Phone Interview Tip #1: Its Ok If You Need A Little Time To Answerbut Dont Take Forever
- Thanks for that question. Give me just a minute to consider it before I share.
- I have a few ideas on how to answer. Let me take a minute to gather my thoughts.
- Im not totally clear on what you mean by XYZ. Could you explain it another way?
- Before I answer, can you confirm youre referring to XYZ?
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Charge Your Phone And Do A Test Run
You definitely should make sure your phone is at full battery going inbecause no one wants a dropped call. An hour or so before your interview is scheduled to start, also make sure its working properly and the signal is OK by calling up a friend or family member and asking if they can hear you all right.
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What Is A Recruiter Call
A recruiter call, or phone interview, is a conversation that helps a company understand more about you as a candidate. This conversation typically occurs at the beginning of the hiring process and typically involves questions regarding your experience, skills and qualifications. Incorporating this stage into hiring processes can help companies identify candidates they want to interview in person. Some candidates also use these calls as an opportunity to ask questions about the company or the position.
Talking To A Recruiter Heres What You Should Know About That Phone Call
If your phone interview is actually with a recruiter who found you via LinkedIn or another source, thats awesome! Youll want to keep several things in mind.
First off, this is still an interview. It shouldnt be a formal conversation , but you should still do your research, practice some responses, and prepare your own questions. And youll want to express enthusiasm for the opportunity and speaking with themeven if youre not actually all that interested in the role .
As Muse writer and career coach Jenny Foss points out, you have the upper hand because the recruiter is rooting for you to succeed. So use that to ask for their help and suggestions in moving on to the next round and express clearly your intentions for the role, like your salary demands and ideal set of responsibilities.
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Positioning Yourself In The Webcam
Place the webcam at eye level so that your head and upper torso are visible.
Dress as you would for an in-person interview.
When the interviewer is talking you can look at the screen. When you are talking look at the webcam to simulate direct eye contact.
Make sure that the background is neat and appropriate since the employer will see that on the screen.
Test your lighting to ensure your face is well-lit and there is no bright light behind you. Experiment to find the most flattering lighting and seating position.
Ensure that there is no background noise, like a barking dog, or other interruptions.
Set A Professional Voicemail
In the event you cant answer the phone when they initially call, leave a good impression by having a professional and friendly voicemail. For example, Hi, youve reached Jane. Im sorry I missed your call. Please leave a detailed message and a call back number, and Ill get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.
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Thank The Interviewer For Speaking With You
After you reach the interviewer and make your introductions, thank the interviewer for speaking with you prior to beginning the interviewing process. Here is an example of all steps combined:
Example:“Hi, Ms. Renshaw, this is Gemma, and I’m calling for the scheduled phone interview I have with you today. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me.”
Once The Phone Interview Is Over
After you hang up, grab your pen and paper and jot down a few notes. Write down the questions that you were asked so you can use them to practice for your next phone interview or in-person interview.
You should also make note of how you answered the questions. Which questions did you nail? Which ones stumped you? Analyzing your performance will help you improve for next time.
Finally, you will want to send a thank you note or email to the interviewer. A good thank you note will express gratitude for the interviewers time, communicate your enthusiasm about the job, and reiterate your strongest qualifications for the position.
After reviewing the tips above, you should be prepared to wow any recruiter or hiring manager during a phone manager. Good luck!
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Set Up A Professional Voicemail
Hello? Helloooo? Just kidding, this is my voicemail. Leave a message!
Many of us have fallen for this classic voicemail prank before. One person who probably wont be laughing: the hiring manager or any recruiter that comes calling, for that matter.
Before your phone interview, go to a quiet room and set up a professional voicemail. Stick to a simple, Hi, this is . Im not available right now, but please leave your name and number and Ill get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks!
Also, dont forget to regularly clear your voicemail messages to avoid a full inbox. Nothing is more frustrating to an interviewer than playing a game of phone tag with an applicant.
Getting Ready For The Call
On the day of the interview make sure you have everything you need and youre ready to go. Double-check the details date, time and the name of the person you will talk to. Be sure to know if you need to call in or if the recruiter/employer is going to call you.
If it wasnt a scheduled call and its not a convenient time, dont be afraid to reschedule. Just give a quick explanation that its not a great time and give some good times and/or days that would work best for you for a return call.
Here is a checklist to ensure youre ready to go:
- Confirm the date, time and name of the recruiter.
- Cell Phone is fully charged and has a good signal. Or if possible, use a landline.
- You have a quiet place to take the call
- Your space is free of distractions, such as pets, kids, tv, etc.
- Job Materials resume, job description, list of questions, and list of answers
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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.
How To Prepare For A Job Interview
The Balance / Alison Czinkota
Do you have a job interview on your schedule? Taking the time to prepare for an interview in advance can help you ace the interview and secure a job offer. There are a number of steps you can take before the interview to ensure that you make a terrific impression on your potential employer.
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When Speaking To Hiring Manager/human Resources
- Is there an orientation process for new hires?
- What are my long range possibilities with this job? What is the advancement process?
- Is there potential for professional growth with the company?
- Does the company encourage employees to further their education and improve their skills through classes or conventions?
Communicate With Clarity And Purpose
Speaking out loud before your phone interview can be a great way to shake out your nerves and warm up your vocal cords. This is a great time to practice your personal pitch. Or choose a few lines of something to read aloud
When you answer the phone, say hello and use your first and last name. Its professional, polite and makes it easier for the interviewer to know theyve got the right person at the end of their line. And say it with a smile you want to come across as enthusiastic right from the start!
Interviewing styles vary, so follow the interviewers lead whether theyre looking for a few minutes of casual conversation or want to dive right in.
With phone interviews, its important to be clear and concise:
- Be mindful of your enunciation
- Avoid rambling answers that can lose the interest of the interviewer by keeping your responses brief but comprehensive
- If youre typically soft-spoken, dont forget to project your voice
- If you have a tendency to talk fast when your nervous, slow down
You want the interviewer to be able to understand everything youre saying and have time to process all the details. Pauses can also be a big help here, and save you from using too many disfluencies . Plus, youll be able to better avoid the risk of cutting an interviewer off if you take a quick pause after a question
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Be An Active Listener
Be attentive, ask insightful questions and engage with the recruiter. This will show that youre taking the interview seriously and that you genuinely care about what they have to say. Practicing with friends or family could be greatly beneficial. Make sure youre listening to every word, and follow-up with questions that show you were actively listening to what they were saying.
Answer The Phone Professionally
How you answer your telephone is important since it may be the first impression the interviewer gets of you. Make a habit of always answering your phone professionally if you’re looking for work.
While some phone interviews are scheduled, sometimes recruiters may call unexpectedly. A recruiter may also call during an unscheduled time to set up an interview or to confirm or change an interview time.
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What You Should Never Do Or Say In An Interview
You should never go to an interview without having researched what the company does. The interviewer will almost always ask you why you would like to work for their company, and your answer should include specific details about the company’s goals and ethos.
It is also frowned upon to ask about salary in the first interview. Employers find this to be an indication of being money-driven, despite this being a common question amongst candidates.
How To Prepare For A Phone Interview
Whether youre trying to launch a career, land an internship, or get into your dream school, first impressions are everything. To get an offer letter, youll need to dazzle the interviewer and showcase yourself in the right light.
Before you hop on the phone, check out these pre-interview tips to make sure that youre prepared and ready to impress.
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Put Your Best Foot Forward
Before the big, in-person interview with your future boss in your future office, you have to get through the screening interview. Usually taking place over the phone, though occasionally over video or in-person, a screening interview allows a recruiter or hiring manager to find out more about you and if you could be a good fit for the job. Nailing the screening interview is key, as its the only way to advance to the next interview stage. Acing a phone interview is dependent on a few things preparation and your performance during the interview. Be sure to research a company thoroughly beforehand but keep these tips in mind as well:
Be conscious of time.
Double check when your screening interview is set to take place, and be sure youre aware of any time zone differences. If the time zone was never specified and youre at all unsure when to expect a recruiters call, send an email the day before to ensure you have the right time on your calendar.
On the day of the interview, you should be ready for the call at least 10 minutes before its scheduled time to ensure you answer when the recruiter calls. You dont want a missed call to cut into your interview time, and it doesnt create a great impression if you arent prepared to talk at the scheduled time.
Another tip: Leave a 15 minute buffer scheduled at the end of your interview. If a recruiter is running late, you dont want to end a conversation thats going well because you had a hard time cutoff.
Follow Up With A Thank You Note
Follow up a job interview with a thank-you note or email reiterating your interest in the job.
Consider your thank-you letter as a follow-up “sales” letter. Restate why you want the job, what your qualifications are, how you might make significant contributions, and so on.
This thank-you letter is also the perfect opportunity to discuss anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask or that you neglected to answer as thoroughly, or as well, as you would have liked. Good luck!
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During The Phone Interview
When the time comes for the actual phone interview, the following tips will help you sound more professional and increase your chances of getting called in for a face-to-face interview for the job.
- Avoid eating, chewing gum, and smoking. An occasional sip of water to prevent dry mouth is okay.
- Even though you are on the phone, you will still want to smile. Smiling will change the tone of your voice, which can mean the difference between a positive and a negative image.
- You may want to stand during the phone interview. A standing posture can help you feel more confident and strong, which interviewers will notice.
- Be friendly, but not overly familiar. Never use the interviewers first name unless they specifically ask you to.
- Allow the interviewer to finish speaking before you answer any questions be careful not to interrupt them.
- Keep your answers short and to the point. Remember that you dont have to answer right away, you can take a few seconds to get your thoughts together. Dont nervously fill the silence.
- At the end of the phone call, remember to thank your interviewer. Now is also the time to politely ask if it would be possible to meet in person. Try to set a day and time for your face-to-face session.
Get Prepared For Your Phone Interview
Even though you are not meeting in person, it can still be crucial to get prepared for the phone interview as you would an in-person interview. Research the company you applied to ahead of time, practice how you will greet the interviewer and how you will answer the interviewer’s questions, and keep your resume nearby during your interview for quick reference. Also, it’s a good idea to write down their name in your notes to keep as a reference throughout your interview.
Additionally, write down some questions that you plan to ask the interviewer during the phone call. For instance, write down any questions you have about job duties, required credentials or any other information you would like to know more about.
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Research The Company And The Person Interviewing You
Before the interview, research the companys mission statement, recent news , product/service offerings, and funding history . You should also take time to research the person interviewing you. Look up their LinkedIn profile, Twitter presence, and find their blog or other publishing writing. Take note of the words they use to talk about what they do, and think about how to talk about what you do in a way that will excite them.
Do Some Research Before The Interview
Odds are youve applied to more than one company and its always helpful to know a bit about who youre talking to, from both a professional and a business standpoint.
Double check the job description youre interviewing for.
Google the company. See how theyre doing and what theyre doing.
If you know whos doing your interview you can see what sort of digital footprint they have and find out more about them on a personal level. Look them up on but dont go overboard.
Its never a good idea to send them a Facebook Friend Request before you even have the interviewin fact, its probably not a good idea afterwards either. Maybe in six months when youve already got the job and youre all good friends having lunch twice a weekbut not yet.
The best part about doing this research is it also allows you to tailor your answers when you start getting hit with those interview questions.
Tailoring your answers is the best possible way to ensure that not only are you satisfying what the interviewer is asking, youre positioning yourself to be the best possible candidate for the jobor, dare we saythe perfect candidate!
Remember as youre pouring over all those notes you culled about the company and what they stand for that your ultimate goal is to be everything they need in a candidate and that means making sure your answers are specific, targeted and tailoredin a nutshell, customized.
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