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Our Top Tips to Ace an FDM Telephone Interview

Our Top Tips to Ace an FDM Telephone Interview

As the job market becomes increasingly competitive and work styles give way to more agile working practices, many companies now conduct phone interviews as part of their recruitment process. We’re here to shed some light on what candidates can expect during an FDM graduate programme telephone interview with one of our recruiters.

We understand that interviewing for a new job is tough. You know in the back of your mind that there could be dozens, sometimes even hundreds of other applicants vying for the same open positions and that pressure can be a bit overwhelming. How do you stand out from the crowd? How do you earn a second interview? Here at FDM Group, our application process begins with submitting your CV, followed by a telephone interview and then a video interview. We conduct thousands of phone interviews each year as the first step in the interview process for our Graduate, Returners to Work and Ex-Forces Programmes. In other words, we have a pretty good idea of what you need to do to make a great first impression. From our experts, this is how to prepare for an FDM phone interview.

Before the call

There are many things you can do prior to your call to make the experience as slick and professional as possible. Thorough preparation will help make the FDM telephone interview far less stressful, which in turn will help you to perform to the best of your abilities.

Do your research

Make sure you research the company and its history. If possible, it’s always useful to know about the person conducting the interview. Check out the company’s channels to learn about any recent company news and get a feel for the company culture. Find something interesting about them to bring up. By mentioning something that is specific to the company when you get this question, you’ll stand out from others who have generic responses, and it will show your interviewer that you’ve really done your research.

Explore the role and match your skills to the position

You should have received a job description before your FDM phone interview. Your recruiter has read your CV, so you already know that your skillset is in line with what they are looking for. Make sure you have a firm understanding of exactly how your skills and experience align, as well as what transferable skills you may have that would help you in the role.

Have a copy of your CV, notes on the role and notes on the company to hand

With the exception of your CV, you will want to keep your notes short and high level. Make bullet points from your research and use these as prompts to jog your memory. Try to keep paper rustling to a minimum so it doesn’t interfere with the quality of the call and make sure it does not sound like you are just reading everything from a script. We may not be able to see you but, trust me, we’ll know!

Plan out where you will take the FDM phone interview in advance

Picking the best location for your phone interview may seem trivial, but it really is important. I once decided to take a phone interview in a park. It was a nice day, so I figured why not? This was a plan that clearly, I didn’t think through. Speaking over the traffic of the cars driving by, the sirens of an ambulance, a baby crying, and the dogs barking made it incredibly difficult to communicate properly. Here are some factors to consider when picking a location for a phone interview:
  • Noise – Make sure it’s quiet. You don’t want to have to yell over the surrounding noise or ask your interviewer to repeat a question because you couldn’t hear.
  • Comfort – Don’t take an interview outside if it’s freezing cold. By the end of it you’ll be miserable and want it to be over so you can get back inside.
  • Reception – Nothing will ruin a great interview faster than dropping a call.

The tone in your voice is everything

By interviewing over the phone, you leave out all visual aspects that can normally help make or break you. You can’t show professionalism by walking through the door in a nice suit. You don’t get to show interest and intrigue with your body language while answering questions. It all comes down to the tone of your voice. Don’t go to a concert the night before and lose your voice singing at the top of your lungs. Have a glass of water next to you so you can refresh your throat. Make sure you sound confident and compelling in all of your answers in order to make a great impression.

Prepare and rehearse your answers to the FDM telephone interview questions

“Tell me a little bit about yourself” With this question, the recruiter wants to learn more about you. Your responses will give them a good idea of the things you enjoy, what motivates you and your personality. Your response can include a mix of academia, work experiences, and personal achievements. “Why are you applying for this programme?” This tells the recruiter how serious you are about the role you have applied for. No employer wants to hire someone who isn’t genuinely interested in the job they have applied for, and it can be pretty obvious when this is the case. “What do you know about the role?” This question aims to tell a recruiter not only whether you have spent time to carefully read the job description, but what your interpretation of the job and responsibilities are. “Why do you want to work for us?” This may seem like an obvious question but think about all aspects of the company. This could include the company culture, a certain initiative you’ve read about, something you’ve seen on their social channels. There are lots of reasons why you might be interested in a company beyond pay and benefits. “Can you take me through your CV?” This is an opportunity for you to build a narrative around your education, career and extra-curricular achievements. CVs can only say so much, so this is a chance to bring it to life. Furthermore, how you answer this question will show how passionate you are about your achievements to date. “Do you have any questions for us?” Interviews are very much two-way conversations. The process is also a chance for you to decide if you are the right fit for the company and also if the company is for you. We highly recommend asking questions during your FDM phone interview as it shows that you are engaged, thoughtful and interested.

Keep answers short and concise

Without preparation, it can be easy to lose track of your response and ramble on. Remember to keep your answers focused and to the point, avoiding unnecessary “ums” and “ahs”, and try not to let yourself tail off at the end of a response.

After the FDM telephone interview

With the right preparation and effort, you should have a stress free and enjoyable phone interview. It’s always good to take a few moments to reflect on your performance, ask yourself were there any questions you could have answered better? Or were there any that just stumped you all together? Take note of these while they are fresh in your mind and think about how you would answer them better in future. Feeling confident enough to make an application? See what roles we have for you in the business and technology sector today.

Banner image used courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio

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