Wednesday, May 15, 2024

How To Have A Great Phone Interview

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Top Tips For Owning Your Next Phone Interview

How To Do A Phone Interview Successfully – Phone Interview Tips

Since we haven’t descended into SMS texting interviews quite yet , phone interviews are still a regular staple of the job hunter.

Today I’m telegraphing over some top tips for owning the phone interview.

  • Find a good location. Make sure you are in an area with good cellphone reception , where it’s quiet enough to hear and calm enough to give the interview your full attention. So, definitely not a Trader Joe’s on a Sunday afternoon or a Starbucks during school vacation week.
  • Do your research. Take time to familiarize yourself with the company–check out their website, take a look at their blog, and get a general sense for what they’re all about .
  • Stalk your interviewer on LinkedIn. Add your interviewer on LinkedIn and see what they’ve been up to. What school did they go to? What were their past jobs? Do you have any similar interests in common? You never know, you may find a great point of connection. Most people won’t mind if you bring up this LinkedIn-sleuthing directly–in fact, they may appreciate that you took the time to learn more about them. It’s not like you found them on Tinder.
  • Prepare notes . One great thing about phone interviews is that you can create a little cheat sheet for yourself, just like that coveted 3×5 index card you were allowed to bring to your high school final exams. Go ahead and jot down questions, and outline answers to common questions or other info you want to make sure you mention.
  • Are Long Interviews A Good Sign

    If you find the interview going on much longer than the given time, its a sign of a good interview. Many hiring managers are busy and interviewing a number of candidates takes serious time. Therefore theyre unlikely to spend excess time speaking with you unless theyre genuinely interested in hiring you.

    Follow Up If You Dont Hear Back

    If you dont hear from the hiring manager in a week or so, dont hesitate to follow up to see where they are in the process. They may still be conducting interviews and thus have no updates for you, but checking in keeps you top of mind when they go to narrow down candidates.

    It could look something like this:

    Hi Jen,

    I hope all is well! It was really nice speaking with you last week.

    I just wanted to follow up and see where you were in the hiring process for the sales development representative role. Im still very interested in and excited about this opportunity, so please let me know if theres anything else you need from me to help in making your decision.


    For more help on writing this follow-up email, check out this article and this one.

    Also Check: How To Prepare For An Engineering Interview

    Telephone Interview Tips: Dos And Donts

    Recruiters call me on my cell phone

    More and more companies are turning to telephone interviews as their ideal way of screening candidates. But aside from treating it the same as a regular interview , how can you make sure youre best prepared when you finally get the call?

    Weve already covered some common phone interview questions, but to help you stand out, here are some of our top telephone interview tips:

    Dont Rely On Resources

    Do you have a phone interview? Don

    Relying on responses from the internet might not be the best option. You dont want to look up the best interview responses and control + find questions youre asked. This could cause awkward pauses and an unnatural conversation.

    Instead, do your research prior and prepare for what youre going to say. If you move forward to an in-person interview you wont be able to have resources in front of you so its best to practice now.

    Don’t Miss: What Will I Be Asked In An Interview

    Phone Interview Tips: 10 Keys To Succeed In A Telephonic Interview

    • Prepare notes
    • Practice your answers
    • Smile let interviewer hear your enthusiasm
    • Speak clearly
    • Keep the discussion conversational
    • Follow-up with thanks

    Here are 10 phone interview tips to help you ace your phone interview:

  • Choose a good spot: Companies generally tell you in advance when they will be calling. Choose a room where you can speak without disruption. Shut out other noises like TV and radio, take the kids away and lock the room from inside. Ask your family members not to disturb you when the interview is in progress. Get a good phone — preferably a landline. You dont want calls to drop at this time.
  • Keep documents handy: Get a hard copy of your resume and cover letter and keep it ready. Keep pen and paper handy to take down notes. You could even keep your laptop on in case you want to refer to the Internet. But take care to be discreet — dont hammer away loudly at the keys of your computer.
  • Use a cheat sheet: One of the great advantages of a phone interview is invisibility. Prepare for expected questions in advance and jot down points on a piece of paper. Write clearly and legibly since you will be referring to it under pressure.Practice the answers to expected questions beforehand and prepare for any derivative question that may arise as well.
  • Say thank you: Dont forget to say thank you, even if the interview has gone badly. Some experts even recommend sending a short thank you note to the interviewer a day after the interview.
  • This Is The Perfect Opportunity To Practice Your Active Listening

    The great thing about phone interviews is that now you can showcase to the interviewer how great of a listener you are. People seem to have an issue with listening and staying focus at times and as an interviewer, youre not always sure if the person youre interviewing is really listening.

