7 Ways to Nail a Telephone Interview

Robin Judson |

We see more and more of our clients conducting introductory interviews by phone instead of in person.  We also use telephone interviews to screen potential candidates.  The telephone interview differs in numerous ways from the in-person interview.  What is the best way to nail the interview and make it to the next round?

As an interviewer, I am influenced by the body language, demeanor and expressions of candidates that I interview.  There is also eye contact.  The phone interview offers none of that. Skype, Facetime and video conferences offer their own set of challenges but with the telephone interview, it’s all in the voice, enunciation and choice of words.  So, how does one nail the telephone interview?

  1. Find a place that is quiet and where there will be no interruptions. Trains, coffee shops and restrooms are not the best places to go.  If you take over a conference room, make sure that a large group will not head in for a meeting while you are speaking.
  2. If possible, use a landline rather than a cellphone. It will minimize the likelihood of an echo, electrified voices and dropped calls.  If you must use a cellphone, try a head set to minimize noisy distractions for you and provide a clearer sound for the interviewer.
  3. Have a copy of your resume in front of you and as always, be prepared to talk about anything that is on the resume in detail. It can be helpful to have a single sheet of paper with points that you would like to make before the end of the interview and questions to ask.  That is one advantage of a telephone interview since you cannot have your list in front of you during an in-person interview. Make sure you have water with you to keep your voice fresh.
  4. When you speak, make sure that you convey energy and enthusiasm in your voice to compensate for the lack of body language and expression. Make sure you “sell” yourself.  A lack of enthusiasm in your voice may mean no in-person interview later.
  5. There can be awkward silences on a phone call. Be careful not to interrupt the interviewer but jump in with a question or a comment rather than leaving too much silence.
  6. At the end of the call, be sure to thank the interviewer, express your interest in the role and ask for next steps.
  7. Send your thank you note just as you would after an in-person meeting.

Good luck!

 

If you found this article helpful you might also want to check out “Take Five Crucial Steps to a Successful Job Search

Now Is Not The Time To Accept A Counter Offer

Robin Judson |

Jack G. complained constantly that his fund did not pay him anywhere close to the value he produced. In his role as a Principal in XYZ Private Equity Fund, he had significant P&L attached to the portfolio companies he worked with, sat on two boards and a deal he originated was about to close. Two

... Read Article


Some Wall Street dealmakers are choosing WFH over big paydays, as return-to-office plans become key to recruiting

Samantha Stokes | Insider

Recruiters told Insider that some senior bankers at the managing-director level and above are saying they won’t consider new roles that are based in the office full-time. Samantha Lee/Business Insider Flexible-work policies are top of mind for many senior bankers, recruiters say. Candidates are turning down roles that don’t allow remote work at least sometimes. Some

... Read Article


Wall Street’s Hottest Commodity: College Grads With Excel Skills

Mary Biekert | Wall Street Journal

All across Wall Street, one price keeps going up: the one for young talent. Big banks can’t hire junior staff fast enough — not even at the new going rate of $100,000 a year. Chalk it up to the pandemic. Or the notoriously long hours. Or youthful realizations that maybe banking isn’t all it’s cracked

... Read Article


How To Handle Job Offers In The Post-Lockdown Economy

Robin Judson |

Many job searches during this post-lockdown period result in candidates receiving multiple offers. How to best handle the scenario.

... Read Article


A Guide To Interviewing From A Career Recruiter

Robin Judson | Robin Judson Partners

We believe we know interviewing because we have been in the financial recruiting business for over 25 years. This is our guide.

... Read Article


How To Nail A Video Interview

Robin Judson |

With the on-going pandemic, we see many of our clients conducting their interviews on Zoom, Skype and other services.    The video interview offers the best and worst combination of telephone and personal interviews.   We suspect that even after the end of the pandemic,  the video interview is here to stay, for at least a couple

... Read Article


A Simple Approach to Successful Interviewing

Robin Judson |

Those of you who have worked with us know that we always emphasize one key approach to interviews. We always say, be yourself.  Be your best self but be yourself. Don’t try to be what you think the interviewer wants.  You don’t really know what they want.  You could lose the opportunity because they perceive

... Read Article