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How To Best Prepare For A Phone Interview

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Practice With A Mock Interview

9 Phone Interview Tips – How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

Are your interview skills a little rusty? Participating in mock interviews is a great way to rehearse your answers and work out some of the kinks in your interview strategy before the call.

Stop by your schools career center and ask if they offer phone mock interviews. Just be aware that they may record the phone call so you can listen to yourself afterwards. Although this may sound torturous, listening to yourself speak can be extremely effective at helping reduce those dreaded ums and uhs on a phone call.

If youre not affiliated with a school, consider reaching out to a former boss, coworker, or mentor and asking if you could run your job experiences by them. This is a low-pressure way to practice your interview skills plus, its an excellent opportunity to get back in touch.

Find A Quiet Comfortable And Convenient Place

At home, this may mean locking yourself in a room thats away from family, roommates, or pets. At work, this may mean booking yourself a conference room or Breather, finding a coffee shop nearby, or settling for your car or a quiet side street. Wherever you decide to go, scope it out a day or two early for all the necessitiesa comfy seat minimal distractions, interruptions, or foot traffic good phone service and an outlet if possible.

Do You Know The Industry

Whether youre interviewing for an outbound or inbound position, youll need to be familiar with the product or service the company in question provides.

The company will train you to fully understand their product, of course, but any experience relating to their field or industry is a plus, and you should showcase it accordingly.

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Tell Me A Little About Yourself

Sometimes, the objective of a phone interview is to convince the interviewer that meeting you in person will be a good use of their time. In responding to this question, its important not to waffle. Keep your answer brief and highlight aspects of your career that are relevant to the specific role at hand and demonstrate the skills that the interviewer is looking for.

Hire And Develop The Best

Prepare for Your Phone Interview with These Tips

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Can You Perform Well Under Pressure

Working under pressure is an integral part of customer service. Therefore, a call center interview will try to get an idea of how well you do when faced with a complex and pressing issue.

The interviewer might role-play with you, or ask you a variant of the following questions:

  • How would you cater to an angry customer?
  • What would you do to calm down a customer who is shouting?
  • How would you help a customer who is refusing to take your advice?
  • How would you react to negative feedback?

Again, your potential employer isnt trying to catch you out. While there are some phrases to avoid when faced with an angry customer, the interviewer isnt going to immediately disqualify you if you dont perform perfectly. They want to see if you can remain calm and efficient under pressure, and if you have the inter-personal skills to defuse a conflictual customer service situation.

The skill to turn an irate customer into a happy camper is an invaluable one. Lower your voice and tone, bring the customer down to your own level of intensity to regain control of the exchange.

Tell Me About The Best Supervisor You Have Had In Your Career What Did You Like About That Persons Management Style

Hiring managers may ask you this question to understand how well you might fit in with this positions supervisors. Use this opportunity to honestly and openly describe the type of manager you prefer to work with every day.

Example answer: Over the years, I have worked with many different supervisors and managers. While I pride myself on being versatile enough to work with many personalities, I am most successful when a manager tells me what the result of the work needs to be and then allows me to determine the best way to reach that goal. I prefer a manager who is available to answer questions when I have them, but who doesnt attempt to control every aspect of the job.

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Interview Questions About You

These questions are asked both to assess your level of self-knowledge and to determine whether you would be able to fit in with the employers workplace culture. The interviewer wants to know whether you’re the right person for the job and for the company.

Potential Second Interview Questions

BEST Phone Interview Tips | How to prepare for a phone interview

The biggest difference between first interview questions and second interview questions really lies in the type of question that you are asked.

Generally speaking, in the first interview the company will want to get a feel for the type of person you are, and the questions they ask will emulate that desire.

But in the second interview, you can expect there to be more specificity regarding the position itself as well as a bit more prodding to determine how well you will fit the culture of your potential new team.

Having said that, this is not set in stone.

Every company goes about the questions a little bit differently, so you really need to be prepared for any type of question in both the first and second interview.

