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.
Additional Tips For Phone Interview Success
- Make your answers detailed, but brief. The interview should be a 50/50 exchange.
- Smile on the phone. While the interviewer cant actually see you, smiling on the phone will make you sound warmer and friendlier.
- Keep your phone fully charged.
- Do not chew gum during the interview.
- Use headphones. It reduces background noise and will help the interviewer hear you better.
- Have a bottle of water nearby in case you need to clear your throat.
How Do You Prepare For A Phone Interview
Its important to prepare for a phone interview as you would any other interview. That means being ready to answer each question clearly and concisely. But keep in mind that phone interviews provide an advantage: you can keep important information at the ready and reference it as needed. So, print out the job description, your resume, and any accomplishments or stories you want to share in advance.
Read Also: Questions To Ask A Cfo
Common Telephone Interview Questions
Phone interviews are used by employers in the early stages of an interview process to check for basic requirements and gauge the interest level of candidates. It’s important to take a phone interview as seriously as an in-person interview, as it’s your chance to make a great first impression. It can be difficult to show enthusiasm for the job or assess the interviewer’s mood over the phone as body language cannot be conveyed, but with thoughtfully prepared answers you will be able to impress any interviewer.
In this article, we will review common phone interview questions and possible answers to prepare you for your next call with an employer.
Tech Interview Prep With Ian
Tech Interview Prep by Ian Douglas.
Whether the phone screen is someone from HR or a technical manager, the interviewer is going to be looking for potential problems in your answers with regard to questions they ask. Was the candidate able to communicate the idea effectively with their audience in mind? For example, can you explain something technical in non-technical terms to a non-technical HR interviewer.
Recommended Reading: Interview Questions To Ask A Cfo
Why Are You Interested In The Position
The answer to this question allows the interviewer to see how serious you are about their company and determine whether you thoroughly read the job description. Refer back to the job description and expand on points that made you want to apply for the job.
Example:’This position requires a candidate who is looking to grow with a company, and I believe I am that candidate. I noticed in the job description that employment in this company comes with many training opportunities and the chance to move to a more managerial position in just a few years. I am excited to work for a company that is so growth-oriented and focused on helping employees develop new skills.’
Tips For Successful Phone Screening 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?
You May Like: Questions To Ask A Cfo During An Interview
Avoid Personal Life Story
Unless youre straight requested a query about what you love to do in your off-hours. The point of a phone interview is to focus on getting to know a candidates professional experience and goals, says Mckenzie Roark, campus talent specialist at Lithko Contracting.
A recruiter is trying to qualify them to see if they are the best fit for a role, and learning about their personal life doesnt help as one of the worthy tips on preparing for a phone interview.
For phone interview tips example, when asked where you see yourself in five years, we dont want to know that you hope to be married or that you want to buy a new house. That is nice but that isnt relative to anything professional.
Why Are You Applying For This Position
Interviewers also sometimes phrase this as, What about this job interests you? It tells employers whether you’re 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. These can be duties, details about the company, or something about the role that aligns with your career goals.
Example:I’ve been working for several years on gaining skills in your industry. I feel I have the knowledge, skills, and qualifications you’re looking for, along with a unique perspective coming from a different industry. I’m passionate about working in the environmental protection space, and it’s time for me to make a change. Your company is the perfect place for me to do that.
Read Also: What To Wear For An Interview Women
Phone Interview Etiquette Tips And Techniques
Employers use telephone interviews as a way of identifying and recruiting candidates for employment. Phone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews. They are also used as way to minimize the expenses involved in interviewing out-of-town candidates.
While you’re actively job searching, it’s important to be prepared for a phone interview on a moment’s notice. You never know when a recruiter or a networking contact might call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk. Review these tips, then take a look at our phone interview tips video for more advice on how to pull off your phone interview without a hitch.
Be Prepared to Interview
Prepare for a phone interview just as you would for a regular interview. Compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as a list of answers to typical phone interview questions. In addition, plan on being prepared for a phone conversation about your background and skills.
Talking on the phone isn’t as easy as it seems. I’ve always found it’s helpful to practice. Have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview and tape record it so you can see how you sound over the phone. Any cassette recorder will work. You’ll be able to hear your “ums” and “uhs” and “okays” and you can practice reducing them from your conversational speech. Also rehearse answers to those typical questions you’ll be asked.
During the Phone Interview
Listen Actively And Take Notes
Of all the phone interview tips youll 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.
Read Also: Questions To Ask Cfo During Interview
Proper Phone Interview Etiquette
Review these guidelines for appropriate phone interview etiquette, so you make the best impression on your interviewer.
Answer the phone yourself. First, be sure to let family members and/or roommates know you are expecting a call. When you answer the phone, respond with your name. You can say, “This is Jane Doe” or “John Smith speaking!” That way, the interviewer will know they’ve reached the right person. Make sure to use an upbeat tone of voice .
