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.
Top 20 Phone Interview Questions And Best Answers
Are you prepared for a phone interview? What will the interviewer ask you? Before you interview in person with a hiring manager, you may be asked to take part in a brief phone screen interview.
If you’re interviewing for a freelance or remote position or for any job with a virtual hiring process, you may have a longer and more in-depth interview. In these cases, a telephone interview may be the only actual interview you’ll have.
Phone interviews are conducted just like in-person interviews. They are used by hiring managers and recruiters as a tool for screening candidates for employment.
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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Phone Interview Questions About You
- What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- What is your greatest strength?
- Describe a typical work week.
- How would you describe the pace at which you work?
- How do you handle stress and pressure?
- What motivates you?
- Questions about your career goals.
- What type of work environment do you prefer?
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.
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Potential Second Interview Questions
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?
Smile While On The Phone
You will find that you sound more upbeat and engaged when you do this. Your smiles will be heard by the interviewer making for a positive impression. This is where your attitude will really show.
To help you remember to smile, place a mirror by the phone, where it will be easy for you to see yourself in it. Then, during the call, make a point of looking into it, and smiling while you are talking.
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Are You Willing To Relocate For This Role
Sometimes, if you are doing a phone interview, its because the office is in a location that isnt convenient for you to get to. Its important to carefully consider – prior to the interview – if moving is right for you personally and professionally. Be honest in your response. The phone interview is basically a culling process designed to reduce the pool of talent who ultimately will move onto the face-to-face interviews. If you want to get to the next phase of the interview process, discover more interview advice that will put you in the upper percentage of potential candidates.
Take a look at our job interview tips hub for more interview preparation tips and advice.
How To Wow The Gatekeeper And Move Onto The Next Round
Picture ityouve been applying for jobs and networking your butt off for months to no avail. All of a sudden PING an email pops up from the recruiter at one of your target companies asking to schedule a phone interview. Your stomach does a little somersault and you reply with your availability.
Holy wowtomorrow at 9:30am it is! Youre nervous and excited, but more than anythingyou have your work cut out for you!
Theres a lot of advice out there on how to prepare for an in-person interview, but the phone screen can be a whole different beast. These 5 strategies will help you get prepped and in game-mode for your very special phone call.
Essential Tip #1 Treat the Phone Screen Like a Real Interview
Even if the recruiter refers to it as a brief chat, dont be fooled, this is a real interview. Job seekers often make the mistake of thinking its a casual get-to-know-you session and go in totally winging it. But remember, how you do on this call determines whether the recruiter passes you onto the next round. This gatekeeper wields a lot of power!
Now its true that phone screens can greatly vary in length, from 15 minutes to an hour. Sometimes the call is with an HR assistant with limited knowledge of the position. And other times the call is with one of the hiring managers from the department whos ready to dive into tough questions. Knowing who the call is with, of course, will give you some insight as to how to prepare.
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Tips For Successful Phone Screen Interviews
Since you may not know when to expect the telephone interview, it is critical that you do not wait to prepare for the interview until you have the interview scheduled. You have to accomplish your goal selling yourself, your skills, your experience, and your value with only the words that come out of your mouth now.
You have just three assets for a phone screen your attitude, your voice, and your preparation! What can you do to have the best opportunity for success?
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.
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How To Answer Common Phone Interview Questions
Be ready to answer typical phone interview questions. The phone call may come at any time, particularly if you have sent out a number of resumes. The key is to be be prepared, ready and confident to handle telephone interviews whenever they come.
This type of interview is used to select applicants for face-to-face interviews. Take these straightforward steps to get to the next level of the interview process.
Why Do You Want To Work Here
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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Think Before You Speak
Take the time you need to answer the interview questions completely and thoughtfully. Be sure not to interrupt or begin answering the question before the interviewer has finished speaking there may be more to the question than you realize. If the interviewer calls at a time that is inconvenient for you, while youre at work or in a noisy environment, arrange another phone meeting in the near future.
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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Insist On The Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards – many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.
Know Who Will Be Calling You
In many cases, youll be interviewing a recruiter, hiring manager or your direct supervisor. Do an online search to determine your interviewers role at the company. If youre interviewing with a recruiter, youll get more general questions regarding your experience. An interview with your direct supervisor, however, means youll get in-depth questions related to your industry and role.
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When Speaking To Hiring Manager/human Resources
- Is there an orientation process for new hires?
- What are my long range possibilities with this job? What is the advancement process?
- Is there potential for professional growth with the company?
- Does the company encourage employees to further their education and improve their skills through classes or conventions?
What Type Of Manager Would You Work Best With
This question aims to figure out the type of leadership style you prefer. The relationship between the manager and an employee is crucial for the success of the company. The recruiter wants to be sure you can get along and work well with your boss. It is true you will also enjoy working with a manager you get along with.
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How Virtual Interviews Differ From In
Understandably, you might have some questions about virtual interviewsweve created virtual interview FAQs to answer your questions about the virtual interview process, including an overview of the tools were using. Virtual interviews allow our interviewers to get to know you using video and web-conferencing services, without having to be physically in the same room together. You could experience a combination of three different types of interviewsJob Fit, Behavioral and Case Interviews. All of our interviews, regardless of the type, are now virtual.
While we recommend using a home computer for your virtual interview if at all possible, we realize not everyone has access to a computer, or even reliable internet, at home. No worries! Below, weve put together tips for how to use your mobile phone for a virtual video interview, and if you plan on using your phone for a virtual Case Interview, weve got you covered, too!
When Can You Start
One key piece of information employers may need upfront is when you would be able to start in a new role. They might be looking to fill the position quickly, so if you cannot start for another month or two they may need to look for other candidates. Take time before your interview to carefully consider the soonest date you will be able to start. Review the terms of your current role to make sure you can leave after the standard two weeks. If you are unemployed, you will likely be able to respond with as soon as possible.
Example answer:After getting an offer, I am able to start two weeks later to provide time for my current role to be filled.
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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.
Ask What The Next Steps Are
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!
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Choose An Interview Space
Use a quiet, comfortable, and private space. If youre at home, kick out kids, spouses, significant others, parents, pets and anyone else who is in the house and close the door.
Have your resume in clear view taped to the wall or on your desk. Also, have a short list of your qualifications and skills specific to the job youre interviewing for close at hand. A cheat sheet will help you respond to related questions without fumbling for words.
Have a pad and pen ready to jot down notes. Turn call waiting off on your phone and be sure to use a landline, not a cell phone, whenever possible. You dont want to have to worry about dropped calls.