How to top a telephone interview

1. Start with self introduction

This is actually a point that quite a lot of people don’t pay attention to. Doesn’t matter whether you call a company initiatively in order to find a job or they call you first for a telephone interview , it is both important to give away some simple information about yourself so that both parties know they are talking to the right person.

Surprisingly this kind of situation occurs quite often. Candidates simply just start talking without any greeting or a name. It is not only frustrating but also time-consuming. When you pick up the phone, begin the conversation with your name, the place you’re from and your intention. E.g. ‘Good morning, I am Ben from Germany and I want to get more information about your janitor offer.’ This sort of small talk is also convenient for breaking the ice.

2. Cut to the chase

Nobody knows you better than yourself. Before the interview begins, analyse your own situation. What you’re good at due to your experience, what you’d like to do,etc. On the vacancy page, it is often clearly stated whether or not it is a beginner’s function. Look at it first and check whether or not you’re qualified.

We often say that don’t just go for a job because of the money. Look for something you have passion for and you’re capable of ,which can support you with a decent living.

‘I’m looking for any kind of job’ is not the most desired answer. First of all, it shows the lack of expertise to support your confidence. It sounds like you can sort of do everything, most of the time non-skilled jobs, but you are not really proficient in any of those areas. Secondly, if you want a nice job, you have to earn it. During the conversation you have to sell your ability as much as possible without too much bragging. Blindly looking for all vacancies, is difficult for showing personalities. Certainly, the chance is almost slim to none for you to be on the top of the wait list.

Important first rule, even if you’re short of experience and want to start with the easiest job, don’t ever say ‘I don’t know what I want’.

3. Do your research before the interview

When you are applying for a vacancy at a specific company in the Netherlands, the recruiters sometimes might ask you the reason why you would like to join their company. This happens more often by applications for skilled jobs.

If it is your dream job, go 100% for it. You can start with the company’s official website and then their social media contents. There are a few things you need to look out for : their enterprise culture, enterprise mission and enterprise goal, etc. Going through the company history might give you a clearer picture of what kind of potential partners they might be looking for, whether their desired partners play by the rules or creativeness. Then when you are asked for your personal goals and opinions about their company, it’ll be just easy as filling the blanks.

4. Smile, even if they can’t see you

For a lot of jobs, especially non-skilled ones, it’s not experience that matters the most, but your attitude. This is a point we’ve been trying to make.Of course your experience is important. However, most of the time the majority of candidates share the same level of education or experience. Your positivity can help you stand out in the crowd. The companies are not merely looking for a person who can finish all the tasks. They’re looking for a team player as well. They need somebody flexible that they can count on.

The Dutchies are independent, but they care about a ‘gezellig’ working environment. It’s often mentioned on Dutch job websites as one of the most important requirements, ‘Je bent een teamspeler’, which literally means ‘you’re a teamplayer’.

5. Be modest but confident

You have to believe in yourself before everybody else can. Talk like you have everything under control. If you’re not yet a pro, don’t be afraid. Show your strengths and own your shortcomings. The Dutchies might not be hiding their opinions so the best you can do is to be open about it. Accept who you are in order to improve yourself to be a better person. The employers would rather have someone who is certain about his/her own competitiveness. Even if you have less experience or you don’t speak the language good enough yet, there’s no need to show that you’re scared. Strive for your best and accept the result, which can turn out surprisingly.

I’m definitely not asking you to show off either. Too much bragging might result in an impression that you can not be counted on. Be honest.So you’ll leave an image of being competitive but also sincere. You can certainly show your capabilities and inner leadership by beautifying your experience a bit.

6. Adjust the speed of speech

The recruiters might lose patience if you are talking too slow during the whole conversation or waiting too long to give a short answer. If you have done proper research, then you’re almost prepared for the interview. Talking too slow all the time might result in an impression of low productivity.

There is no need to rush as well. You might want to give away as much information as possible, but others might misunderstand or not understand the message you are trying to convey. On the other hand, you don’t want to sound like you’re rushing the conversation as well.

Adjust your speech to a moderate speed, and simply answer what you’re asked to. If you are too nervous, maybe it is good to do some practice before the actual interview so that you can give away a fluent answer later on. When you’re too excited, take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down.

7. Mind your volume

This is a minor issue that shouldn’t be neglected. Extremely high or low volume are both unpleasant and they both result in less quality of communication.

To adjust your own volume, you can also simply call a friend and adjust the settings on your phone. You want to be heard and avoid shouting towards your phone. It should be a pleasant phone call, instead of the other party driven to hang up the phone as soon as possible.

8. Kill the Silence

It is the most uncomfortable feeling ever when you are on the phone and nobody is saying anything. When you’re asked for a question during an interview, try not to answer only with ‘yes’ or ‘no’.For an open question, try to expand the story with your related experience, until the recruiters have enough information about you. Anyway, it should be a two-way communication. When you talk more, it’s also easier for the HR to capture your personalities. As a result, they’re able to link you to a suitable vacancy.

Don’t leave your manner at home. If you interrupt someone when he/she is talking, always say sorry and let them finish talking.

9. End the conversation properly

Doesn’t matter if it is an email application or a telephone interview, always end the conversation with ‘thank you’. If the recruitment agency doesn’t have a suitable job for you, it is still necessary that you express your thankfulness towards the person who has invested time and effort in you. Even if they did not offer you a job in the end, don’t hang up the phone immediately, which is truly disrespectful. By showing more manner than other candidates, there is a bigger chance that the recruiters will remember you and introduce you to future opportunities.

Last Article : Do's and don'ts by email application

Next Article : Checklist for starting your career in the Netherlands

Discover Vacancies