I dread selling myself over the phone.
As an easy conversationalist, I am never afraid to pipe up and give my two cents’ worth when I meet a stranger. Not on the phone, though, when my performance drops by about 25%. On cold sales calls, I often fumble and stumble such that I am quite amazed the person on the other end of the line actually agrees to see me.
In a face to face chat, I pick up visual clues that give me comfort and confidence to communicate smoothly. And they just aren’t there over the phone.
I don’t know what I’d do then if I had to meet the challenge of the latest change in phone interviewing!
In an effort to speed up the recruitment process, companies are replacing the traditional phone interview with one where there is no human at the other end. You listen to a series of standard behavioural questions such as, ‘Give us an example of a time when you…’ and you leave your answer. It’s a bit like voicemail.
In 2018 the internet job site Indeed offered employers a set of text and audio-based skills tests including the option for a one-way phone interview. This is free for employers so it’s likely to quickly spread to smaller companies.
Larger companies are tapping into the services of companies such as Talytica.com which offers ‘automated machine scoring of 11 emotions and sentiments’. Sounds a bit like an oxymoron to me – a machine that rates emotion. What strange times we live in!
Some candidates do prefer one-way phone interviews to video interviews and apparently, there is a higher take-up rate for this new style of interviews.
However, if you are a hiring Manager wanting to jump on board, think twice about using remote phone interviews for senior roles. Executives usually have high expectations about how they are treated in the recruitment process. They expect professional respect. Watch that they don’t hang up in disgust at having to respond to a disembodied voice down the end of the line. You may well alienate your best prospects.
One of my friends told me recently she had thought that my blog about video interviews was a bit of a beat up and that it was never likely to happen to her. Then it did. She had to scramble madly to prepare and said later that she had not performed at all well. And this is someone who usually wins every job she applies for!
It’s time to prepare so that you are not taken unawares.
Above all, manage your voice. In a face to face interaction, it is commonly quoted that your voice conveys 38% of the impression you make on a stranger. Over the phone, that figure soars to 75%.
Talytica.com delivers candidate ratings based on passion, charisma, tenacity, optimism and excitement. It measures ‘Mood’ covering features such as Arrogance, Happiness, Self Control. It also rates how well the person scores as a ‘Team player with Emotional Intelligence’.
How well do you think your voice sells the above qualities?
By the way, Talytica.com also offer sample questions that they recommend to clients, so it’s worth having a quick quiz. Forearmed is forewarned, as they say!
When I last recruited a Practice Manager, I wanted someone with quite a different personality and skill set to me. Yet, research tells us that many Managers seek to hire someone like them and that bias taints many recruitment activities.
Now, companies and recruitment agencies are starting to take bias more seriously. Mainstream recruiter Hudson, for example, is using software from a company called PredictiveHire to reset their practices.
Candidates are asked questions via text and this information is used to create a personality profile. There’s no résumé, no names and no bio information.
The software is also currently being used by internal recruiters, who report that they find it more efficient as well as more effective. They argue it allows them to streamline mundane elements of their job so that they can focus on more value-added activities.
How on earth can you prepare for something that supposedly uncovers the essence of who you are?
My clients are constantly horrified by what I say.
Not, of course, because I make any offensive remarks, but because they have allowed themselves to get out of date with current job search techniques or critical career issues.
These latest changes are an eye-opener even to me this time. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be adding remote phone interviews and personality profiling to the list of current recruitment practices when talking to my clients about what may lie in wait for them the next time they apply for a new role.
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