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How To Prepare For A Phone Call Interview

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Listen Carefully And Take It Slow

Phone Interview Tips – How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

Phone interviews are nearly always the first step of a companys hiring process. Therefore the person youre speaking to will most likely spend a lot of the call explaining the job and the company in detail. Let them talk and make sure never to interrupt them.

When it comes time for you to do the talking remember to take it slow and not to rush as you talk. This will not only keep you calm under pressure but will also ensure that you get your message across clearly.

Moderate your pace through the beginning of the call in particular if youre nervous, you might naturally talk quicker, so deep breathing before the interview will help.

Charge Your Phone And Do A Test Run

You definitely should make sure your phone is at full battery going inbecause no one wants a dropped call. An hour or so before your interview is scheduled to start, also make sure its working properly and the signal is OK by calling up a friend or family member and asking if they can hear you all right.

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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Listen Actively And Take Notes

Of all the phone interview tips you’ll learn, listening well is one of the most underrated. Not only does active listening help pace the conversation, it will also equip you with information you can use later on in the call.

During the interview, practice your active listening, says Mary Warriner, senior human resources specialist at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. But dont let it distract you from picking up on critical pieces of information. Take notes while the recruiter gives you details about the job, the process, and company overview, says Warriner. This is great information to have to create new questions for additional interviews or at the end of the call.

Again, one benefit of a phone interview is that they cant see you taking notes. Scribble away, and use that info later to wow them with your perception and acute observational skills.

Why Companies Use Phone Interviews

Tips To Prepare For Telephonic 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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What Makes You The Best Candidate For This Job

On paper, many applicants qualify for every job opening. The recruiter intends to narrow down the number of applicants to those who stand out from the rest. They achieve that by asking this question. The right candidate should be able to connect key elements of the job to their skills and qualifications.

Language And Voice Matter

In-person interviews allow you to play to your body language, facial expressions, and demeanour, but telephone interviews rely almost solely on language and voice.

Speak at an easy-to-follow cadence – dont speak too quickly. Make sure your voice is clear. Use positive language in your responses. Maintain proper professionalism and a broad vocabulary, but avoid using words you dont fully understand.

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Understand The Recruiters Role And Stake In This Process

That said, when they call you, they already want you to win. They want you to sail through the screening call because, if you win? They win. And if they fill this position quickly, they can also move on to another position .

So, never be afraid to ask for the interviewers input on how you can put your best foot forward with the hiring manager or for clarification on any questions you dont understand. Again, this person wants to send you through to the hiring manager. Make it easy to do so.

Interviewing is part art, part science. The art part requires you to bring forth your personality, enthusiasm, and interest. The science part? Requires you to study the process and the players and then strategize.

This article? Well, consider it your cheat sheet for getting to the real interview.

Focus And Cut Out All Distractions

How to Prepare for a Telephone Interview

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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Do You Have Any Questions

It is important that when given the opportunity, you ask at least a few thoughtful questions to your phone interviewer. This shows you are engaged, actively listening and genuinely interested in the opportunity.

Researching the company is an easy way to understand the companys history, mission and values. A great place to start is by browsing the companys website. You can also search the internet for recent news articles. Use the information you find to help shape your questions. Your initiative will be well-received because it proves you took the time to learn about the company and industry.

Here are a few example questions you might consider asking:

  • What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?
  • How has this role grown or adapted to suit the needs of the organization?
  • What kind of growth does the company expect to see within the next five years?
  • Do you have any concerns about my experience or skill set?
  • Thank you for explaining the role to me in such depth. When might I hear back from you regarding next steps in the process?

Answer The Phone Professionally

How you answer your telephone is important since it may be the first impression the interviewer gets of you. Make a habit of always answering your phone professionally if you’re looking for work.

While some phone interviews are scheduled, sometimes recruiters may call unexpectedly. A recruiter may also call during an unscheduled time to set up an interview or to confirm or change an interview time.

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Research Common Interview Questions

Dont forget to prepare for questions you might be asked during your phone interview. Start by reaching out to people in your network who have worked or interviewed with the company in the past and ask them about potential interview questions.

If you dont know anyone with connections to the company, dont sweat it. There are other ways to get the inside scoop on the interview process. For instance, Glassdoor has interview questions and reviews that can give you a better idea of what will be asked in your interview.

If youre interviewing for internships, you need to be prepared for a different set of questions. Be sure to check out our list of common internship interview questions and know how to answer them.

Do You Work Efficiently

Get Some Great Phone Interview Tips

Aside from your technological skills, a call center interview will be an opportunity to measure the efficiency of your work methods. The interviewer might ask you the following questions:

  • Are you able to multitask?
  • Do you know how to listen actively?
  • Can you work on several projects simultaneously?

