How to master conference call interviews
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How to master conference call interviews

14th February 2020
By Tom Ladle

The flexibility of conference calling means that interviews over the phone have became increasingly popular over the years. They get rid of the need to travel absurd distances and encourage recruiters to widen the net in search of talent. Just like a face-to-face interview they can induce a bout of dry mouth alongside the occasional tumble over words. To keep any nerves at bay and make sure you come across as your most fabulous self, we’ve got some tips on how to use the tech and master conference call interviews.

Understand the tech

This one is as basic as it gets but doesn’t make it any less important. If you find out that you’re going to be hopping on a conference call, then make sure you are familiar with how they work. Most are straightforward, so this tip is no biggie. You will most likely get an invite from whoever your interview is with, this invite will include a dial-in number and a PIN you will need to enter when prompted.

That’s all there is to it (told you), you just need to be aware of this, so that you’re not frantically panicking wondering what on earth a PIN is, or what number to dial. Arriving ten minutes late to the interview because you don’t know how the tech works isn’t the best first impression.

Do a dry run

If you’re feeling particularly tense leading up to the interview, then call someone close to you and riff off them. You’d be surprised how just having a casual conversation before your interview can loosen you up. It will also hopefully take your mind off things for a bit and depending on your friend they can act as a calming influence. Try to pick a friend who has experience with telephone interviews. They might be able to give you some useful pointers.

A confident introduction

I’m sure you’ve heard loads about the dreaded handshake and the so-called perfect handshake. Did I apply too much pressure? Am I meant to have a bit of sweat or be bone dry? Did my handshake personally insult that person’s family? The list goes on. As outdated the idea of the perfect handshake might be you still want to introduce yourself with confidence. On a telephone interview this means answering the call fully prepared. State your full name with a ‘hello’ and wait for your interviewer to respond. Also don’t overthink it, like you might a handshake.

Location matters

An advantage of a conference call interview over a face-to-face is that you get to carry out the interview where you feel most comfortable. However, you still want to choose a location that inspires professionalism. What we’re getting at is don’t have an interview on a rollercoaster or with your favourite music blaring at a million decibels in the background. Choose a location where you feel calm and comfortable, but most importantly one that’s quiet. This will ensure you’re not causing any distractions for yourself or the people interviewing you.

Pop on an outfit

With an interview over the phone, you want to try and replicate the situation of a face-to-face interview where you can. As tempting as it is to sit there in your PJs, or do a half shirt, half pants combo getting dressed is essential to keeping a professional mindset during the interview. Sure, no one on the other end of the line will be able to see that you’re covered in toast crumbs, this still doesn’t make it a good look. Dressing for your interview as you would for the job will help you envision working at the company. The power of visualisation and all that.

What they don’t know won’t hurt them

The fact that your interviews can’t see you can also be spun into a positive. If you turn up to a face-to-face interview and are consistently referring to your notes, you most likely won’t get the job. Make the most of your notes when on a conference call interview. Be aware though, it’s a fine balancing act. If you rely too heavily on your notes this will be apparent to your interviewers. It will come across as rehearsed and unnatural.

Use your notes as handy prompts, that will trigger you to think and talk about the wider point. If anything, having your notes in front of you will help calm your nerves. They’ll offer reassurance that if you really do lose your way your notes are there to guide you back.

Conquer your nerves

The reliability and ease of use that comes with this tech means they’re a great tool for interviews. You no longer need to travel however many miles, with no guarantee of success. There’s zilch wrong with feeling nervous before an interview, it’s a good thing as it shows you care. Just try to put these tips to use so that you can use your nerves to your advantage, rather than letting them overwhelm you and master conference call interviews.