Practise Answering Common Interview Questions
Companies usually conduct interviews in stages. While the initial interviewer may come from the human resources department, the next individual you meet with may be the department manager. Interviewers from HR may ask general or behavioural questions that can give you the chance to highlight your soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and leadership. Here are some examples of questions they may ask:
Tell me about yourself.
What do you know about this company?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Why do you want to work for our company?
How have your previous experiences prepared you for this role?
Why do you think you can do this job well?
What makes you qualified for this job?
Can you work with a team?
How are your communication skills?
How do you deal with a stressful situation?
What are your short-term and long-term plans?
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
How do you evaluate yourself?
Have you experienced conflict with your colleagues? How did you handle it?
You may consider practising answering these commonly asked general questions to prepare for the real interview. Doing this can help you be more confident and act and respond more naturally during the interview. To answer these questions, you may use the STAR method, which stands for situation, task, action, and result. Many candidates use this to structure their answers to appear more coherent and meaningful.
What Is Your Salary Expectation
Many interviewers will ask this question during a phone interview. This helps them narrow down the candidate pool to those whose expectations match the salary range they have within their budget. Research common salaries for the position within your state to determine an appropriate response, should this question come up.
Listen And Dont Dominate The Conversation
Yes, this is an interview which means theyre going to be asking you questions, but its also an opportunity to show your potential employer that youre good at listening too.
Talk, but dont dominate the conversation. Let the interviewer guide the conversation.
Answer the questions, but dont turn it into a one sided monologue. This is as much about you getting to know them as it is about them getting to know you.
Keep a pencil and paper nearby so you can jot down questions and notes and save them for the end.
Ask a few follow up questions but dont flip the interview onto the interviewer. It helps to reinforce to the interviewer that youre truly interested in the company and the job and that youve paid attention during the interview.
Have a copy of your resume with you so you can reference it at any time. Keep your answers honest, thoughtful and reflective.
Make sure you breathe and speak clearly.
Most importantly, smile! Sure, they might not be able to see it, but your tone of voice will reflect it.
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What Kind Of Job Environment Do You Feel Most Productive In
The recruiters perspective: This question is really about trying to determine culture fit and whether or not youre going to thrive in the companys work environment. Not every environment or culture is going to work for everyone, and thats OK. Being honest about what environment works best for you is going to be best for everyone in the long run.
Interviewees have a tendency to tell the interviewer what they want to hear, but being honest and direct about what you need for your own happiness and productivity is going to keep you at the job a lot longer.
The answer: Interviewees have a tendency to tell the interviewer what they want to hear, but being honest and direct about what you need for your own happiness and productivity is going to keep you at the job a lot longer. If youre new to the workforce, ask yourself where you go when you need to study. What types of groups do you like working with on projects? If you play sports, what role do you usually play on the team? Every answer will be different, but its important to think about the environments where youve been the most productive and that brings out the best in you.
Be Prepared To Discuss
The call isnt only about candidates answering your phone screening questions. Its also a great opportunity for you to clarify details about the position and the hiring process. Make sure that, by the end of the call, candidates understand fully what the role is about as well as what the next steps are. If youre a recruiter, this means youll have to spend some time talking to the hiring managers so that youll be ready to give a clear explanation of the role.
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Do’s And Don’ts Of Phone Interviews
Related: Interview Stage: Screener/Phone Interview
In this video, Jenn, an Indeed Career Coach, provides a comprehensive look at the interviewing process and shares tips on how to position yourself for success during the screener/phone interview stage.
During the interview process, it’s common practice for employers to begin by hosting a brief interview over the phone. Since the interviewer cannot see your facial expressions or body language, it’s important that you adhere to phone interview etiquette. Learning about acceptable and unfavorable practices can help you ace your upcoming interview. In this article, we explore a list of 14 do’s and don’ts of phone interviews.
