I am trying to begin a career in recruitment and, on many occasions, I am interviewed and tested over the phone by a consultant. Could you give me a few tips on what to say to make a good impression?
Victoria Wall, managing director, Victoria Wall Associates
One of the main attributes required in recruitment is the ability to quickly build rapport on the phone with both current and potential clients and candidates, hence the use of telephone interviews at the first stage.
Prepare yourself thoroughly so that you are able to sound fluent, articulate and knowledgeable, direct yet friendly. You will be assessed on your listening skills, tone and professionalism. You should try to use examples from your previous work experience that provide evidence of suitability. If you are asked a question you cannot immediately answer, do not be afraid to pause for thinking time, and be prepared to offer your opinions. Remember, as with all interviews, it is often not what you say but how you say it - so smile as you introduce yourself, and remember to be courteous and professional throughout the call.
Peter Sell, joint managing director, DMS consultancy
The key to a telephone interview is to listen to what the interviewer is asking. They are testing your telephone skills, your ability to listen and retain information, and are also gaining a limited insight into your personality.
You will notice that many of the interviews are very similar - they are following a script. If the interview is being conducted profession-ally, then it should have been booked for a time convenient to you.
Answer the questions as concisely as possible. Tell the truth, as it is easy to pick up on the telephone when someone is being less than honest. If you are unsure of what the interviewer is asking, seek clarification rather than waffle down the wrong track.
Jo Redgwell, consultant, Macmillan Davies Hodes
I am not quite sure whether you are trying to begin a career in recruitment consultancy or in-house recruitment. I will presume it is an in-house role you are wanting.
Because the candidate market has grown, clients can be very specific when they brief consultants about what they are looking for - previous experience is generally top of the list. If you do not have previous experience, you need to focus on your other marketable knowledge,