Having fun yet?

One thing is for sure at this point in the game employers are really trying to make sure youre a good fit, so expect that these are going to be tougher than the first round.

Read through these questions and come up with your answers. Weve given an example answer for the first two to get you started. If you need some more help learning how exactly to formulate a perfect interview answer, head over to our blog post Job Interview Questions and Answers 101.

  • Why should we hire you?

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Get Some Questions Ready

At the end of every interview, you typically have a chance to ask the hiring manager a few questions. Make sure you have a few ready to go. That way, you wont be at a loss when that moment arrives.

If you dont know where to begin, ask them to describe a typical day in the position. You can also ask if theres anything preventing them from considering you the top candidate, giving you a chance to address any concerns head-on.

Check out our article for more questions you can ask the hiring manager!

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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.

Why Do You Want To Work Here

Tips To Prepare For Telephonic Interviews

Your phone interviewer might ask why you want to work at the company to get an idea of whether or not youve researched the company, what motivates you and whether your values align with those of the business. To answer this question, research the company by visiting their company page, their website and recent press releases or news stories. Select a few key items from your research that align with the company. For example, you might be inspired by their mission, interested in their product or excited about their growth in the industry.

Example answer:After building my career managing hospitality staff, it has been my ultimate goal to work for a hotel that not only values the growth and achievement of their employees but also maintains an exquisite, affordable experience for their guests. I read your recent press release about implementing a truly innovative rewards program for guests at all levels, even those visiting for the first time. Your company continues to set precedence for quality service and experience, and I am looking for a career working toward that kind of mission.

Read more: Interview Question: Why Do You Want to Work Here?

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Prepare Several Thoughtful Questions For The Interviewer

Many employers feel confident about candidates who ask thoughtful questions about the company and the position. You should take time before the interview to prepare several questions for your interviewer that show youve researched the company and are well-versed about the position. Some examples of questions you could ask include:

  • What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?

  • Why do you enjoy working here?

  • What qualities do your most successful employees have?

  • Ive really enjoyed learning more about this opportunity. What are the next steps in the hiring process?

Related: Interview Question: Do You Have Any Questions?

Create A Location That Puts You At Ease

At a face-to-face interview, youve got to suit up and show offand roll with whatever accommodations they offerusually a grey, sterile, fluorescent-lit office. With a phone interview, you can set the scene that makes you as comfortable as possible. This doesnt necessarily mean you should do it from bed, wearing sweats and a t-shirt. In fact, some people actually feel more professional dressing up a bit, even if youre dialing in from home.

Whatever youre wearing, or wherever you choose to take the call, make sure to find a quiet spot with good service at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time. If you have a landline, use it.

Limiting background noise will help you stay focused during the interview and will not be bothersome to the person who is interviewing you, adds Wesper.

If youre video conferencing, make sure to find a spot with a great connection, or even better, use an Ethernet connection to minimize the chance of disconnecting half-way through. Find a neutral location with good lighting. Dont sit in front of a window. This creates a silhouette and youll most likely be in shadows the entire time.

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Practice Using Mock Interviews

Practicing for an interview is one of the most effective ways to prepare yourself, relieve your anxiety and improve your confidence. This may be a tedious exercise, but the effort is worth it. You can ask your friends or family members to help you conduct mock interviews. If you don’t have anyone you could ask for help, you can use the mirror and practice your questions and answers out loud. Practice a few times because the more you practice, the better you will perform during the actual interview.

Learn About The Position

How to prepare for a phone interview

Before you come into the interview, be warned: the interviewer will certainly ask you a variant of the classic, why do you want to be a call center agent? opener.

The most straightforward job interview questions can be the trickiest ones to answer honestly and successfully. Think about why you applied for the job in the first place, and why you feel you would be a good fit. Are you looking to learn new skills? Hone existing ones? Work remotely? Attain stability and earn a promotion to a more qualified position? All of these are valid goals which reflect what attracted you to this position. Expressing them during the interview will demonstrate drive and direction.

