4 Things To Remember For A Pre-Interview Phone Call

In the unpredictable world of job hunting, sometimes you’re the one that’s being hunt-ed. Recruiters often check CV databases on job-search websites and LinkedIn, tracking down potential candidates that can suitably fill the roles left vacant. After all, it saves them the time of wading through dozens and dozens of applications, and allows them to get to the crux of what they are looking for immediately.

However, this doesn’t always launch you straight into the interview stage. They like your CV and want to know more, but aren’t quite ready yet to call you in. Instead, they call you up!

Here are four things to remember for the pre-interview phone call.


Phone screenings are not full interviews

They’re finally calling your number! At the same time, all they want is a chinwag. You can’t spend a solid hour discussing skills, hobbies and your future. So what do you do?

Refine your talking points to a chisled few and tease like a dog with its bone. Get to the nub of answering their questions immediately, but deliver answers that can possibly be elaborated on in the official interview. Put simply, pique their interest but don’t tell all. They need a reason to talk to you beyond this stage, and blabbing about everything can seem a bit desperate!

Ultimately, a legitimate call from an employer or recruitment agency is a big plus. At the same time, it’s important not to jump the gun here.


Create a sensible voicemail

No matter how deep into your job search you might be, you can’t always be expected to answer the phone. Whether you’re in the shower or nursing a hangover, some calls will inevitably be missed.

Of course, this can be crippling if you aren’t prepared for this situation. If your voicemail message demands a callback for ‘J-Dog on the flip side’, recruiters may be more likely to scratch you from their lists than to take you seriously.

Silly voicemail greetings won’t suffice, so be professional. You need to be represented properly even when you aren’t there to do it yourself, and a voicemail is a great way to do this!


Use agencies wisely

One day (hopefully soon), you’ll find yourself filling the position you’ve always wanted. The dreams have come true, the work is great and the money is in the bank.

However, recruitment agencies can keep calling, convinced they are discovering your future for you still. It’s caring and considerate, granted, but cast your net too wide and you could find yourself bombarded with a few too many calls and emails. Instead, research the agencies and work closely with a trusted few, as opposed to giving out your contact information to a dozen of them and plopping yourself in a job-seeking swamp!

Remember, many employers list their opportunities to more than one recruiter, so a good handful of agencies should set you on your path well enough. Make the calls count!


Tone on the telephone

In a proper face-to-face interview facial expressions, clothes and body language are great tools for you to manipulate. They can sell your interest at the slightest twitch of a muscle, and communicate your enthusiasm absent of speech.

Obviously, these skills go out the window when it comes to phone screening. You’re relying on your voice alone, so it’s important you communicate your character effectively, and that any calls aren’t accepted if you’ve just woken up or are suffering from sore throat issues. Of course, there is a strategy to projecting your voice confidently, so consider breathing techniques and diaphragm control.

The phone isn’t much of a shield, so don’t assume you’re safe or free to multitask. Nervousness, distraction and insecurities can all be detected vocally, so be sure to give the call your everything!


Inspiring Interns is an internship and graduate jobs agency.