Research And Prepare For Interview Questions
Its important to remember that youll need to prepare in the same way as you would for a face-to-face interview.
Research the company and think about examples that showcase your transferable skills and any relevant experience.
Be familiar with your CV or application form. Think about any talking points and questions you want to ask.
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Prepare A List Of Questions To Ask The Interviewer
Before the interview ends, some hiring managers and human resources interviewers may inquire if there are questions you want to ask them. This practice allows them to assess your interest in and commitment to the position for which you applied. You may prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer in advance. Asking good and smart questions demonstrates your professionalism and may result in a positive impression on the side of the interviewer. Here’s a list of examples of questions you may ask during the interview:
What’s the most important function of this role?
If given the role, how do you measure performance and how often does it occur?
What does a typical day look like in this role?
What are the usual challenges for this role?
What opportunities will I have to grow and develop?
If given the role, what do you want me to accomplish for my first six months?
Can you describe the team I will be working with if given the position?
Can you describe the company culture?
Are there any office or company traditions?
What are the next steps after this interview process?
Get Clear On The Details
This means knowing:
- The time of your phone interview
- Who exactly youll be speaking with and their role
- What number theyll be calling from
- What number theyll be calling you at
- Any other contact information you may need if the call drops
If this wasnt spelled out to you, just ask! Theres nothing wrong with getting some clarity on something that affects both of your schedules .
You can send the following email:
Im excited to speak with you on ! I just wanted to double check what time were chatting at and what number youll be calling from. Please let me know if theres anything else you need from me before our call.
Thanks so much!
Or you can follow up on your previous conversations with:
Just confirming were chatting on at and youll be calling me at /Ill be calling you at ? Let me know if I have that schedule wrong.
Oh, and if you need to reschedule for whatever emergency reason, use this email template and be proactivein other words, dont wait until the last second to cancel if you can help it.
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Print Out Other Relevant Documents
In addition to your cheat sheet, it might help to also print out a copy of your resume and cover letter, as well as any other information you think you might need to reference . As Muse writer Aja Frost points out, the interviewer may bring up points you made in these documents, and youll want to know what theyre talking about.
Treat This Experience Like A Face
A phone interview is a professional interaction and should be treated as such. Use a professional tone, and if you feel nervous on the telephone, practice the interview process on someone else. You should be confident in what you are saying and asking. Be clear and concise with your interview questions and responses to the candidate. Consider interviewing in a quiet place so you can concentrate.
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Benefits Of Conducting A Phone Interview
Phone interviews are an essential part of the modern hiring process, offering convenience for both the jobseeker and Hiring Manager alike. While in-person interviews will remain an essential part of the hiring process, most applicants have come to expect an initial phone screening prior to an in-person visit.
Being able to conduct a phone interview offers the following advantages.
Consider Scheduling A Mock Interview
You may seek the help of career advisers or counsellors when practising for a job interview. The practice session with a career coach simulates the actual interview process. After the session, they provide feedback and constructive criticism regarding your interview skills. This technique can equip you with the right attitude and knowledge necessary to be successful in a job interview.
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Phone Interview Questions About The New Job And The Company
- What interests you about this job?
- Why do you want this job?
- What applicable attributes / experience do you have?
- Are you overqualified for this job?
- What can you do for this company?
- What do you know about this company?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What challenges are you looking for in a position?
- What can you contribute to this company?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Is there anything I havent told you about the job or company that you would like to know?
Introducing Your Website In Your Phone Interview
Once youve been able to set up your site, this is how you bring it up in a phone interview
Traditionally, near the end of the interview the hiring manager will say something like, Is there anything else that you want me to know that we havent covered in this interview?
Now is your chance!
Id love you to check out my personal website JeffGillis.com. It will give you a great idea of the work I have accomplished, the experiences Ive had and most importantly, the type of person youll be getting if you decide to hire me for this position.
In doing this you will not only give the hiring manager a much more engaging and interesting experience, but youll also show what an intelligent, dedicated and forward-thinking individual you are.
