m-Pact Career Blog

from Marketing Talent Network

The Personality Factor in Telephone Interviews

Personality is one of many things that seem to suffer from the fact that so many candidates take telephone interviews for granted.  Yet, the telephone interview is the first opportunity that you have to make an impression beyond a piece of paper.  It will determine whether or not you move forward in the hiring process with this company.  So get enthusiastic.

The telephone interview is more than just a conversation.  It is more than a simple review of your resume by telephone.  It is the first step in the post-resume review to determine whether there is a fit between you and the company.  Personality counts.

Now, that doesn’t mean telling lots of jokes and trying to establish rapport by talking about sports or (please no) politics.  What it means is three things:

  1. Be Professional:  As said before, this is not a chat.  This is a business meeting.  Be in an area where you can concentrate and not have any interruptions.  Prepare for it.  Have a notepad in front of you where you have some notes on the company and the job, and on some positive points that you want to make certain you include.
  2. Show Interest:  This is best accomplished through effective listening skills and insightful questions.  When faced with a golden opportunity in the form of the sentence “Do you have any questions?”, please please don’t respond with “No, I think you’ve answered everything.”  (And yes, people have been known to do this.)  It is an interview killer.  Have a number of questions prepared in advance based on research about the company and their products/services.
  3. Show Enthusiasm:  Companies are interested in people who are interested in them.  Sit forward in your chair instead of slumping.  You wouldn’t slump in a face-to-face interview (I hope).  Why do so here?  Believe it or not, your body language tends to communicate itself through your voice over the phone.  The same is true as far as having a smile or a frown on your face.  It is very difficult to sound upbeat when you are slouching on a sofa, with a TV on in the background (sound turned down), frowning at the play that was just made at third base.  Smile, sit up and forward in your chair, listen intently, and show interest in the person on the other end of the phone and the opportunity they are discussing.  It makes all the difference in the world.

So we are not misleading anyone, we are not saying that your experience is unimportant.  We are not saying that personality will carry the day regardless of what you have to say.  What we are saying is that enthusiasm and energy can be the difference-maker, playing a major part in whether you are one of the individuals that makes it to that critical next step.

John

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June 9, 2008 Posted by | Tips - Interviewing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment