Essential Information But Questions That Could Be Postponed To Ask During The Interview:
You will typically need to ask these questions only for your first interview with an employer, unless the employer is very large and you are interviewing with different divisions which may have a different process and expectations.
What hours are employees expected to be at work?
This is particularly important for nonexempt/hourly jobs, but its important in considering your commute and other details of your personal life. Ill never forget accepting a job, but not learning that the start time was 8:15 AM rather than 9 AM until being told for my first day of work. That was a big, unpleasant shock.
Can this job be performed remotely all, or part, of the time?
If a remote job is something you want or need, then asking the question now will enable you to determine if you want to interview for the job. Often, working remotely starts after you have worked at the jobs location for a few months and had an opportunity to learn how things are done and get to know your boss and co-workers.
Are any pre-employment tests required for this job ?
Learn if there is any pre-employment testing or other standard, related tests every applicant must take to qualify you for the job. They may be a standard part of the hiring process for this employer or this job. Knowing in advance will help you prepare and also decide if you want to proceed.
Do NOT ask about drug tests unless you want to look like a drug user.
Learn The Interview Schedule And Participants In Your Interview Plus Employers Typical Interviewing And Hiring Process:
Most of these questions apply to every interview, even with the same employer. The same job may have different processes for different parts of the organization.
What is the typical INTERVIEWING process for this job?
Will there be one, two, or three MORE interviews for this job with different levels of management and/or different parts of the organization?
If this set of interviews goes well, when can you expect the next round of interviews, and the one after that?
Who will be interviewing me, and how long will these interviews take?
You want not only the names of the interviewers, but also the job title and location of each so you can prepare by learning more about them before the interview. You need to know the length of the process so you can be mentally prepared and plan your day.
What type of interview is it?
It could be a phone interview, a one-way video interview, a two-way video interview, a one-on-one interview with you and the HR rep, or a hundred other options. Learn which one this is so you will understand what is involved. Surprises can be disturbing.
Sometimes several job candidates are interviewed at the same time by one or more interviewers. Sometimes, many job candidates are interviewed individually in short, quick interviews .
Often, you will be interviewed one-on-one with the recruiter or HR, followed by a sequence of one-on-one interviews with other members of the staff and the hiring manager.
The Bottom Line On Questions To Ask Before An Interview:
This discussion can take five minutes or less, but you are demonstrating your attention to detail as well as ensuring that you can show up at the right place at the right time for the interview. Hopefully, the answers to these questions will enable you to be well prepared for the interview with a good idea of the questions you need to ask.
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Follow Up After Your Phone Interview
Finally, after you end the call with the interviewer, follow up with a thank you message to show your appreciation and to reiterate your enthusiasm for the job. Not only is sending a follow-up message proper interview etiquette, but it can also increase your chances of being invited for an in-person interview.
Learn more:Writing a Follow-up Email: Tips, Template and Example
What To Say When Calling For An Interview
Online job boards and help wanted ads aren’t the only places to find job openings. If you’re having trouble locating vacancies in your field, you don’t have to wait around until an ad matching your qualifications is posted. Instead, you can “cold call” companies you’d like to work for, asking for an interview or inquiring how you can be considered for a position. Effective cold-calling requires the ability to get to the point quickly while showing respect for the employer’s time.
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Take The Call In The Right Environment
When getting ready for your phone interview, make sure that you have a quiet environment free of distractions. If you live with other people in your home, request that they go to another room or move your conversation to a more private space. You can also use a separate room where you can close the door to reduce noisy interruptions.
Related: 25 Phone Interview Tips To Get You to the Next Round
Email Subject Line When Responding To An Interview Invitation
Any time you receive an interview request/invitation, simply keep the subject line that the employer used and press reply to respond.
The employers line will often include important details like the job and possibly company name, and you dont want to remove that info.
This will help employers quickly identify your reply and see your availability quickly.
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How To Respond To An Invitation For An Interview
Once you’ve received this invitation, what should you do next? Start by giving yourself a moment to celebrate your accomplishment! Many jobs have tons of applicants, so it’s a big deal to make it to the interview stage.
Once you’ve spent some time feeling proud of yourself, respond to the email.
Aim to respond promptly. Ideally, you will send your email response the same day that you receive the invitation to demonstrate your enthusiasm to be interviewed.
Follow Up After The Interview
As the interview winds down, make sure to thank the interviewer:
- Ask for the interviewer’s email address, if you don’t already have it.
- Send a thank-you email immediately, thanking the interviewer and reiterating your interest in the job.
- You can also use your thank-you note as a way to provide information on anything regarding your qualifications that you didn’t get a chance to mention during the phone interview.
When the interview is over, carefully review any notes you were able to take during the conversation. Jot down the types of questions you were asked, how you responded, and any follow-up questions you may have if you have an opportunity for an in-person interview or a second-round phone interviewor even a job offer.
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How To Invite A Candidate For Interview By Phone
Communicating with candidates by phone makes your approach more personable. But, when your purpose is to schedule an interview, phone calls can create confusion. People may forget what was said if they were in a hurry or didnt take notes. Also, candidates may feel uncomfortable taking this type of call if theyre at work.
Email is more convenient and allows you to provide details about your interview process. State your purpose and your companys name in the subject line to ensure that candidates will open your email.
After your initial email, you could send a text to confirm candidates appointments or send them directions to your offices.
If Theres No Job Available
If the employer doesnt have any openings, ask about meeting for an informational interview. During an informational interview, instead of asking for a specific job, you gather information about what its like to work at the company. You can also ask for referrals to other companies or other departments within the company that are hiring. If youve persuaded the employer youre qualified, he may happily recommend you to other employers or may remember you when a job opens up later.
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Confirm The Details Of Your Interview
Before a phone interview can take place, make sure you confirm all the details of the interview with the organization. For instance, confirm the date and time that the interviewer plans to call you so you can be prepared ahead of time. Confirming the details of your phone interview also ensures that all professionals involved are aware of the schedule.
Related: How To Schedule the Best Time to Interview
Its The Candidates Responsibility To Call The Hiring Manager/interviewer
For a phone or Skype interview, its the candidates responsibility to call the hiring manager/interviewer.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
- One, it shows that the candidate is able to take responsibility for being on time and initiating the call
- Two, the hiring manager is likely far busier and, therefore, its easier for them to lose track of time.
When the candidate takes the initiative to start the call, it shows that they have good time management skills and that they pay attention to details. Whether or not its been specified that they should be the one to call, it paints them in a good light.
If the candidates initial call or Skype session goes unanswered, they should call again within a few minutes. Its quite possible that a previous interview or meeting went a few minutes over the scheduled time. Call or Skype in again at least twice to ensure that you connect.
Founder & CEO, SignWell
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Why Haven’t You Heard Back From An Interview Yet
Sometimes, a few weeks go by without any response while well-meaning friends give their career advice on how long to wait after an interview before moving on. There are various possible reasons for this long wait that don’t mean that you’re out of the running for this job. The most obvious one is that the company is probably still interviewing other candidates, especially if the position is open to worldwide applicants. Don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer about the approximate time-frame to hear feedback before leaving the interview to help yourself from obsessing about the response time.
When it comes to waiting after an interview, keep in mind that the hiring process is complicated and requires input and approval from many people prior to completion. If one person is away on vacation during the hiring period, they might have to wait for them to return before making the decision. Additionally, big projects could come up unexpectedly, requiring the hiring manager to shift their focus from the job interviews. Sometimes, hiring could also be put on hold for months due to budget cuts. This is why it’s important to follow up instead of assuming that you’re not good enough for the job. If you’ve followed up and not heard anything for weeks, then it’s time to move on gracefully and explore other opportunities.
Not hearing back from your job interviews? Let one of our TopInterview coaches and career experts help you out!
How To Reply To An Interview Invitation With Availability
The best way to reply to an interview request is to thank the employer, confirm your interest in having an interview, and then share your specific availability.
Then, end the email by telling them that you look forward to speaking.
Also, if youre replying to a phone interview request, then provide the best phone number for them to reach you.
