November 29th, 2009 — GD / PI / CV, Personal Interview
Telephone interviews are a popular way of recruiting candidates for employment. These interviews are used to taper down the screening process of selecting potential employees. It is a great way of minimizing expenditure as far as interviewing out-of-town candidates are concerned.
It is important for candidates to be well prepared for phone interviews. The employer can call at any given time, hence preparedness to tactfully tackle all questions is a must. You are given a few minutes to answer all questions.
Telephone interviews are not as easy as they appear to be. One has to be well versed with telephone skills to be able to deal with all questions. Mock interviews are a great way of assessing your conversation skills on phone. You may request your family member or a friend to conduct such interviews for you. Thereafter, you can tape record the conversation and listen to it.
Using ‘ums’, ‘uhs’ and ‘okays’ in formal interviews are a strict no-no. Avoid using them. Make sure you rehearse answers to customary questions likely to be asked in an interview. Prepare in a way you would prepare for a regular job interview. Compile a list of comprehensive answers to typical questions relating to your background, strengths and weaknesses, skills, etc. Keep a pen and paper handy for making any notes. Also, keep a glass of water handy, if need be.
Remember to turn off ‘call waiting’ to avoid unnecessary interruptions. Switch off your music system and television. Keep your pets and children away. Request the employer to call on your landline if you face call drops on your mobile. Keep your resume handy to promptly answer any questions pertaining to your educational background, your accomplishments, etc. Smile all through the conversation. It portrays a positive image about you. Keep your answers short. Don’t forget to thank the employer.
Avoid smoking, eating or chewing gum during the course of the interview. Don’t ever interrupt the interviewer. When you address the person, use their title- i.e. Mr. or Ms. followed by their last name. Use the first name only if you’re asked to do so.
November 29th, 2009 — Prep Material
5. Telephone Interview
Usually such interviews are used for selecting candidates from a large pool of people and also conducted on people who live far away from job location. Telephonic interview can be sued as initial screening of candidates. Telephonic interview is similar to face-to-face interview. Set up a place and time where there is no one to disturb or distract you. Focus on conversation as voice is the only key to make an impact. Keep your resume at hand. Disable the call waiting feature on your phone as your wouldn’t want to be disturbed during an interview.
6. Group Interview
Here, selected candidates are formed into an informal group. The interviewer will start the conversation and the candidates should take in over from there. The aim of this style of interview is to understand how can one can converse with other group members and influence or convince them. So, in short, it tries to gauge the leadership potential of each candidate.
7. Lunch/Dinner Interview
This is an interview planned over lunch or dinner. Though the setting at lunch or dinner may be casual, you should never get lax or complacent about yourself or the people around you. Since it’s a business meal, you need to maintain your composure and table etiquettes. For this, try to take the lead from the interviewer. Avoid consuming alcohol or eating messy food during the interview. That may leave to bad taste!
8. Stress Interview
This type of interview was very popular among sales position but rare today. Stress Interview tries to see how you handle pressure and under what circumstances will you give up. The interviewer may try tricks like being argumentative or may try to put you down or make a nasty comment – but you should realize it’s just a deliberate attempt to break your morale. So keep your cool and take time to answer each question without being in any hurry. The interviewer may also take into abrupt silence when asking a question; don’t get nervous and ask for clarification if needed.
November 29th, 2009 — GD / PI / CV, Personal Interview
You are getting prepared for an interview and lots of questions doing rounds in your mind. What if the interviewer asks me this or that and so on… So it’s good to be acclimatized to the different interviewing styles that interviewers adopt. The interview process is usually lengthy, wherein the interviewer may call you back many times to know if you can fit into the company culture. And when you actually face the interview, you may identify that the style may be one of the following –
1. Traditional Face to Face Interview
Most interviews conducted world over are of this type and have a one-on-one conversational approach. You must maintain eye contact with the interviewer and listen carefully to what he says and only then answer the questions. Listening carefully also helps to frame your answers in your mind at the same time when you are hearing out the questions. Developing a rapport with the interviewer is of utmost importance.
2. Panel/Committee Interview
As the name suggests, this type of interview has more than one person in the panel as interviewers. It’s typically a group of 3 to 10 people who judge you at the same time. This is a challenging situation to be in as your management and group presentation skills are put to test. As and when you converse with interviewers, try to gauge their personality type. Maintain eye contact with the concerned interviewer who is asking you questions; however when responding, make eye contact with other people in the panel too. Meeting eye contact of other people is a subtle way to ask for their approval and also a sign of your confidence.
