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Prepare for the loss of body language.
During a telephone interview, you lose all ability to communicate using body language and eye contact, which can make it more difficult to determine the reaction of your interviewer. It can also limit your tone and make you sound less enthusiastic about the job role as they can’t see your expressions. In order to push past this obstacle, you need to consider your tone of voice and ensure you are speaking clearly and confidently to show your capability and interest in the company.
Beware of talking over each other
It’s going to be difficult to determine when the person on the other end of the line finishes their sentence as you’re less able to connect with them over the phone. Ensure you leave a couple of seconds gap before you answer just so you know they’re definitely finished with their question/sentence.
Have some notes or your CV to hand.
No, that doesn’t mean write a 3 paragraph answer to every single question they could possibly ask you so you’re scuffling through endless pages. Write a few notes on a range of the most common questions, e.g. they may ask you why you would like to work for them, in which case you should look on their website to find out more about them as a company and what they do specifically. Or, as mentioned you may want to keep your CV by your side in case they would like to hear of your skills/ qualifications etc.
Stand in a place with decent signal
If you’re expecting a call, there’s nothing worse than realising you have 0 signal and starting to panic because this could be the most important call of your life so far. Beforehand, make sure you know a place where you get a good, strong signal or ask them to call you on a landline so it doesn’t drop.
Stay away from distractions.
Regardless of where you have decided to take the call – your living room, or even hiding in the toilet at work (although, maybe not if you haven’t even got the new job yet…) ensure you’re away from all distractions. Turn the TV off, ask someone to take care of the kids for half an hour as you don’t want to sound like you’re not fussed about the job. Finally, make sure you’re in a quiet place where they can hear you at all times.
Seems simple, right? It’s always daunting having a telephone interview, sometimes even more nerve-wrecking than the real thing! But not to worry, carry yourself with confidence and follow these top tips to ensure a smooth and successful telephone interview.
Sure, everyone’s sat through a bad meeting… whether that’s because it’s boring, uninformative or feels like a waste of your time. The thing is, not everyone has sat through a good meeting and I think there needs to be serious work done on how we approach meetings and presentations.
The majority of the time people can find meetings quite boring, but it’s up to the employer to create an atmosphere where ideas can be exchanged freely and are in fact encouraged. If you feel that’s not your workplace at all, here are several changes you can make to your future presentations to get everyone involved and more interested.
- BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS
What’s the point in inviting a team to the meeting if you’re just going to speak at them? If you’ve employed talented and capable people, you’re only wasting their potential if you aren’t letting them join in on discussions – always be open to suggestions and encourage ideas.
As a business owner, it’s not your job to consistently come up with new innovative ideas – that’s why there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’… as cliche as that may be. The point is, everyone has the capability to give positive contributions to a discussion and your business.
- STAND UP
Washington University, St Louis’s Olin Business School, conducted a study in June 2014 which found attendees who stood up had higher levels of engagement and became more creative in brainstorming. So, believe it or not, you may want to try removing the chairs from your next meeting as it could enhance the quality of it. Doing a daily stand up could combat meeting attendees from dosing off.
Results of the study showed a clear difference in movement using body sensors on two groups of participants.
- SET MEETING GOALS COLLECTIVELY
Everyone’s going to have a different view on how a meeting should pan out; what they want to achieve from it. Setting your goal all together means you’re able to work towards more goals as a team and therefore achieve more during the time of the meeting.
Also, at times it’s easy for a discussion to turn into a lecture before you know it. Everyone has an equal chance of pitching in if they each have something on the agenda to work towards. Always encourage people to voice their thoughts and take notes on their ideas so they don’t lost track.
I know… exhausting, right? It may seem overwhelming to tackle all of this head on, so just begin with streamlining your objectives. Categorise or identify where people are voicing similar opinions.
Once goals are established, you’re ready to get stuck in to a productive meeting!
- OFFER INCENTIVES & REWARDS
No, not an iPad or a huge bonus – there’s no need for fancy incentives. Everyone knows that a simple gesture for attending or contributing to a meeting will create a more positive engagement between attendees. You can even pick up a pack of 12 donuts for £1 in Asda… and everyone loves donuts.
It’s often seen that people are more motivated by immediate gratification as it tempts them, it gives them a reason to show up and engage. They almost believe they’re getting something back for their time and so are happy to contribute positively.
- SET A CLEAR FRAMEWORK BEFOREHAND
Before you even set foot in the meeting room, at least have a clear view of what is to be discussed, a rough time schedule of how long you may need for each subject. If there is a lot of people involved, it can be hard to prevent spending too much time muttering about trivial points; but being prepared can help mitigate that.
Additionally, ensure everyone knows the protocol. A clear structure ensures a productive and engaging meeting is created. Equally, try to keep meetings fast-paces and succinct to aid the flow of the meeting and ideas.
We all know meetings can end up being a disappointing thief of your time if it’s not spent wisely. Try putting some of these tips in to practice one by one, introduce a new point each meeting; I promise you’ll love seeing the difference.