While texting and emails may have reduced our reliance on the telephone, as a doctor or medical professional looking for work abroad, it’s important to keep your phone conversational skills sharp. Seldom will you actually be face to face with an interviewer, though video interviews may feature down the recruitment process, and it may be the first (and only) impression your potential new employer has of you.
We’ve worked with thousands of medical professionals to help them into new roles, and here are 5 things you should keep in mind when getting ready for a telephone interview.
Tone: When having a face to face conversation with someone, you don’t need to really think about the tone of your voice… whether it’s playful, serious or concerned, tone flows naturally, and goes hand in hand with your body language and taking in the non-verbal cues in a conversation. When speaking on the telephone, you don’t have any of those other things to keep your tone in line with the nature of the conversation. Have a practice phone call with someone you trust and get them to give you their honest opinion of how you come across over the phone, and whether you need to adjust your tone.
Inflection: Similar to the tone you use, your inflection is one of the key elements in conversation that lets the person on the other end of the telephone know whether you’re asking a question or making a statement. Whether it’s their turn to talk, or whether you’re just pausing for thought or emphasis. It can interfere with the flow of the call if you and the interviewer are constantly talking over each other, asking questions at the same time or if there are prolonged silences because you don’t know whether to wait or whether to start speaking. Practice phone calls work well here, too!
Stand up and move: Sitting stagnant at a computer desk will make you prone to distractions while on the phone. Checking emails, scrolling through Facebook or simply reorganising the stationary drawer in your desk will all take your brain away from what you’re supposed to be focusing on – the interview. Get a great quality Bluetooth headset so that you can get up and walk around while you’re on the phone, using the added benefit of hands free to gesticulate and speak as if there is someone right next to you.
Smile and be present: You don’t need to grin ear to ear like a maniac while on the phone, but an internal smile that you let radiate outwards will help you to listen, to think, and to respond with mindfulness. It seems to be a buzz word these days, mindfulness, and even if you don’t consider yourself a ‘soft touch yoga type’, it’s the practice of being in the moment, and of appreciating what is happening in the immediate moment. That means not thinking about what you’re going to have for lunch, not worrying about whether you’re going to get to the drycleaners on time or how to respond to that difficult client email you received earlier in the day. Be present.
Place-cards / Name-cards: We know that if you’re interviewing for one job, you’re probably interviewing for multiple. And that’s ok. But what’s not ok is getting the details of the job mixed up with another opportunity you have on the go. Prepare for you interview by writing the key details of the position, including the interviewers name, on a cue card so that you can refer to it and be confident you know who you're talking to. Better yet, research the interviewer and their agency on LinkedIn as well as the company you are interviewing with, so that you can ask relevant questions at the end of the interview.
Need assistance with relocation? Thinking of working abroad or interstate? Scope-Medical is a Specialist Medical Recruitment Agency focusing on bespoke services for Registrars, Consultants, Clinical Directors, and Executives into positions across Australia and New Zealand. Give us a call today to discuss your needs on +61 3 8060 5181.