Wednesday, April 10, 2024

How To Answer A Phone Interview

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Greet The Individual Who Answers The Call

Phone Interview Tips – How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

First, greet the individual who answers your call. For instance, a receptionist may be the professional who you greet, and they need to know your purpose for calling and who you are contacting. Introduce yourself to the individual by stating your name and the reason you called. Likewise, the interviewer may answer the call personally. In this case, follow the same procedure of introducing yourself and your reason for calling.

Example:”Hi, I’m Gemma, and I’m calling for a scheduled phone interview for the accounts payable clerical position.”

Example:”Hello, this is Gemma, and I’m calling regarding our scheduled phone interview today.”

Mistakes To Avoid When You Reply To Accept An Interview

If you read the tips above, you should know how to respond to an interview request to get an interview quickly and make a great impression at the same time.

However, there are some BIG mistakes you need to avoid while doing this, so I want to make sure you know those, too

First, dont let your interview invitation sit for too long. You should try to respond within 24-48 hours if possible. You dont need to be checking email constantly, but dont leave the company waiting for a week, either.

Also, dont respond without taking the time to indicate at least one day or time that would work for an interview. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate that you take initiative and are a great communicator. So Id recommend providing multiple days/times to help them schedule the interview.

Next, always proofread your email! Having a typo or mistake in your email probably wont cost you the interview , but it does make a poor impression.

So always check your email for mistakes before sending it! Proofread from top-to-bottom, and bottom-to-top. Thats a good trick that will help you catch more errors!

And finally the biggest mistake of all going into the interview without preparing! It takes a lot of effort to find a good position to apply to, submit your resume and paperwork, schedule an interview, etc. Right?

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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What Is A Phone Interview

A phone interview, or phone screening, is an interviewing process that recruiters sometimes use as a way to evaluate a candidate’s fit for the job. Success in a phone interview often leads to an in-person interview, and hiring managers may use a phone screening to eliminate unqualified candidates.

Typically, phone interviews are scheduled calls from the interviewer, but sometimes candidates are required to initiate the phone interview by calling the recruiter at a predetermined date and time. For instance, candidates may be expected to call a specific office number to initiate the interview if it involves a group interview with several managers, or if the interview takes place within a conferencing platform.

Other times, interviewers are the ones to initiate the call from their office phones, typically due to the convenience of scheduling interviews during working hours.

What Type Of Screening Interview Questions Will I Get Asked

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Generally, the phone interview process will involve you will getting asked motivational and behavioral interview questions, such as: Tell me about yourself, What skills and experience do you have that are a match for the role, Tell me what you know about our company?, What are your strengths/weaknesses?, and also Tell me about a time when you worked as part of a team?. These are just some of the phone interview questions you will get asked.

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Take Notes And Ask Questions

Take notes and ask questions during your phone interview. For instance, take notes on specific requirements for the job or additional resources to help you prepare for the role if the interviewer mentions them. Similarly, if something is unclear to you, ask the interviewer about it. You can add their clarification to your notes for later reference.

Prepare For The Interview Experience

Many of todays phone interviews are conversations held over Zoom. Others are just over the phone. In either case, you want to keep a few things in mind:

  • Find a quiet place to talk where no one is likely to bother you. Look for an area where the dog barking isnt going to distract you, either.
  • Grab some paper and a pen to bring with you to jot down notes.
  • Be sure to have a phone thats easy to hear, and that does not cut out all of the time. You dont want to appear difficult to understand.
  • Make sure you speak clearly through the phone. You want to be sure you sound confident, too.
  • Be sure youre seated and feeling at ease as much as possible before the interview.
  • Talk clearly but slowly. Dont rush through the answers to the questions.
  • Make sure you are without distraction. Turn off any notifications on your phone.

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Top 20 Phone Interview Questions And Best Answers

Are you prepared for a phone interview? What will the interviewer ask you? Before you interview in person with a hiring manager, you may be asked to take part in a brief phone screen interview.

If you’re interviewing for a freelance or remote position or for any job with a virtual hiring process, you may have a longer and more in-depth interview. In these cases, a telephone interview may be the only actual interview you’ll have.

