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Telephone Interview Techniques

There are two main objective of a telephone interview. First, a company wants to assess your capabilities to fit the job, both skill set and personality. Secondly, you will have a chance to see if the position meets your objectives. This is a common practice and allows the interviewer to screen out candidates that potentially looks qualified on paper but where more information needs to be sought to ascertain if a face-to-face meeting is warranted.

This is one of the reasons why you should have a good and proper record of your job search activities as your would not want to be embarrassed by receiving a phone call and not being able to place where the caller is form or what job you have applied for. This is a situation you should avoid at all costs. During phone interview or screening sessions, speak clearly and confidently.

If you happen to receive the call via mobile phone and you are unable to hear or respond quickly, politely seek permission to return the call. Do so at a quiet location and as soon as possible. If not immediately after. Speed is the essence here and you could well ruin your chances of your application if you do not respond quickly.

Remember, employers have choices and they may not want to wait for you return call an hour or worst still, a day later. Prepare yourself well for such telephone interview situations. You should have your resume in front of you, and know clearly your accomplishments. It is not usual, but have your references available in case the interviewer wants them.

You may also find it useful to have a script and for you to remember that the key points so you can market yourself more effectively given the short time span of such calls. Sincerity counts for a lot too project that through the phone. You should avoid the use of jargons such as Yah, Nope etc. Use proper English words instead, such as Yes and No.

Tips On Handling Telephone Interviews

  • Prepare yourself
  • Speak audibly and confidently
  • Speed is of essence in responding
  • Seek for a face-to-face interview
  • Mind your language

Make The Time To Listen

Many people talk more than they should. Today's global business world is held together by networks of communication systems where listening is the weakest link. Most of us spend about 80 per cent of our waking hours communicating, and only half of that is spent, on listening at only 25 per cent efficiency. Simon and Garfunkel were right when they sang "a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest".

What Happens When You Talk Too Much?

Whenever you talk more than necessary, people may be forced to respond. But if you listen, people will speak. When you listen to people talk, you can learn more about them, and possibly discover how to convince them to buy your products or services, or to convince them to support your point of view. Listening also creates conversation, which leads to communication, which in turn results in connectivity and networking. Remember, people want to do business with those they know, like and trust. They want to do business with people whom they feel comfortable with, and listening helps.

Say Less And Listen More

To make it easy for others to talk, show non-verbal encouragement through head nods, eye contact, constructive silence, and by not interrupting. Do not jump to conclusions. All of us have opinions about almost everything we hear. Judgmental reaction can obstruct the flow of conversation and block understanding. Ask questions designed to provide a good understanding of your customer without putting him on the defensive.

As you listen, internally summarise the information. This will give you some ideas as to where you want to take the conversation. Sales professionals who apply effective listening "read" between the lines and know when to ask questions, clarify expectations and paraphrase what was said. Listen for areas of agreement. The customer always thinks he is right. The salesman thinks otherwise. When two persons have different ideas, conflict arises. Through effective listening, look for areas of agreement.

When you find (and state) similar viewpoints, it makes the other person more relaxed - and reduces conflict. While listening, observe the 3 Vs: the Visual, Vocal and Verbal elements. A response or feedback need not be expressed in words. Successful sales professionals have learnt the importance of observing what potential customers may be saying nonverbally. Before responding, evaluate an idea or problem from the customer's, as well as your' own, perspective. Mentally map out an idea to see its immediate and long-term consequences.

Non-Verbal Skills

In Thailand, many of the salesmen who run the stalls catering to tourists speak very little English, yet are able to do a roaring business. How do they manage this? They do it with excellent non-verbal communication skills. The minute you ask: "How much?", they smile and take out their worn but trusty calculators to start the negotiation process without uttering a word, except for: "Cheap, cheap". While language proficiency is considered crucial by many to clinch sales, non-verbal communication can be just as important and effective.

And this is how the Thai salesmen can make your shopping experience in their country memorable - by maintaining silence and flashing genuine smiles. The simple act of being silent is one of the most challenging j skills to master. The more you talk, the less others will listen and the harder it will be for you to remember what was said. Learn to be comfortable with silence. You will be amazed by what you hear.


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