The idea here is to get a feel of your work ethic, and your ability to operate quickly and efficiently. Call center customer service requires you to think about a solution even as you listen to a customers problem, to stay ahead of them and lead the conversation. Be it support or sales, your call center agent post will require you to be proactive, autonomous, and productive.

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Research And Plan Your Telephone Interview

Be prepared. It’s normal to be nervous before a telephone interview, but it will really help if you know you’ve done the groundwork. Make sure you find out as much as you can about the recruiter. Read the job description carefully and think about how you match the selection criteria.

Write down any questions you might like to ask and plan answers to those questions you think are likely to come up â especially questions such as âTell me about yourselfâ and âWhat interests you in the job?â.

Set Aside Time And Space

Book some time out of your day for the interview. Take the call in a quiet location thats private and comfortable, avoiding interruptions or noise interference. The grocery store, coffee shop, your classroom or your car are not good places to take a phone interview.

Ensure that your line has a clear connection and provide a landline number if possible. Each of these steps will ensure the interviewer can properly hear and understand you, showing that youre taking the process seriously and will also allow you to focus on being the best you can in the interview.

Also Check: How Honest Should You Be In An Exit Interview

Learn About The Company

Do your homework on your potential new employer ahead of time. Seeming well-informed about and invested in the company you hope to join goes a long way.

The interviewer might ask, why do you want to work with us? and youll need to have an answer ready. Looking into the companys business, mission statement, long-term goals, or organisation will tell an applicant a great deal about them. Think about what motivated you to seek them out rather than their competitors. Dont be sycophantic, but be honest about one thing that motivated you to seek employment with them.

Positioning Yourself In The Webcam

BEST Phone Interview Tips | How to prepare for a phone interview
  • Place the webcam at eye level so that your head and upper torso are visible.

  • Dress as you would for an in-person interview.

  • When the interviewer is talking you can look at the screen. When you are talking look at the webcam to simulate direct eye contact.

  • Make sure that the background is neat and appropriate since the employer will see that on the screen.

  • Test your lighting to ensure your face is well-lit and there is no bright light behind you. Experiment to find the most flattering lighting and seating position.

  • Ensure that there is no background noise, like a barking dog, or other interruptions.

Also Check: How To Have A Great Job Interview

Phone Interview Tip #: Understand Who’s Calling

Some Phone Interview Questions You Might Get:

  • Tell me a little bit about your work history.
  • Why are you looking to leave your current company?
  • What is the biggest challenge you have seen at your current position and how did you overcome it?
  • Describe a substantial win in your last position.
  • What was your favorite/least favorite element of your last position?
  • How can you contribute to our companys success?
  • How well do you work by yourself, with a team?
  • Why are you interested in coming to work for us?
  • Why are you attracted to this specific position?
  • What makes you the ideal candidate for this position?
  • When can you come in for a face-to-face interview?
  • Are you willing to relocate? If we don’t provide relocation assistance, are you still willing?
  • What are your salary requirements?
  • How far along are you in your search? Are you speaking to other companies?
  • Tell me about in your resume.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What questions do you have for me?

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.

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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?

What Are Your Salary Expectations

Job interview

Recruiters might ask this question early in the hiring process, like during a phone interview, to see if the salary you expect aligns with what they have budgeted for the role. It can also help them understand if you are over or perhaps under-qualified for the position. To answer this question, it is best to provide a range to show that you are flexible, but also that you expect to earn a certain amount.

If youre unsure about what salary is appropriate for the position for which youre interviewing, visit Indeed’s Salary Calculator to get a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience.

Be sure that you are comfortable with making the lowest number in your range because the recruiter will likely try and start with the lowest possible number. Negotiating your salary is an acceptable and normal part of the hiring process that will come later once youve received an offer. For the purposes of your phone interview, they will likely tell you whether or not this position will be acceptable for the range you are given.

Example answer:For this position my ideal salary would fall in the range of $55,000 to $65,000. I feel this is an appropriate amount for my experience level in this position.

Read more: Interview Question: What Are Your Salary Expectations?

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Speak Clearly And Smile

Even with the best network coverage, speaking on a phone isnt always as precise as speaking to someone in the same room. Therefore its important to make sure that youre speaking clearly when you talk, so you can be properly understood. First and foremostly, avoid slang and keep your language more formal and professional.

It might seem strange, but smiling on the call really helps. While the interviewer wont be able to see it, it can positively affect the tone and candor of your voice when speaking on the phone. Little touches like this will make all the difference.

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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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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