Align Your Skills To Their Needs
Before a phone screen you should reread the job ad and align your skills to their requirements. I mean you should have already done that in the first place when you were applying but I wont presume too much…
Be able to rattle off quick examples from your experience or skills that tick off the specific job requirements. You may not even need to use them but it’s good to have them up your sleeve if the chance presents.
Plus if they don’t come up now they will definitely come up in the next interview.
Ask Questions And About The Next Steps
The notes youve taken will help you to know which questions to ask at the end of the interview. Pay attention during the interview so you only ask about what hasnt been mentioned
After asking questions, be sure to ask about the next steps if they are not mentioned. Then thank them for their time and let them know you look forward to hearing from them.
Use The Star Technique
When responding to situational questions like challenges you experienced at work and projects you have accomplished, also known as a behavioral interview, follow this strategy introduced to me during my internship. According to this strategy, such questions are best answered by using the STAR Technique. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
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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.
Prepare Questions You Want To Ask
Interviewers want to know youre interested in the position youre applying for. Display your interest by asking insightful questions at the end of the interview. Some questions you could ask include:
What will my daily responsibilities include?
What is the workplace environment like?
What is your favorite part of working for the company?
Read more: 17 Best Questions to Ask Your Interviwer
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Exaggerate Your Emotions A Bit On Screen
For the same reason, you want to practice being emotive during the interview. Unless you have a sophisticated set of earphones, the audio gets compressed and you lose many of the undertones, which convey emotions, he explains. So you need to exaggerate those a bit. He suggests practicing with a friend on video to get some feedback about the setting, your tone, and your body language. Your goal is to appear natural and at ease. You might record yourself answering a few sample questions and watch how you appear. But dont do this if youll just focus on everything youre doing wrong. Again, you dont want to make yourself so self-conscious that it hinders your performance.
Convey Warmth During The Interview
The crisis has made people more eager to connect with colleagues on an emotional level and your interviewer may have a higher expectation about how much warmth you convey during the interview. Markman recommends that you follow the lead of the interviewer on small talk, but it may be appropriate to ask the interviewer how they and their loved ones are doing right now. And you should have a good response prepared for the same question should it come back to you. He suggests something like, Thanks for asking. Im doing as well as possible under the circumstances. You dont need to go into unnecessary detail.
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Rehearse Ahead Of Time
Experiment with how you might answer common questions. When we get nervous, we tend to start monitoring ourselves. Since youll be able to see your own image as youre talking during the interview, youre likely to get distracted. Staring at a face especially your own will make you lose your train of thought, says Markman. Be sure to rehearse in the spot where you plan to do the interview so you can see how you look. If you cant stop looking at yourself when you practice, you might want to close the window with your image in it. You dont want to be self-conscious to the point of distraction. But it can be useful to occasionally look at yourself during the interview, says Markman, to make sure you dont have a tag sticking out or something.
How To Prepare For A Phone Interview
You may think its simply making sure your phone is loud enough to hear it over reruns of Friends as you contemplate changing out of your pajamas into fresh pajamas. But if you really want that job, youll want to take it as seriously as any in-person interview. These are our top phone interview tips.
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Phone Interview Tips That Will Help You Get Hired
While you’re job searching, it’s important to be prepared for a phone interview at a moment’s notice. Many companies start the interview process with a phone call to discuss the job opportunity with a prospective employee, determine whether the candidate is a good fit, and to gauge his or her interest in the position. In some cases, a phone interview may be the only interview you’ll have.
In many cases, your interview will be scheduled in advance by email or phone. In others, you may receive a surprise phone call asking whether you’re available to chat about the job.
You never know when a recruiter or a networking contact might call and ask whether you have a few minutes to talk, so always answer the phone professionally, especially if the number is unfamiliar.
You should also make sure that your voicemail message is professional.
Why Companies Use Phone Interviews
Employers use telephone interviews as a way of identifying and recruiting candidates for employment. Phone interviews are often used to screen candidates to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews. A phone call is a relatively quick, low-effort way to determine whether a candidate is suitable.
They are also used to minimize the expense involved in interviewing out-of-town candidates. For remote positions, a phone interview may be the only option.
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How To Answer Phone Interview Questions
Once youve done your research and you have your talking points written down and practiced its time for the actual interview. The question is, whats the best way to answer hiring questions? Here are some suggestions for how to answer phone interview questions.
- Dont be afraid of silence if you need a minute to form an answer.
- Get comfortable. This will help you relax.
- Speak slowly. Quick, nervous speech leads to more stammering and mumbling.
- Take it easy. If they didnt think you were qualified they wouldnt interview you.
- Practice pauses before the interview. Each time you want to say um stay silent instead.
- Familiarize yourself with your notes. They will help you stay on message.
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
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Set A Friendly Voicemail Message
Ideally youll actually pick up the phone when the interviewer calls. But in case you cant for whatever reason, youll want to make the best impression you can offlineand this means setting up a professional voicemail message.
Try something like: Hi, youve reached . Im sorry I missed your call. Please leave me a detailed message and Ill return your message as soon as possible. Thanks!
