Published 5. September 2018

Telephone interview: Learn from our experts’ tips and tricks

A telephone interview saves a lot of time for everyone involved. Time that can be better used, for example, in projects. Therefore, many companies prefer a telephone interview to the classic job interview nowadays. We at Westhouse also like to use this tool. To help our candidates prepare for a telephone interview, here’s a little guide with tips from our recruiting professionals.

The course of the telephone interview at Westhouse

The conversation usually starts with the presentation of the participants. On the customer side, these are often the project manager and a technical employee, who present the project. The candidate should listen very well and take notes if necessary, because after that it’s his turn. If the candidate can link his CV to the customer’s project, that will give him advantages. In the final round both customer and candidate can ask further top-specific or technical questions.

How can candidates prepare for the telephone interview?

Candidates will be briefed by us in advance. Our tip: Requirements that you do not meet yet can be compensated by other skills or specific work experience. To be prepared as best as possible, note the most important key points prior to the telephone interview. Even a printed CV simplifies the conversation immensely.
As in face-to-face job interviews, a question and answer session is also envisaged for the applicant during a telephone interview. You should be prepared by having some well-researched questions ready. Our tip: If you run out of questions ask your contact person about his job in the company. This is seen as a really personable manner and shows interest in the tasks and the company.

What qualities do costumers most value when choosing a candidate?

As a candidate, you should behave and speak naturally. Keep in mind that HR employees are also present in the telephone interview. Therefore minimize the number of technical terms. Of course you can show your know-how here and there, because after all, the customer should notice that you are the right person for the position.

How should the conversation ideally be?

Applicants should take their time and be confident. Incidentally, this is already achieved by the correct posture. If you sit or stand upright during the conversation, it also affects your voice, which sounds firmer and more determined.

Which details of the candidate are requested?

Our customers usually want to be informed about the availability of the candidate. Occasionally, termination agreements with the current employer are discussed. Candidates should also be prepared for questions like this. Language skills, on the other hand, are rarely explicitly tested (by switching to the foreign language). However, if the project language is German, it’s possible that the entire telephone interview is in German.

What role does Westhouse play during the telephone interview?

Westhouse employees act as mediators in the telephone interview and stay in the background. Usually, our employees take the first step into the conversation and at the end summarize the most important points that have been discussed again. In the actual telephone interview between client and candidate they rarely intervene.

What is the further procedure after the telephone interview?

Even after the telephone interview, we from Westhouse remain in the mediating role; if there are any questions or feedback from the customer, we pass this on to the candidate. And for the candidate, we ask the customer, if something is unclear after the telephone interview.
Tip for candidates: During the telephone interview ask about the further proceedings and emphasize on this occasion that you would be happy to get the chance of a personal meeting. Customers perceive this as very positive thus increasing the chance of a successful telephone interview for you.
Now, you can’t wait to have a telephone interview with our customers? Then look right here for the right project for you!

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