    As the person getting interviewed, take this time to practice active listening. Meaning using little quips and repeating back their statements to let them know you are actually listening and understanding what is being said.

    This shows that you are someone who doesnt just hear things being said but youre intensively listening to what they have to say and gathering the necessary key elements in the conversation.

    Ryan Underwood

    Digital Marketing Executive, YourParkingSpace

    Also Check: How To Act During An Interview

    What Are Their Salary Expectations

    Its an unfortunate fact but the majority of applicants will typically stretch the truth slightly in response to this particular question. Its also important to ascertain what salary they are currently on.

    So you might also want to ask, If I were to ask to see a pay slip, what salary will it indicate you are on now?. Whilst it might cause an awkward silence or a nervous cough, you are more likely to get a straight answer.

    If you dont ask this particular question you may end up bringing a candidate in to meet you whose salary expectations are drastically misaligned.

    Waste. Of. Time.

    Ask What The Next Steps Are

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

    Prompt the interviewer to communicate what happens next in the interview process. As well as clarifying any steps you yourself need to take, it also shows that youre keen to hear from them and still interested in the role.

    Chances are, unless youre interviewing for an international job, your telephone interview will be the initial round of interviews, so getting details like the above right should improve your chances of being called back for a second interview.

    You might find it easier to stand during your telephone interview, it can help keep you alert, but if youd prefer to sit down, avoid a comfortable sofa and instead opt for an office or desk chair. Good luck!

    Recommended Reading: How To Prepare For A Podcast Interview

    More Phone Interview Questions

    Here are 15 more phone interview questions you may encounter:

  • Tell me about a time when you failed on the job. What happened, and how did you move forward?
  • Can you describe your ideal work environment?
  • Tell me why you feel you are a great match for this position.
  • What did you enjoy most about your last job?
  • Can you tell me about a time where you went above and beyond at work?
  • What did you enjoy least in your last job?
  • Which of your accomplishments are you proudest of and why?
  • What makes you stand out from other candidates?
  • Do you prefer working as part of a team or independently?
  • Can you walk me through your resume?
  • How would your last manager describe you as an employee? What about your coworkers?
  • They Referred To Your References

    References are imperative to landing a full-time permanent position these days. They can give you that distinct advantage over the dozens of other candidates who have similar skills, education and experience.

    In other words, if you and your competitors went to comparable schools, attained the same degrees and put together the same length of time in the workforce, but you have a recommendation from a high-level, well-known and respectable executive that they dont have, then you have the advantage.

    How do you know? If the employer refers to your references early on by noting how they know such and such person or they are deeply impressed by the kind words of so and so.

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    Find A Brightly Lit Room

    Your interviewer needs to be able to see your body language and facial expressions during your Zoom interview. Choose a room with good lighting, so they can easily see you. Setting your interview space facing a window that lets in a lot of natural lighting is a great way to make yourself more visible. Setting up with a window behind you can cast shadows on your face and make you appear to look like a silhouette.

    Experiment With Memorization Methods

    How to Have a Great Phone Interview

    Memorizing is often misused in the process of studying. Some people memorize whole sentences, paragraphs and lectures without grasping their essence.

    However, memorization can be useful when you need to learn definitions and classifications really quickly. Dont avoid this technique if you want to fill your brain with information without wasting any time.

    Try this if you want to memorize more and faster: How to Memorize More and Faster Than Other People

    Read Also: How To Thank An Employer For An Interview

    Prepare Your Own Cheat Sheet

    Like all good interviews, its not just about answering questions, but asking the right ones as well.

    The right questions not only help you get information you might need to make an informed decision regarding the job, but it also helps confirm your qualifications as the ideal candidate for the position.

    Ask about the different aspects of the job and express genuine interest and excitement in the opportunity.

    Take the time to make sure that this is the organization you want to work foritll save you a ton of heartache and headaches in the long run.

    Dont be afraid to dig for more details about the position and the company.

    Ask questions about the job that werent covered in the job postingask about specifics and get details.

    You need to know exactly what youre getting into before you say yes to the job

    Make sure you prepare your own list of questions before you start. Make sure your questions are thoughtful and have a purpose.

    Need some examples to use or ideas to kick start your own list? Check out our Top 14 Questions to Ask In An Interview blog post.

    Remember though to keep these questions short and sweet. Again, remember, Its not about you, its about them. How can you fulfill their needs?

    Eight Tips For A Successful Telephone Interview

    Many employers choose to screen the first round of candidates by conducting a telephone interview, before choosing a more select group to invite to a face-to-face meeting. While you might think that an interview over the phone sounds easier than a formal meeting, theres still a lot to think about.