How To Nail A Teacher Phone Interview
Opportunity may call rather than knock on your door.
A teacher phone interview can be challenging. Your success depends on your ability to present yourself as a competent, professional, warm, and enthusiastic candidatewithout being able to see your interviewers!
Further reading: Highlighting Your Past Teaching Experience in Interviews
Schools today often screen candidates by phone before following up with a face-to-face meeting. Schools facing teacher shortages may even use phone interviews as substitutes for in-person interviews.
You can prepare yourself for a successful phone interview by planning ahead and knowing what to expect. Here are some tips to help you nail your next phone interview.
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Prepare Your Interview Materials
Obviously, you dont need a binder or portfolio of your work during a phone interview, but you should have a few things on hand to help you answer interview questions:
Your resume Sure, you remember that you worked at that horrible prom dress boutique right out of college, but during an interview, you might blank on specifics that actually matter, like the specific metrics that earned you a major bonus for completing a huge revenue project. Play it safe and keep your resume handy.
Your cover letter If youre actively applying to jobs, youve probably written 50 or so versions of cover letters by now. Resurrect the cover letter you wrote for this job so you know exactly what you said that got them interested.
Focus And Cut Out All Distractions
Make sure youre not distracted. Turn off the TV. Let me repeat that. TURN OFF THE TV.
Nobody wants to ask you about your past performances and work history and hear Sponge Bob in the background. Dont think putting it on mute is good enough either. People can tell if youre distracted and delaying your answers to a potential employer because youre reading the crawler at the bottom of FOX News isnt going to score you any points.
Get comfortable, but dont get too comfortable.
Find a good spot to sit down and have all your prep materials nearby for easy access.
Sit at the kitchen table or at a desk.
Dont lay down. Dont slouch. Make sure distractions are not going to be an issue.
If youre doing the interview at home and youre not alone, make sure everyone knows youre going to be busy for a bit and to give you some privacy. Put the dogs outside. Pop in a video for the kids. Have your spouse keep everyone calm. At the very least go into a room where you can shut the door and focus on the task at hand.
So, now that youre up and dressed, lets get ready for that interview!
First and foremost, make sure youre presenting yourself in the most professional way possible, from the very first Hello, all the way to the Goodbye.
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Remember The Interview Starts As Soon As You Leave The House
The interview starts long before you shake hands and sit down around the table. You never know who you might bump into as you get off your bus or train , or enter the companys building for all you know, your interviewer could be in the same coffee-bar queue as you. So make sure you project a friendly, confident, professional air from the moment you set off.
Doubtless youll have made sure you arrive early. Give yourself time to have a comfort break and make sure youre hydrated. Make conversation with the receptionist, switch off your phone and take in your surroundings you might notice something that will make a useful small-talk topic later. Dont try and cram in any last-minute facts you want to come across as calm and organised, not flustered and under-prepared.
When The Phone Interview Goes High Tech
Some job candidates may be asked to interview using a conferencing software like Skype. In USA Today, Alexandra Whittaker says that if you have a Skype interview, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the application by practicing with a friend. “Play around with everything beforehand,” she says, “so that when it’s interview time, you can shine without being distracted by the program.”
Here are some other Skype etiquette tips:
In a Skype interview, questions and answers tend to be more spontaneous and conversational. If you’ve got the tech part down, you’ll be able to showand tellwhy you’re a good candidate for the job.
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Confirm The Scheduled Time
Before the day of your interview, confirm the date and time so youre sure to pick up when the call comes in. Writing down the scheduled time, adding it to your calendar or setting it as a reminder on your phone are great ways to make sure you are ready for the scheduled interview. Your punctuality can help make a good impression on your prospective employer.
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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Prepare Your Salary Number
Yes, this is might come up, especially if the phone interview is an initial screening call with HR. So youll want to have a smart answer ready.
And check out this article if you find yourself being asked the question, Whats your current salary?
Practice Interviewing With A Friend
You might feel silly at first, but its just as important to practice phone interviews as it is to practice ones that are face-to-face. Have a friend call and ask you questions. Practice both answering and listening. Here are a few sample questions to try:
What are you looking for in your next job?
If hired, how soon could you start?
What type of company culture are you looking for?
Why are you looking to leave your current company?
What are your salary requirements?
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What Interests You About This Job
If the job requires you to relocate or to do a lot of traveling, then hopefully your answer is travel! Generally if youre calling from a location far from where the job is actually located, odds are this is a question youre bound to getespecially if there are other comparable jobs within your geographic area.
When you answer this question, make sure to tailor the answer to fit the qualifications listed in the job posting, then loop them back to connect to your skills and experience. You want the employer to see you not only know about the job youre interviewing for, but that youre qualified and a good fit!
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:
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.
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Avoid Any Possible Tech Issues During The Phone Interview
While its unlikely that you have one, if you do have a landline available, use it! If youre using a cell phone, make sure you do the phone interview in a quiet place that gets very good cell reception. This place should also allow you to speak at a reasonable volume and lack any distractions or interruptions. Many digital interview now take place over the computer. In this case, the same cell phone interview tips apply just make sure your wifi connection is stable too.