Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | For under-graduate and graduates, the annual recruitment cycle for placement schemes, summer internships and graduate schemes is starting to hot up. The autumn term is when most employers have gone live with promoting there upcoming schemes, which means application deadline dates are approaching. The recruitment and selection process for most students is taking them to unknown territory which will include online testing, telephone interviews, assessment centres, formal interviews and group interviews. For many students they will go through 4-5 selection stages before they receive a job offer (which can be quite a daunting process for a newbie applicant).
At this time of year, I start to get a lot of student requests for help with preparing for a telephone interview. Personally, I feel telephone interviews are a good practice run for the face-to-face interview, and can prove to a great way to get to know the employer and find out more about the role/company. Employers can get a lot out of a telephone interview, so research and preparation is key, and be prepared for some competency questions. The hardest part is not seeing your interviewer, which means that it is hard to gauge how your answer is being received. Body language cannot be assessed, so this means that your voice has to promote you in a positive way. I am always telling my students to smile throughout a telephone interview, which sounds strange, as the interviewer cannot see you, but it lifts the tone of your voice, which can be a very powerful thing.