Phone interviews are a different ball game compared to face-to-face interviews. Prospective employers will typically use phone interviews as a low-investment method of screening candidates to determine who qualifies for face-to-face interviews. Therefore, you should think of phone interviews as the preliminary stage in the hiring process, with the goal of landing that interview.
But how exactly can you achieve that goal? We’re sharing some of the best tips from our experienced recruiters on what will get you closer to being offered face-to-face interviews for the top real estate jobs in Melbourne.
#1: Do your research
While it’s more common for phone interviews to be scheduled, some employers will opt to call you unexpectedly and ask whether you’re available to chat about the role. Therefore, it’s important to have done in-depth research on the company and the position, in preparation for a surprise call. Knowing your stuff will not only help you feel more confident – it will impress the interviewer by showing you really care about the role and the company.
At a minimum, you should know:
- The company’s culture, mission and goals
- What the company sells or does
- What exactly the advertised position involves
- How you match up to the job requirements.
#2: Confirm the logistics
When is the interview happening? Who is calling who? Who is the interviewer and what’s their role at the company?
You should be organised, on time and very clear about the details. Be prepared for anything that may go wrong (always carry a phone charger). Make sure your phone has a professional voicemail message set in place just in case, too.
#3: Make sure you can be heard
Background noise – whether it’s traffic, a barking dog or a loud café – can be a huge distraction for both yourself and the interviewer. Before your call is scheduled, move to a quiet place. If you happen to receive a surprise call from an interviewer, it never hurts to express your enthusiasm before politely asking if you can move to a quieter place and call them back.
#4: Nail the first 15 seconds
When you go in for a face-to-face interview, the interviewer uses visual clues to form a subconscious opinion about you. Through the phone, however, a lack of visuals means that the first 15-20 seconds on the call are going to set the tone for your entire interview. Therefore, it pays to talk with a smile, enunciate your words and begin with a polite and positive greeting.
#5: Keep resources at hand
The biggest advantage of phone interviews over face-to-face interviews is the ‘invisibility’ factor. You can take notes, keep important documents at hand, and even refer to them throughout the interview without the interviewer being able to see. We recommend keeping your resume, cover letter, and a copy of the job description at hand.
#6: Take notes
Throughout the phone interview and after it ends, you should be taking notes about important points the interviewer is making. If you make it to the next round of interviews, your notes will be crucial for preparing to chat face-to-face!
#7: Prepare some answers
It doesn’t hurt to prepare some answers to common questions like, “Why do you want the job?” or “What are your strengths?”. You should also think about what you will say if the interviewer brings up topics like salary expectation.
#8: Prepare some questions, too
At the end of your phone interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. Although it may seem like all your questions were answered in the interview, it can actually be a red flag if you don’t ask any more questions at this time. To avoid stumbling in the interview, prepare three to five questions in advance. You can ask:
- Are there opportunities for professional development at the company?
- What does a typical day in this role look like?
- What is the best part about working for the company?
#9: Send a thank-you email
An email or letter thanking the interviewer for their time is a great way to be courteous while restating your interest in the advertised position. You should send this to the interviewer a day or two after your phone interview. Make sure to thank them for the opportunity to discuss the role, emphasise your passion for the role and the company, and be specific about one or two discussion points from the interview that stuck out to you.
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Buckmaster Hawkey is Melbourne’s first real estate recruitment agency and has been trusted by job seekers and employers since 1981. We are committed to helping our candidates further their careers in the real estate industry. We recruit a broad range of job types and levels across commercial and residential property, including property management, accounts and administration, and real estate sales – just to name a few.