Why Do Recruiters Use Phone Interviews
It takes a lot of time and effort to conduct interviews, especially in-person. A recruiter typically receives hundreds of applications for every job they post. Their goal is to narrow down that list and identify the top 35 candidates. Since there simply isnt enough time in the day to schedule every candidate that appears to be qualified, recruiters love phone interviews. Theyre fast, efficient, and effective.
Get Ready For The Call
Before the call, confirm all the details, including the date, time, and who you will be talking to. Be sure you know whether the interviewer is calling you or if you need to make the call.
If something goes wrong and you miss the call, or the recruiter doesn’t call on time, take a deep breath and try to stay calm. You should be able to get the call back on track or reschedule if need be.
Use a quiet, comfortable, and private space with no distractions so you can focus on the interview.
If you’ll be using your cellphone, make sure it’s fully charged, and you are in a spot with good reception for the call. You may also find that standing during an interview helps you sound more energetic during the call.
Jot Down Important Points
Take a minute or two after you hang up to jot down any last notes you want to remember. Maybe they mentioned a new product they launched that you want to check out, or something about the culture you want to follow up on via email, or a person to reach out to. You wont regret having those in writing when you go to write your thank you note or walk into the next round of interviews.
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Treat Everyone You Meet As Your Interviewer
Make sure that youre polite and friendly to everyone you come across in the interview process. From greeting the receptionist, to the people you share a lift with, to walking through an open-plan office to reach your meeting-room These are all touchpoints with your potential future employer, and co-workers will often share their impressions of visitors afterwards, so you want everyone who comes into contact with you to see you in as positive a light as possible.
Why Are You Applying For This Position
Another common question, Why are you applying for this position? or What about this job interests you? tells employers whether or not you are serious and have a genuine interest in pursuing the position. To answer this question, use details listed in the job description that made you want to apply. This can be duties listed in the job description, details about the company or something about the job that aligns with your career goals.
Example answer:Ive been working for several years on gaining skills in your industry. I feel I have the knowledge, skills and qualifications youre looking for, along with a unique perspective coming from a different industry. I am passionate about working in the environmental protection space, and it is time for me to make a change. I feel your company is the perfect place for me to do that.
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First Phone Interview Tip: Plan For It
As you would for any business conversation, you want to practice good etiquette when scheduling and conducting a phone screen interview. Respect the interviewees time by keeping to the schedule. Respect their availability for the phone call, too. If a candidate has a job, even if theyre working from home, they may not be able to talk until after business hours.
Approach every conversation with a blank slate, and treat each candidate fairly and equally. Remain fully engaged during every call. All that can be easier said than done: When you conduct one phone screen interview after another, its easy to race through the questions you ask each person. If that sounds like you, refrain from stacking up the calls back-to-back. And set aside a time and if youre not at your office a location where you can conduct the screening interview free of noise or other distractions.
Remember, youre engaging with an external audience. A professional, thoughtful screening interview will burnish your business reputation a hurried process and a gruff manner wont reflect well on you or your firm. Keep in mind that your top candidates are evaluating you as closely as you are them. Some might decline an invitation to a formal interview if theyre at all uncomfortable during this initial contact.
Tips For Acing A Phone Interview
Follow these tips for a successful phone interview:
Create a checklist. Review the job posting and make a list of how your qualifications match the hiring criteria. Have the list available so you can glance at it during the interview.
Have your resume handy. Keep your resume in clear view so it’s at your fingertips when you need to answer questions.
Be prepared to take notes. Have a pen and paper handy for note taking.
Don’t get interrupted. Turn off call waiting so your call isn’t interrupted. Put your cellphone on “Do not disturb” so you won’t hear beeps or buzzes from apps, text messages, and so on.
Reschedule if you have to. If the call wasn’t scheduled, and isn’t at a convenient time, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives.
Clear the room. Evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door.
Use a landline. If you have a landline, use that instead of your cellphone. That way, you’ll eliminate the possibility of poor reception or dropped calls.
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Smile And Show Enthusiasm
Since the interviewer cant see your facial expressions or body language on a phone interview, your enthusiasm is key. You might not think its a big deal since the interviewer cant see you, but they actually can hear when you are excited or happy as well as bored or zoned out. So stay engaged and dont forget to smile. Your interviewer will feel the positive energy on the other side.
Some people find that looking into a mirror while speaking helps to convey their enthusiasm. You can also try standing up during your phone interview if you need a little extra pep in your step!
Phone Interview Tip #1: Its Ok If You Need A Little Time To Answerbut Dont Take Forever
- Thanks for that question. Give me just a minute to consider it before I share.
- I have a few ideas on how to answer. Let me take a minute to gather my thoughts.
- Im not totally clear on what you mean by XYZ. Could you explain it another way?
- Before I answer, can you confirm youre referring to XYZ?
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Is A Second Interview A Good Sign Will I Get The Job
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.