3. Behavioral Interview
This interview is based on the fact that past behavior can be the best tool to judge a person’s future response to situations. These questions can be guised in telephone, panel or one-on-one interview formats. It should be noted that behavioral questions are not imaginary or based on presumptions. The interviewer is asking you something very specific and hence the answers must be based on facts related to your past. The interviewer is looking out for tangible results from the activities undertaken by you in your past. Few examples of such questions are – “Give an instance when..”, “Have you ever done something wherein..”, “Can you think of a situation when you were…”
4. Case Interview
This type of interview tries to measure your problem solving skills. The interviewer places a situation to you or provides you with a case study and asks you to come up with an apt and logical plan that aims to solve the problem. Interviewers are not seeking the best solution, as they already know one. What they are keener to find out is the process or approach you take to solve the problem. If the situation or problem is unclear, do not hesitate in asking questions to the interviewer or getting clarifications. The more you are able to explore ways of solving the case, more close you are to achieving your goal. This is the only interview where you are allowed to carry a pad and a pencil and take down notes as you work through the case.
November 23rd, 2009 — GD / PI / CV
Telephonic interviews are a way of screening a large group of candidates. More and more companies are increasingly opting for telephonic interviews to hire candidates. It is just one of the many interviews given by candidates before they are finally hired by a company. It also helps companies to cut down their expenses. Candidates are rejected despite being qualified, if they don’t successfully crack the telephonic interview.
Consider the below mentioned do’s and don’ts the next time you attempt a telephonic interview:
1) Make sure to give your correct contact details so that the interviewer does not have a tough time connecting with you.
2) Your family should be aware of the importance of the telephonic interview in your job search.
3) Do research everything about the company and the job you are applying for.
4) Practice as much as you can. Learn to modulate your tone. Work on your pronunciations. Develop the habit of taking pauses when important.
5) Make sure you can hear, and you are being heard. Settle down in a place free of noise and clutter to allow the interview happen peacefully.
6) Keep synopsis handy to avoid fumbling. Be prepared so that you can tackle every question confidently.
7) It is important to close the call intelligently. Hence, ask sensible, thoughtful questions before you end the call.
8) Do keep your resume in front of you. All your important material should be handy, within your reach.
9) Have a glass of water before you take the call.
10) Do take it seriously.
1) Try to not get anxious between conversation breaks. Don’t fill in airtime unnecessarily. Don’t start talking until the interviewer asks you the next question.
2) There is no need to panic if you have special needs. Telephonic interviews are possible for the hearing impaired as well.
3) Avoid sneezing, coughing or talking loudly. If you cannot control yourself, make sure to at least say ‘excuse me’.
4) Needless to say, don’t eat or drink while talking. Avoid chewing gum.
5) Turn off your music system, Television, etc. The idea is to minimize distractions.
6) Try to avoid using your cell phone. There can be signal problems and call drops.
7) Don’t ever use the interviewer’s first name unless you are asked to do so.
August 1st, 2009 — GD / PI / CV, Personal Interview
One of the basic form of interview is telephonic interview. These are some of the tips to crack the telephonic interview successfully:
* First of all know for which job you are being interviewed for. Do not waste their as well as your time.
* Give exact information of your contact details to interviewer along with STD or ISD code, so that they can connect you easily.
* Make your family members understand the importance of the interview call so that they cooperate with you and make no noise.
* If you are feeling stressed or tensed, it is better to have a mock session in advance. Make your friend call you and ask you mock questions. So that you have an idea about how good you can speak.
* For interview, choose the place where you can sit comfortably and jot down notes. Also keep a notepad and pen with you, so that you don’t have to rush for it keeping interviewer on hold.
* In addition, gather all the things such as CV and certificates for your reference, so that you can promptly refer to it and answer the question. It will also help you to highlight your experience and achievements.
* If you are forgetful, write down points that you would like to mention during the interview. Also note down clarifications if any so that you can seek answers from interviewer.
* Do not drink anything or eat during an interview. That creates a noise, which would leave bad impression.
* Ensure that you can hear interviewer clearly and also ask him/her if you are audible.
* In middle of a conversation, if you have completed response but interviewer has not asked further question, don’t break the silence with babbling around. Instead ask question related to your last response.
* Avoid to shuffle, sneeze or cough during the interview. If you do so quickly follow the act with “excuse me”. Though it might not give you extra marks this is matter of manners.