Preparing for a telephone interview
By: George Owen

Top Tips for Locums: Preparing for a Telephone Interview

As a locum employee, you’ll often be required to take part in a telephone interview rather than a face-to-face, and while you might think you don’t need to worry about personal presentation (unless it’s a video call via Skype or FaceTime), there are a number of things to bear in mind to ensure you give a good account of yourself.

Firstly, don’t do the interview in your pajamas! Even if the interviewer can’t see you, dress for success – you’ll be amazed the difference smart attire makes to your focus and mindset.

Here are 5 more top tips…

1. Preparation is Key

This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but make sure you research the client and their practices well in advance, so you have a full understanding of the role. You might know the job and sector inside out, but this particular employer might have slightly different ways of doing things, so find out as much as you can about their approach and present yourself as a good fit. Make notes if necessary and keep them close to hand.

You’ll probably be hit with a few standard interview questions, so make sure you have answers prepared.

2. Always Ask Questions

To start with, if you’re not sure how the interview is going to be structured, ask. Find out if there’s a time limit and structure your answers accordingly – you don’t want to spend too much time on the more trivial stuff.

Asking questions about the role and the people who’ll be under your care is a great way to demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for the job. Avoid asking about the rate of pay, or anything money-related, as this will appear mercenary.

3. Be Enthusiastic

Obviously, the interviewer will only have your tone of voice to go on, so remain calm and professional, but smile and infuse your voice with enthusiasm, optimism and positivity – move around if that helps. It’s important that you speak clearly and concisely, as this will suggest that you’re a good communicator. Waffling on and on will bore the interviewer and you might even talk yourself out of the job!

4. Arrive Early

Yes, we know, it’s a call not an actual interview, but you don’t want to be caught on the hop if the interviewer’s watch is a few minutes ahead of yours. If you’re ready with time to spare, take a few breaths, compose yourself and pour a glass of water, so when the phone rings you’ll be ready to create a great first impression.

And take the time to choose a comfortable, distraction-free location, with a strong phone signal if you’re on mobile – make sure your battery is fully charged!

5. Give Full Answers

Try to avoid answering with yes or no. Give examples that illustrate your previous experience and demonstrate relevant scenarios where your skills have been tested. Don’t give them your life story, but ensure they have enough information to form a well-rounded opinion. Ideally, drop in a few facts or anecdotes that will make your voice and name stand out from everyone else they’ve spoken to. If your interview is memorable, you’re well on your way.

So, you’ve had the interview and it felt like everything went well. Now what?

Next Steps…

It’s always a good idea to send the interviewer a quick email to thank them for their time. It’s also an opportunity to include any key points that somehow slipped your mind during the interview. Don’t write War & Peace, but if there’s a vital piece of information you missed, drop it into the email.

If you follow our top tips, we’re sure you’ll be successful, but if you’re not, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone again and ask for some feedback. You might be given a pearl of wisdom that helps you prepare for your next telephone interview.

Good luck!

Do you have any telephone interview tips to share? Please leave a comment below or get in touch via our Facebook page – we’d love to hear from you.