Follow the interviewer’s lead. Some interviewers may wish to engage in a few minutes of small talk. Others may want to get right into the interview. Let the interviewer steer the start to the conversation, but be prepared to talk about the weather or make other small talk.
Listen carefully to the interviewer and don’t start speaking until the interviewer finishes the question. If you have something you want to say, jot it down on your notepad and mention it when it’s your turn to talk. It can also be helpful to jot down the question .
Don’t worry if you need a few seconds to think of a response, but don’t leave too much dead air. If you need the interviewer to repeat the question, ask.
Never Put Your Interviewer On Hold
Phone interviews dont take that lengthy, and there most likely isnt anything happening thats actually really so pressing that you might want to pause your interview.
Do not put me on hold to take an important call that just beeped in, advises Jeremy Payne, head of people operations at Remote Year. I am an important call.
If you are expecting extremely urgent news , be sure to preface that in the early minutes of the interview, so the recruiter is aware of the situation and so you can work with them to reschedule if that interruption does occur, he says for acing a phone interview.
Also Check: How To Prepare System Design Interview
Focus On Targeted Questions
An interview by telephone could contain questions on salary and advantages. preparing for a telephone interview is a trick.
The interview may additionally focus extra on particular job obligations and necessities. You might be requested the way you fulfill these necessities by offering related examples as one of the valuable tips on preparing for a phone interview.
Also be ready to ask questions at telephone job interview of your individual, reminiscent of How would you describe the working environment here? or Has the company gone through lay-offs recently? If so, why and in which departments?
Prepare As You Would For Any Other Interview
With no need to leave the house, dress to impress or even tame your bedhead, it’s easy to find yourself thinking “This phone call tomorrow isn’t a real interview.” Wrong! Telephone interviews may feel less formal, but if you’re going to stand any chance at progressing in the selection process you need to hit the ground running.
Any preparation you would do prior to a sit-down interview must be completed in advance of your phone conversation as well. That means looking up the company, its values and its history, as well as the specific requirements of the role you’re pursuing. Be ready to answer the basics: why you want the position, what you would bring to the role, your strengths and your weaknesses, and everything else you’d expect an employer to ask.
Don’t Miss: Interview With Cfo
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.
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.
Don’t Miss: Interview Attire Women
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.
Preparing For A Telephone Interview
Being prepared for your telephone interview can give you the best chance of advancing through the hiring process. The following steps will enable you to gain composure and perform well during a telephone interview:
Proper planning. Planning for possible questions during an interview can provide you with the confidence to answer them intelligently. As you prepare for potential questions, think about how you will answer them. Also, think of relevant questions you might want to ask the interviewer, such as what the daily office environment is like. While doing so, be sure to avoid asking questions whose answers you could find with little research. Instead, ask questions that are relevant to you.
Research. Try to find as much information about the company and the open position as possible. Be sure to visit the company’s website to identify their organizational structure, markets, future plans, products and services, size and competitors.
Practice. Conducting a practice phone interview might be a great way to prepare for the actual interview. If possible, try getting family members and friends to call you and ask various interview questions.
Also Check: Prepare For System Design Interview
Phone Interview Questions & Answers
When youre trying to find a job, you will probably face a dreadful phone interview. A phone interview, or phone screen, is used by companies to narrow the list of potential candidates to bring in for a face-to-face interview.
Since this is the first step in the process, its critical that you ace the phone interview to increase your chances of making it to the next round. When you have an in-person interview, you thrive off the visual cues that the interviewer is giving you. Thats what makes the phone interview so challenging.
You need to demonstrate your fit for the position while conveying your interest and enthusiasm for the company, without them being able to see your face. Theres a lot you have to say in a short amount of time.
List of Phone Interview Questions to Be Prepared For
These are just a small sampling, the last one is perhaps the most important. You need to be prepared with specific times you can dedicate to an in-person interview. Its likely the company will want to move quickly, so you need to be prepared to meet the same week if you make it past the phone interview.
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!
Recommended Reading: Top 10 Behavioral Questions
How To Handle Unexpected & Unscheduled Phone Screen Interviews
When the unexpected call happens, you can take one of two approaches accept the call, or ask to reschedule because you are unable to talk at that moment.
The best approach is to ask for a better time when you are in a quiet, safe environment, have your notes in front of you, and are mentally prepared for the interview.
Good interviewers usually schedule the interview in advance.
Sometimes the calls come out of the blue when you answer your phone!
If you currently have a job, do NOT take this call in your workplace! Your boss or a co-worker may interrupt and may also discover your job search, putting your job at risk!
Most recruiters and employers will understand that their timing may not be right and be willing to reschedule. Dont ask to reschedule to a date in the distant future. Choose some time within the next few hours or next day, if possible.