Tip #1: Control the Conversation

Try to control the ebb and flow of the conversation. Ask questions of your own and be aware of your tone of voice – you don’t want the interviewer to overpower you, but, at the same time, you don’t want to be overly dominating either

Body language and eye contact will be void, but the interviewer will certainly pick up on how you speak, so be aware of this. It can be harder to grasp when somebody has reached a conclusion or when there is a natural break in the conversation, so, to be on the safe side, it’s best to pause for a second or two before answering. This will make sure that you’re not constantly talking over the interviewer.

Tip #2: Keep Your Notes Handy

Have your CV, covering letter and the job description in front of you, as well as those all-important research notes. Often in an interview situation nerves can get the better of you and you might forget key information. Many times candidates walk out of an interview kicking themselves for not mentioning a certain experience or a key skill.

In a telephone interview, though, you can avoid this regret. Have a structure for the conversation that is about to take place and draw up a note of the key points you want to make, as well as questions you need to ask.

Tip #3: Give Yourself Time

Finally, always give yourself plenty of time and space – there is nothing more unprofessional than conducting a phone interview while you are rushing to be somewhere, or in a noisy environment i.e. in a public place or in your car. A quiet space is a must in these circumstances.

Keen to put the tips above to the test? Check out our latest vacancies and take the first step towards a new role today. Don’t forget to connect with us on LinkedIn for all the latest pharma news and job-hunting tips.

Interview Tips