    As well as considering the logistics , make sure youve thought about the following tips for a successful telephone interview:

    Recommended Reading: What Are Phone Interviews Like

    What Are Common Second Interview Questions

    Here are some interview questions that often come up during a second interview and that you should be ready for :1. What is it about this job that interests you?2. What do you want from your career and how does this job fit into that?3. Can you give an example of your problem-solving abilities?4. Can you give us what you think are your three most important qualifications for this position?5. Why should we hire you?

    Is A Second Interview A Good Sign Will I Get The Job

    TOP 10 PHONE INTERVIEW TIPS! (How to PASS a Telephone Interview!)

    First of all, getting a second interview is always a good sign. Obviously not all candidates get a second interview so clearly the company is showing interest in you. Having said that, it depends on what exact stage of the interview process youre in and what kind of position youre interviewing for. For example, getting a second in person interview is more impactful than getting an in person interview after a phone interview Whether youll get the job after the second interview really depends on the position and company youre interviewing with. For important roles in large companies you could have a series of interviews.

    Also Check: What Are Some Questions To Ask During An Interview

    What Are Your Weaknesses

    Examples of weaknesses related to your work ethic might include:

    • Leaving projects unfinished.
    • Providing too much detail in reports.
    • Shifting from one project to another
    • Taking credit for group projects.
    • Taking on too many projects at once.
    • Taking on too much responsibility.
    • Being too detail-oriented.

    Tell Me About Yourself

    The key here is to be concise. The best answers to this interview question will be 90 seconds or less.

    You want to answer in chronological order start with how you got into your current line of work or career path. Then talk about key accomplishments youve had along the way, key career moves youve made and why. Also include any promotions youve received.

    Try to mention at least one thing that will make you memorable and stand out .

    And then finish your story with your current situation. Describe what youre looking for now in your job search, and why.

    See below for a full sample response, or read our full article on how to answer tell me about yourself.

    Example response:

    I graduated five years ago with a degree in Chemistry. I took a job with Pfizer and was promoted after three years to lead projects in their cancer research division. Ive been in this Project Manager role for two years now and even won an award for outstanding leadership this past year. Everythings going great, but Id like to take my career to the next level by finding opportunities to lead larger teams. I saw on your job description that you mention this is an opportunity to lead teams of 8-10 people, so I was eager to learn more.

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    Engage Candidates In A Conversation

    Once you learn how to conduct a phone interview in the most effective manner possible, youll be better able to narrow down your candidate pool more quickly. But dont overlook the opportunity to create a connection with every candidate. Your initial goal should be to build rapport with candidates before asking technical or in-depth questions about their experience.

    While you may get well-worn responses, consider icebreaker-type questions that build rapport, such as:

    • Tell me about yourself.
    • What do you know about this company?
    • What attracted you to this job?

    Keep in mind that your role in the onboarding process starts with the interview. Just as you are assessing the candidates job skills over the phone, they are also assessing your organization.

    What Is Your Current And Expected Salary

    Telephone Interviews: Good vs. Bad
    • It’s a quick filter, in two ways. If an applicant is making well above what you offer, you shouldn’t move forward with them. People almost never go backward on salary, and when they do, they rarely work out in the long term.
    • It tells you how senior they are. For example, a software developer making $100k and one making $150k are fundamentally different candidates.
    • It tells you how you should interview them. A candidate at $100k would fail the $150k candidate interview, and the $100k candidate interview would be too easy for the $150k candidate.
    • You will get some important data. If, after interviewing several candidates for a position, you find that all of them are making more than what you’re offering, you will know that you need to rethink your offer.

    If you decide to ask the salary question, make it the first one out of the gate – they’ll be more likely to give a good answer.

    Tip: If they won’t give an expected salary at first, come back to it. It’s a crucial piece of information, because if there is no way to get a financial fit for the candidate, it will be hard to get them to accept the job, and you’ll end up wasting a lot of time.

    Also Check: How To Prepare System Design Interview

    What Are You Passionate About

    Understanding what you are passionate about or what motivates you might help employers decide whether you might be a good fit for the position. If you are passionate about helping people, for example, and are interviewing for a largely independent role with little interaction with others, the position might not be a good fit for you. To answer this question, think of broad ways you are motivated both in and out of work. Consider how your passions might align with the role.

    Example answer:Im driven every day by the ability to create beautiful, innovative experiences for users all over the world. There is so much helpful, valuable digital information on the web. Designing it in a way that is easy for people to consume makes me feel like Im truly making a difference for people to access whatever it is that helps them live to their true potentialeven if only in a small way.

    Read more: Interview Question: What Are You Passionate About?

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