Second Interview Acceptance Email Sample After Accepting A Verbal Invitation
You might have been asked back for a second interview at the close of your first interview. Even if you have already verbally accepted the second interview invitation, it is a good idea to follow up with a professional and formal acceptance email. For example:
Dear Ms Evans
Thank you for the time you took this morning to discuss the XYZ job with me. I was very pleased to be asked back for a second interview and look forward to meeting with you again.
I would like to confirm that this meeting will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 28. Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide prior to our appointment.
Thank you for this opportunity.
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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
Create A Strong First Impression
First impressions count, and non-verbal cues matter even more than verbal ones. So in those first few minutes, its all about smiling confidently, shaking hands firmly, making eye contact and generally looking as if youre glad to be there and you want the job. Lean in slightly, widen your eyebrows slightly, and wait to be invited to sit down. In everything you do, project an attitude of energy, enthusiasm and interest.
Clothes-wise, try to match your dress style to that of the company youre meeting. You should be able to get a good idea of the companys typical dress code through its website and social media output, especially any content about its working culture, and your recruiter can advise you too. You want to project some personality and charisma, but you also want to come across as a good fit, so if in doubt always err on the formal side.
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Find A Quiet Environment
Find a quiet space where youll be able to hear the interviewer loud and clear. This will make sure you listen to everything they have to say and that you get all of the information you need.Turn off the television or music, and close the door to the space youre using for your interview. Remove any background noise and interview in a quiet space to demonstrate your professional courtesy and let your interviewer know youre taking this job interview seriously.
If You Were Hired How Soon Can You Start
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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What To Expect In A Phone Interview
The last point is key. Its quite rare that you will get an offer of an in-person interview at the end of your phone call. But dont be discouraged!
The general practice is for the hiring manager to assess all of her phone interviews and create a short-list of candidates to be brought in for in-person interviews.
If youve followed our tips, youll surely be getting another call from her to be brought in.
OK, so how do you prepare for this bold new frontier of employment screening? Luckily almost all of the standard rules from in person interviews still apply, so the basic prep work is essentially the same but there are some tips specific to phone interviews than can really be of help:
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?
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Set Up The Phone Interview At A Time That Works For You
You often have choices about when to schedule your call. It only makes sense to schedule it when you’re most alertif you’re a morning person, schedule it early. If it takes you a good few hours to become your best, schedule it for the afternoon. If they call you and it isn’t a good time for you, let them know that it isn’t the best time and ask to reschedule. Just don’t wait too long to make that happen.
Hint: Make sure that when you do set it up, you leave yourself a cushion of time after the call, in case it goes especially well and runs long. Some phone interviews stick with a time limit of 10-15 minutes, but others go 30-45 minutes or longer.
Tips For Great Job Interviews
From researching the company to handling certain key interview questions, make sure you make a great impression and ace your next job interview by following these 20 tips.
Want to ace your next interview and land thatopen job youve been seeking? Here are 20 tips to help you prepare.1. Research the industry and company.An interviewer may ask how you perceive his company’s position in its industry, who the firm’s competitors are, what its competitive advantages are, and how it should best go forward. For this reason, avoid trying to thoroughly research a dozen different industries. Focus your job search on just a few industries instead.
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Practice Answering Possible Questions
While you can’t be certain about which interview questions you’ll be asked, there are some questions that are commonly asked. Have a friend ask you these questions and practice answering them to prepare for your phone interview.
For a list of commonly asked interview questions review these tutorials:
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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Coronavirus And Job Interviews
COVID-19 is affecting the way businesses recruit new candidates. While a small number of business are still holding face-to-face interviews, the majority of organisations are unlikely to do so until the current social distancing restrictions come to an end. Because of this, it’s now more important than ever to make sure that your telephone and video interview skills are up to scratch.
Read on to discover how to ace a telephone interview.
While all the basics of a face-to-face interview apply, there are some specific tips and tricks that will help the call go well
Typically lasting half an hour telephone interviews save time and keep costs down for both the recruiter and the interviewee. However, they do have a downside. In most cases you’ll be answering questions under a strict time limit and this can increase nerves. Not being able to see the interviewer also presents its own difficulties, as you’re unable to gauge their response.
What To Expect During A Phone Interview
There are a few occasions when an interview happens over the phone. Many companies use a phone screen with a recruiter as the initial step in the hiring process. This is a critically important part of your job search. The recruiter will ask you about your background, skills and experience to see if its well-aligned with the open position. They may also be screening to see if you would be a good culture fit for the company. If all goes well, the recruiter will move you onto the next stage. But if they come away with a poor or incomplete impression of you, things are unlikely to progress.
The next stage of the interview process is also typically conducted over the phone. In this phase, you will likely speak with the hiring manager or another individual on the team thats hiring. This interview is usually more in-depth than the phone screen as the interviewer has a deeper knowledge of the open role and what qualifications would make someone successful in it.
Both of these interviews usually last around 30 minutes. Consider phone interviews your opportunity to sum up whats most attractive to you about the job and the company, as well as the skills and qualifications you bring to the table.
Why are you applying for this position?
Why do you want this job?
Tell me what you know about the role
Why do you want to work here?
Why are you looking for jobs?
What are you passionate about?
What are your salary expectations?
Are you interviewing with other companies?
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