The path to success in phone interviews

With telephone interviews becoming more commonplace in the absence of face-to-face interviews, the following tips will help you progress to the next stage of the process.

3 mins read
Sales Manager Consulting Client Talking On Phone In Office Picture Id1070271688 (1)

over 1 year ago

​​Covid-19 has reduced the number of face-to-face interviews. This means organisations need to use phone or video interviews to assess jobseekers. While some are continuing to use phone interviews as a method of filtering applicants, others requiring quick turnarounds are using easy-to-arrange phone interviews as the only stage in the process.

Phone interviews present different experience to face-to-face and video interviews. It might seem like a relief not to have an interviewer scrutinising your appearance and body language, but it also means it can be harder for you to make a good impression on them.

Below are some tips to ensuring you give the best phone interview you possibly can:

Prepare like it is a face-to-face interview

Regardless of whether your interviewer is using this as a single interview or as a first interview to shortlist candidates, you should still prepare as though this is a face-to-face meeting.

Find out as much as you can about the organisation who you would be working for. Research your interviewer and what they do at the company. List your key achievements and areas which demonstrate your skills.

Make sure that you write down any questions you want to ask. A phone interview is an ideal time to find out more about the role you have applied for, company culture and personal development opportunities.

Have your preparation to hand

When preparing for a face-to-face interview, it is important to memorise information, as consistently referring to pieces of paper does not create a flowing conversation and can count against you.

In a phone interview, an interviewer cannot see you referring to your notes, so you can do this much more often than in a face-to-face setting.

As part of your preparation, make a note of any important figures you can quote back to your interviewer, such as your sales figures, number of customers you have helped and other areas where you have gone above and beyond targets.

Have your CV and anything else you used in your application to hand, such as a cover letter, to ensure that you can refer to what you have listed on them; your interviewer will be doing the same.

However, do not fall into the trap of simply reading off a piece of paper, as this will be apparent to your interviewer. Instead, drop any information in naturally, ensuring that conversation continues to flow freely.

Communicate clearly and concisely

It is more difficult to have a naturally flowing conversation over the phone than face to face. There are actions you can take to help the conversation progress naturally.

The most important element is listening hard to your interviewer. Take on board all elements of their questions, making a note of anything that seems particularly important, in case they refer back to it later.

Always leave a pause when an interviewer stops speaking, just to make sure that you are not interrupting them. This pause will also give you some time to frame your answer in your mind.

When answering questions, put on your best ‘telephone voice’ and speak with enthusiasm and energy. Enunciate as much as you can, not forgetting to breathe. Having a glass of water to hand will also help you.

Just because there is no visual element, it does not mean you have to speak as much as possible. Well-formed, concise answers will make a far better impression than you rambling to make the same point over five minutes that you could have made in 30 seconds.

Finally, before the interview begins, make sure you can take the call in a quiet area where you will not be interrupted.

By following these steps, and applying face-to-face interview practice, you will make a great impression on your potential employer.

If you are looking for a job, permanent or temporary, across one of our 20 specialisms, contact your local Reed office.

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Download our 2024 Malta salary guide to explore the latest salary and benefits across six sectors for businesses and professionals in the country. Our comprehensive guide delivers key wage information and recruitment trends.

Reed’s 2024 Malta salary guide gives you an extensive view of salaries, on a wide variety of roles, from entry-level to senior positions, across six sectors: accountancy & finance, business support, financial services, human resources, sales & marketing, and technology.

Based on salaries you can expect today, use this guide to benchmark the pay you offer your employees as well as compare your own salary to the market rate.

Our country expert provides an overview of the market, with Reed’s practice experts delving into the subindustry job landscapes, so you can keep up to date with the latest industry trends and developments and better prepare for the year ahead.

To further inform our salary guide, we surveyed a portion of Maltese workers at the end of 2023. You can read the full highlights in the ‘Our survey says’ section of the guide.

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  • 62% of people are currently looking for, or considering looking for, a new job.

  • Of these, 40% say this is either due to their salary or benefits package not being sufficient.

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Redundancy letter templates & examples

​Making redundancies is never a pleasant experience, but it’s sometimes unavoidable and employers need to ensure they navigate the process with sensitivity and professionalism, and adhere to the law, or they may face employment tribunals and unfair dismissal claims.

A redundancy letter is a written communication from an employer to an employee that informs them of their job loss due to a reduction in the workforce. To help employers manage this process and ensure they provide employees with clear and concise information, we have compiled a selection of adaptable redundancy letter templates for the various stages of the redundancy procedure.

When would you need to write a redundancy letter?

Employers may have to write redundancy letters in the following circumstances: 

Economic downturns

During a time of economic decline or recession, businesses may experience a reduction in revenue, leading to reduced demand for their products or services. In such circumstances, businesses may look to reduce their workforce to cut costs. 

Restructuring

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Technological advancements

With advancements in technology, businesses may require less manual labour, leading to a reduction in the workforce. Employers may have to make employees redundant where their jobs have been automated or outsourced. 

What is the difference between voluntary and compulsory redundancy?

Voluntary redundancy is when an employer offers an employee the option to leave their job in exchange for a financial package, which could include a lump sum payment, extended notice period, and other benefits. Employees who accept voluntary redundancy do so voluntarily, and their decision is not influenced by their employer.

In contrast, compulsory redundancy is when an employer selects an employee to leave their job due to a reduction in the workforce, restructuring, or other reasons. Employees who are made redundant involuntarily do not have a choice in the matter and may be entitled to statutory redundancy pay and other benefits.

What are the stages of a redundancy process? 

The redundancy process can be broken down into stages and logical steps that employers can follow. The stages are: preparation, selection, individual consultations, notice of redundancy, appeals (if applicable), and termination.

Stage one: Preparation

During the preparation stage, you will assess whether redundancy is the only option and is completely necessary before beginning the process. If you are concerned with your employee’s performance or behaviour, then you should go down the disciplinary route instead.

Redundancy is a type of dismissal where the employee’s job is no longer required. Ensure that you have covered all alternative options and if you have concluded that redundancy is essential, establish a time frame and prepare the relevant documentation.

Stage two: Selection

At this stage, you will be selecting the people who are under consideration for redundancy. You’ll need to determine the criteria for selecting those employees which should be objective and fair across the workforce.

Additionally, now is the time to inform employees of the upcoming redundancies. This should also include those who are not under consideration. You should explain that there is the risk of redundancy, the reason why it’s necessary, roughly how many redundancies you're considering, and what will happen next.

Stage three: Individual consultations

The consultations stage is a hugely important part of the redundancy process, and it’s essential that employers look at this as an open discussion with the employee, rather than using this time to just inform them of their potential redundancy.

You should explain why they have been selected and discuss alternative employment in the company. Employees will have the chance to make suggestions as to how the business can retain them and these suggestions should be considered fairly, or the employer may face unfair dismissal claims.

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  • Benefits: Employers should explain what happens to the employee's benefits, such as healthcare, pension, and life insurance, after they leave.

  • Support: Employers should offer support to the employee during this difficult time, including assistance with finding new employment opportunities and access to training programmes.

To help you navigate this challenging process, we have put together a selection of redundancy letter templates that can be used at various stages throughout the process. These include:

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