If they invited you to a video interview instead of a phone interview, then ask which video platform they plan on using . That way, you can get familiar and prepare. If its Skype, you can provide your ID. If its going to be a Zoom interview, theyll set up a meeting and provide a link.
Note that if youre job searching while unemployed and are available at practically any time, it can look better to provide a couple of specific timeslots.
For example, if your schedule is wide open, you could reply to the employer with this availability:
Tuesday Wednesday, 11:00 am 5:00 pm Eastern Time
Thursday Friday, 8:00 am 3:00 pm Eastern Time
Im not suggesting that you make it overly complicated when responding to an interview request. You want to make it easy for the employer to schedule your interview when you reply to an interview request.
Im just suggesting that it may not look great to say, Im free all week. Just pick a time.
As an optional step, I also like to add a line that says, If these days and times dont work, please let me know and Ill shift my schedule to find another time.
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Example Response Emails For Interview Invitation
Once you checked your schedule and are ready to respond to the interview invitation, you can write a short email reply. Heres a template for your response that you can edit and make your own. For this first example, well write a response to the sample interview request above:
Thank you for reaching out. Id love to join a phone interview with the team. This week, Im free Wednesday from 1:30 pm to 4:45 pm, or Friday from 8:30 am to 12 pm. If those times dont work, Im free Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30 pm to 5 pm next week. The hiring team can reach me at 123-456-7890.
Ive attached a list of my references contact information and a copy of my resume. Please let me know if theres anything else you need from me.
Thank you again for the opportunity to interview, and I look forward to speaking with the team!
Phone Interview Tip #: Understand Who’s Calling
Some Phone Interview Questions You Might Get:
- Tell me a little bit about your work history.
- Why are you looking to leave your current company?
- What is the biggest challenge you have seen at your current position and how did you overcome it?
- Describe a substantial win in your last position.
- What was your favorite/least favorite element of your last position?
- How can you contribute to our companys success?
- How well do you work by yourself, with a team?
- Why are you interested in coming to work for us?
- Why are you attracted to this specific position?
- What makes you the ideal candidate for this position?
- When can you come in for a face-to-face interview?
- Are you willing to relocate? If we don’t provide relocation assistance, are you still willing?
- What are your salary requirements?
- How far along are you in your search? Are you speaking to other companies?
- Tell me about in your resume.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What questions do you have for me?
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Smart Questions To Ask Before The Interview
To prepare for your interview, ask these questions in advance of the interview. Usually, it is best to ask them in a phone call so you can ask appropriate follow-up questions and have all the information you need.
Asking these questions and knowing this information can help you be better prepared for the interview. Knowing the answers to these questions can also help you decide if you really want this job.
Generally, I recommend accepting an invitation even if you arent sure you want the job simply because you will learn more about the job and the employer in the interviewing process to help you make an informed decision.
You may find the opportunity is better than you originally thought. Or not. You will gain more experience in interviewing, helping to reduce your stress and improve your interview performance, and also learn more about the employer and industry.
If you are working with an external recruiter , you may or may not receive answers to all of these questions from that recruiter.
If you are working with an internal recruiter , they should know the answers to these questions or be able to find the answers for you.
Be sure you have the name, job title, and contact information for the person who answers these questions for you so you can send a confirming message after the interview is set-up.
This person may or may not be your contact during the entire hiring process.
Be Flexible With Scheduling
Be flexible with dates and times, and consider the hiring manager’s schedule. You may currently work full time or you may have a tight schedule with children or activities. Look at your calendar and consider what can be rescheduled so that you may compromise with the employer about an available date for an interview. If you need to take a sick day or personal day from your current job, inform your current employer as soon as possible to avoid a problematic situation.
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The Interviewer Should Be The One Calling The Job Applicant Every Single Time
The onus is more on the interviewer to be ready for the interview at a fixed time.
There could be applicants who dont respect time. They might drop in late or never appear at all. This can be used to assess their possibilities of landing the job. But an interviewer who doesnt respect time is bad branding for the company.
In Skype and Zoom, its the meeting host who has privileges like meeting recording, etc.
So the interviewer must make use of this privilege to document the meeting. A recorded version is always helpful in having another pair of eyeballs assess the applicant.