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Phone interviews are efficient time savers for both the candidate and the employer.
Initially considered a screening round for the benefit of the employer, a phone interview also helps the candidate weed out any potential deal-breakers before investing time, money, energy and resources to give a personal face-to-face interview (wherever that is happening).
In-person interviews tend to focus less on the skills and experience, and more on who is more cordial or great to talk to. It does help build rapport in some cases, but also promotes an invisible bias towards the candidate’s race, gender, class and other factors unrelated to the job performance.
Phone Interviews level the playing field and let both the parties focus on the essential.
A phone interview can also be used to build rapport, but instead of small talk, one can build up on the conversation, avoiding stiff, rehearsed responses to whatever the employer is asking.
If the conversation is genuine, one can easily connect with the employer on a human level.
As one is not physically present, the facial expressions and visual cues are absent in a phone interview, making the tone of your voice (apart from your content, of course) matter a lot.
An upbeat, warm and engaged tone is desirable, and it is a well-known fact that a smile is heard on the other side, as it changes the texture of your voice.
Keep in mind that the employer is making a decision based on what you say or not say in your call.
They can throw curveball questions to test your presence of mind or patience, and it is better to be prepared, than to just assume that the interaction is going to be a five-minute introduction.
A telephonic interview provides us with an opportunity to prepare and keep with us key points and important notes so that any factual information or key detail is not left out in the flow of the conversation.
We can easily refer to them, provided we are not fumbling or shuffling papers. This is an added benefit of a phone interview which is not available in-person.
One can benefit from a phone interview by asking relevant questions of your own to figure out if this is the right profile for you.
It is always better to see an interview as an opportunity for you, rather than just showcasing your skills and hoping for a judgement from the employer. Your critical thinking skills and even your smart negotiation tactics are noted by the hiring managers, helping you become shortlisted.
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