Phone interviews are conducted just like in-person interviews. They are used by hiring managers and recruiters as a tool for screening candidates for employment.

Have The Documentation You Need At Your Fingertips

Phone Interview Questions and Answers Examples – How to Prepare for Phone Interviews

Having easy access to the company and job information will allow you to confidently respond to questions without fumbling regarding which job you are talking about.

So have a copy of both the job description and a copy of the resume or application you submitted in front of you before the interview starts.

Also have the notes you made during your research questions to ask about the organization. Having questions which are specific to the employer will impress them with your interest and your attention to detail.

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Phone Interview Tips That Will Land You A Second Interview

By Jeff Gillis


Your resume is stellar, your application was impeccable, youve caught a potential employers attention and now they want to get to know you better.

In years gone by that would have meant an in person interview but in todays increasingly busy digital world, many preliminary and some final interviews are being held in a wide variety of mediums including on the phone.

A phone interview? As in, we talk on the phone and not actually in person? As in, they have NO idea what Im actually wearing during the interview!? This is AMAZING!

Great, right?

FREE BONUS PDF CHEAT SHEET: Get our “Phone Interview Questions & Answers Cheat Sheet” that gives you word for word sample answers to the most common phone interview questions that you can use in your next phone interview.

Nothing like an interview for your dream job where you can lounge around in your pajamas, secretly watching TV out of the corner of your eye and, gasp, maybe even surf the web at the same time and update your status to Kickin it in my footie jammies knockin out my interview!

Nothis guy isnt ready for his phone interview!

Not so fast. Yes, its true, your future boss might not need to know that youre on the other end of the line in your favorite Scooby Doo flannels, but that doesnt mean that you shouldnt treat the phone interview as seriously, if not more seriously, than any other standard interview.


No buts.

More seriously? Is that even a thing?

End The Call Effectively

If the interviewer is bringing the call to an end without discussing the next steps, speak up! Express your enthusiasm for moving forward, saying something like this:

Thank you for your time today. Ive enjoyed speaking with you, learning more about this opportunity, and I would be very happy to discuss more about it in person.

Ask if email is the best method for staying in touch .

If an in-person interview is not scheduled at the end of the call, find out when and how you can follow up with the employer.

Be sure to ask for contact information of the person, or people, who will be your contact.

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Are You Willing To Relocate

This is a logistical question for interviewers to weed out anyone whos immediately not a good fit purely based on where theyre located. This doesnt mean they wont consider letting you work remotely or paying for you to relocate if they really want you and can make it workbut it certainly gets considered when choosing between two great candidates.

What Do You Consider To Be Your Weaknesses


This question may produce some level of worry or anxiety. Your interviewer wants to see you recognize areas needing growth and positively frame them. Be sure to discuss your weaknesses and how you plan to address or compensate for them with a related strength.

Example Response: I sometimes come across harshly with my feedback, but I am working on constructively sharing feedback and highlighting positives along with the areas that need improvement.

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Questions To Ask The Recruiter Or Hr At The End Of The Phone Interview

At the end of the interview, the recruiter will usually ask if you have any questions for them. This is your opportunity to get any questions or concerns about the position answered. Youre interviewing them as much as theyre interviewing you.

Asking the recruiter questions that are specific to the job youre interviewing for also demonstrates interest and enthusiasm, so its important to have a few prepared. While the questions you ask may differ depending on the industry and role youre applying for, here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • What do you personally enjoy most about working for your company?
  • What do you find most challenging about working for your company?
  • What do your best workers do to succeed?
  • Can you tell me what a typical day in this role would look like?
  • How do you evaluate success in this position?
  • What will you have expected me to achieve after the first year in this role?
  • Is there anything else you need from me to help you make your decision?

Last but not least, its important to be mindful of time. If the interviewer scheduled 30 minutes for the interview, and 25 minutes have passed, then make sure to ask only 1-2 questions so you dont take too much of their time. Alternatively, if time allows, let the interviewer decide whether to go over the allotted time. Also, be sure to ask to ask questions. The interviewer needs to know you are gathering information to make sure this is a good fit.