Sounds like someone I would want to hire!
So there you have it! If you follow the tips above , you can almost guarantee to have the interviewer eating out of your hand even if they arent in the same room as you.
Once thats all done and youve hit send on that thank you note, reward yourself for an interview well done!
And yes, now that youve knocked that phone interview out of the ballpark and youre confident in your tailored answers and thoughtful questionsgo ahead and put those Scooby Doo flannels back on!
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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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Why Does This Job Excite You
You may not be asked this question in exactly these words, but at some point youll have the chance to talk about why you want the job. So think it through: Why did you apply? What in the description makes you think, Wow, I hope I get this!? What does this job have that your current job doesnt and that you want?
Focus on the specific role and fill in two or three reasons you want this job in particular. For example, maybe youre looking for a job with more client interaction or maybe youre passionate about the industry this company is in. Articulating your reasoning here will also help you talk about why youre leaving your current role if asked, since its best to keep your answer positive and put an emphasis on what youre looking for in the future rather than what you didnt like about the past.
Regardless, steer clear of saying youre excited about a position for the pay. Its unspoken that youd be getting money to do the job. But every job pays. Your interviewer wants to know why you want this one. If you have a logistical reason for applying, such as having to relocate to a different city with a partner, its fine to bring that up, but make sure its not the first or only thing you mention.
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Resist The Urge To Multitask
It might be tempting to cross something off your to-do list while on a phone interview, but recruiters and hiring managers can easily tell if your attention is elsewhere. âMy number one pet peeve is people who decide to multitask while on the phone interview,â says Dan Krupansky, Talent Acquisition Manager at PrimePay. âI have heard candidates washing dishes, making lunch in the microwave, going for walks, letting their dog out, and grocery shopping during the interview. I even had one person use the bathroom and flush the toilet while speaking with me.â Needless to say, this doesnât reflect well on your level of interest in the position youâre interviewing for.
Dont Talk About Your Personal Life
…Unless youâre directly asked a question about what you like to do in your off hours. âThe point of a phone interview is to focus on getting to know a candidateâs professional experience and goals,â says Mckenzie Roark, campus talent specialist at Lithko Contracting. âA recruiter is trying to qualify them to see if they are the best fit for a role, and learning about their personal life doesnât help. For example, when asked where you see yourself in five years, we donât want to know that you hope to be married or that you want to buy a new house. That is nice but that isnât relative to anything professional.â
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Consider Your Salary Expectations
Many employers ask about your salary expectations. Research the average salary in your industry when considering what youd like to get paid, but be reasonable. Its also wise to offer them a salary range within $5,000. For example, Im hoping to make between $60,000 and $65,000. This will let your interviewer know that you are flexible.
Remember This Is Only The Preliminary Round
Do ask questions at the end, but this is not the time for a discussion about salary, training and start dates. You may find that the telephone interviewer is working on behalf of the employer to do the initial screen of applicants and cannot answer detailed questions about the job and company. If you progress to the next stage, you will have a chance to assess the company in more depth.
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Preparing For A Telephone Interview
Being prepared for your telephone interview can give you the best chance of advancing through the hiring process. The following steps will enable you to gain composure and perform well during a telephone interview:
Proper planning. Planning for possible questions during an interview can provide you with the confidence to answer them intelligently. As you prepare for potential questions, think about how you will answer them. Also, think of relevant questions you might want to ask the interviewer, such as what the daily office environment is like. While doing so, be sure to avoid asking questions whose answers you could find with little research. Instead, ask questions that are relevant to you.
Research. Try to find as much information about the company and the open position as possible. Be sure to visit the company’s website to identify their organizational structure, markets, future plans, products and services, size and competitors.
Practice. Conducting a practice phone interview might be a great way to prepare for the actual interview. If possible, try getting family members and friends to call you and ask various interview questions.