Its also an opportunity to light-handedly showcase your skill set. If you enjoy the human aspect of customer service, the thrill of the chase that comes with sales, or any other specific aspect of the job which highlights a skill of yours, nows the time to mention it. But dont be ham-fisted about dropping hints of your own prowess, itll come off as conceited.

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Proper Phone Interview Etiquette

Review these guidelines for appropriate phone interview etiquette, so you make the best impression on your interviewer.

Answer the phone yourself. First, be sure to let family members and/or roommates know you are expecting a call. When you answer the phone, respond with your name. You can say, “This is Jane Doe” or “John Smith speaking!” That way, the interviewer will know they’ve reached the right person. Make sure to use an upbeat tone of voice .

Follow the interviewer’s lead. Some interviewers may wish to engage in a few minutes of small talk. Others may want to get right into the interview. Let the interviewer steer the start to the conversation, but be prepared to talk about the weather or make other small talk.

Listen carefully to the interviewer and don’t start speaking until the interviewer finishes the question. If you have something you want to say, jot it down on your notepad and mention it when it’s your turn to talk. It can also be helpful to jot down the question .

Don’t worry if you need a few seconds to think of a response, but don’t leave too much dead air. If you need the interviewer to repeat the question, ask.

The Best Ways To Prepare For An Interview

A study from JDP reports that applicants spend up to seven hours researching the company before their interview. Many candidates also research their interviewer. Because interviewing is often stressful, 70% of those survey practice their responses out loud, and 62% prepare anecdotes to share with the interviewer.

Here’s how to research the job and company, how to practice interview questions and answers, how to dress for the interview, how to follow up after the interview, and more interview preparation tips.

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Do You Have The Right Disposition

There are certain traits which recruiters look for in a potential hire. These qualities are common to all successful call center agents, and will be sought after during a call center interview. These include patience, empathy, attentiveness, and solid communication skills. Therefore, the interviewer may present you with the following challenges:

  • A written test of your attentiveness, deductive reasoning, and capacity for retention.
  • A test of your oral expression and fluency.
  • A role-playing exercise with a pretend caller, to observe your ability to close a sale, solve a problem, or otherwise handle a realistic customer service situation.

If the interviewer asks you to walk them through your way or greeting a customer, or making a sale, or answering a question, dont get flustered. Remain calm, polite, and err on the side of formality. Introduce yourself, understand the customers needs, and cater to them as best you can.

It can be daunting to be tested on the fly like this. The important thing to remember is that your unpreparedness is what is being tested, not your polish. The interviewer isnt trying to confuse you or catch you out. They simply want to get a feel for your natural phone presence, not for your academic knowledge. There will be plenty of time to train a successful applicant later during the call center interview the objective is to show that you are efficient and promising.

If You Were Hired How Soon Can You Start

Preparing for a Phone Interview

Oh boy. If youre an out of area hire and are required to relocate, this answer is far from a simple one.

First off, dont ever answer with Now! Not only will you come off as desperate, but if youre already employed with another job, youre going to have to do the right thing and give notice.

Its easy to get intimidated and over-commit to an early start datebut the worst thing you can do is give a date to a new employer and then have to ask for more time. Not the right way to start out your long and mutually beneficial working relationship! Then you have to factor in the actual logistics of making a move.

Even one just across town can be as daunting as one across statesor in some cases, countries! Depending on the size of your move you could be looking at anything from a few days to a few months.

Again, be honest!

Many employers, if theyre genuinely interested in hiring you, will have programs in place to help you relocate and ease the burdens that come with a full move.

If they dont, make sure to take that into consideration as well. Words to the wisealways ask for MORE time than you initially think youll need. Trust us, in the long run, its far better to have more time than you need than to run out and have to ask for an extension.

One thing NOT to focus on during an initial phone interview is salaryat least not until youve had a chance to read our article When And How To Discuss Salary During The Job Interview Process.

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