Proposing An Alternate Phone Interview Date

If the date and time suggested for a phone interview do not work for you, you will need to propose an alternative time. Briefly explain that you have a conflict at the time the caller proposed and tell him when you are available.


Hi Mr. Gregory,

Thank you for calling me to schedule a phone interview for the marketing position at XYZ Corp. Unfortunately, I am not available at the time you proposed. Would we be able to schedule a phone interview on either Tuesday or Thursday at 4:30 p.m. instead? If not, please let me know another time that works for you.

Whichever way you respond to a phone interview request, do it promptly. This confirms your interest in the position and ensures you dont lose your interview spot to another candidate.


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The Dos And Donts Of Phone Interviewing

  • DONT take the call in a car, outside, or anywhere noisy
  • DO answer the phone with a professional tone Hello this is
  • DONT smoke or chew gum during the call
  • DO take notes and have your own notes handy prior to the call
  • DONT take a long time to answer the questions
  • DO allow the interviewer to interrupt you and ask follow-up questions
  • DONT forget to prepare questions to ask the interviewer and write down new ones as youre talking
  • DO prep for the dreaded salary question ahead of time in a mock interview
  • DONT talk too quickly. Breath and make sure to enunciate
  • DO make sure youre distraction-free to so you can focus and listen. You can scrub your counters later.
  • DONT forget to send a post-interview thank-you note

Ultimate Guide To Preparing For A Phone Interview

Best Phone Interview Tips – How to pass a phone interview with a recruiter

Its really exciting to get an email from a prospective employer indicating that they may have an opportunity for you and that they would like to do a phone interview. As soon as that thrill happens, you may suddenly feel a sense of worry. Is this something you can do? How will you be prepared to nail it? Having a few tips can make a big difference in your success during a phone interview.

Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley can provide you with lots of help. Here, well answer some of your questions and provide some tips on how to prepare.

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How To Start A Phone Interview

Employers commonly use phone interviews as a way to screen job candidates to find out if they meet the job requirements. This method can be beneficial for finding and inviting only qualified candidates to attend additional in-person interviews. If you are anticipating a phone interview, the way you answer the call and start your conversation can impact the interview’s overall success. In this article, we discuss effective ways to answer the call and begin a phone interview, along with tips to start the conversation and increase your phone interview success.

How To Handle Unexpected & Unscheduled Phone Screen Interviews

When the unexpected call happens, you can take one of two approaches accept the call, or ask to reschedule because you are unable to talk at that moment.

The best approach is to ask for a better time when you are in a quiet, safe environment, have your notes in front of you, and are mentally prepared for the interview.

Good interviewers usually schedule the interview in advance.

Sometimes the calls come out of the blue when you answer your phone!

If you currently have a job, do NOT take this call in your workplace! Your boss or a co-worker may interrupt and may also discover your job search, putting your job at risk!

Most recruiters and employers will understand that their timing may not be right and be willing to reschedule. Dont ask to reschedule to a date in the distant future. Choose some time within the next few hours or next day, if possible.

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How To Prepare For The Phone Interview

If you think you can prepare for your phone interview a few minutes before the call, think again.

As a former talent recruiter and current VP of people for M1 Finance, Maria Selvaggio can always tell when a candidate is winging it. Their answers wont be as concise and they will often trip up on questions about the company.

You can tell when someone is prepared, Selvaggio said. They know a little bit about what you do as a company, theyve got three questions prepared and theyre able to communicate .

Most phone interviews cover three topics your background, your achievements and challenges, and what you can bring to the company. Before your interview, you should review the job description and come up with examples from your own career for each requirement bulleted, said Margaret Buj, who works as an independent interview coach, as well as a tech talent recruiter for Typeform.

You can tell when someone is prepared. They know a little bit about what you do as a company, theyve got three questions prepared and theyre able to communicate .

She also suggests having a story for every item on your resume. The interviewer doesnt need you to repeat it line by line, but having stories ready can add more context to your accomplishments.

But perhaps the most important thing you can do to prepare for your phone interview is practice. Type out your answers and then rehearse them in front of the mirror or with your family and friends, Selvaggio said.

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