Friday, April 12, 2024

How To Prepare For Initial Phone Interview

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Phone Interview Questions About The New Job And The Company

Top Phone Interview Tips: 5 Common Questions & Best Strategies | Indeed Career Tips
  • 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?

The Phone Interview Might Be The Most Important Part Of Your Job Search Heres How To Make Sure You Get It Right

Crush your phone interview with these tips.

Think the interview is the first step to landing your next job? Think again. Most jobs start with a phone call either with a recruiter, HR manager, or hiring managerand sometimes, all three. So before youve chosen your interview outfit or practiced your handshake, youll need to practice a few phone interview tips to get you to the next step.

In the age of texting, Zoom, and hashtags, phone conversations are something of a lost art, but its a skill that can be quickly mastered if you know some of the basicsand plan ahead.

Prior to dialing in, make sure youre prepared to show off your best professional self to potential employers. Here are five expert phone interview tips that will help you get through even the toughest calls.

Make It A Conversation

While it is important to keep the focus on the interviewee and let him do most of the talking, you don’t want your only dialogue to be, “Hello, here are my questions, thank you, goodbye.” Asking the right follow-up questions, even inserting short snippets here and there — “Wow, sounds like a difficult situation. How did you deal with that?” or “I understand how that feels. I’ve had to deal with similar situations myself.” — makes the interviewee feel more comfortable with you, which allows him to be more open and honest with you.

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Common Mistakes During A Phone Interview

  • Not charging your phone. If you are planning to use a mobile phone for your interview, be sure to charge it on the day of the interview. Having a fully charged phone can help you feel at ease and also ensures a productive interview.

  • Forgetting the interview. It is important that you add the interview schedule to your calendar so you can remember it and prepare for that specific date and time. This can also help you allot time ahead of the interview to mentally prepare.

  • Answering the phone poorly. Your opening phrases, such as ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon,’ should be enthusiastic, engaging and outgoing. Strive to impress the interviewer at all stages of your conversation.

  • Lack of proper considerations when arranging an interview. Some candidates tend to arrange their interviews without ensuring that they’ll be in a suitable location to take the interview calls. When organizing your phone interview, plan where you will be at the time of the interview. This will ensure you can answer your interview call in a quiet and distract-free location.

  • Use of slang. Refrain from using colloquialisms during a phone interview such as ‘at the end of the day’ or ‘draw the line.’ Although your interviewer may understand these references, using more formal, professional language can help you stand out.

The Dos And Donts Of Phone Interviewing

Sample Thank You Letter After Phone Interview
  • 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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Tell Me About Yourself/tell Me About Your Background

Recruiters and hiring managers will likely start a phone interview by asking about your background. This is a simple way for them to learn more about you. You should use this time to explain your relevant experience, what youre currently doing and why that makes you qualified. While you can include a few personal details that allow the employer to understand how you lead a well-balanced life, you should focus on professional qualifications and accomplishments.

Phone And Video Interview Tips

Although remote interviews impact your ability to âreadâ some of the nonverbal behaviors and body language youâve relied on while conducting face-to-face interviews, upfront planning and preparation can help you overcome some of these limitations. Plus, consider the benefits remote interviews offer compared to person-to-person interviews. Not only are they less costly for your company and generally less time consuming than in-person interviews, but they also ensure your safety and personal health as well as that of interviewees.

Here are a few suggestions to help you prepare for remote interviews.

Youâll still use some of your standard questions during the interview, such as those below.

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Know What Time Your Interview Is

Sounds simple enough. But theres nothing worse than being caught off guard because your interview is scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, and you didnt take the time difference into account.

You will likely be panicked and out of sorts for the entire interview.

Or youll be belting Dont Stop Believin in the shower, and you wont even hear your phone ring.

What Do You Know About Our Company

51talk: How to Pass Your Initial/Phone Interview

With this question, you want to show off your knowledge and demonstrate that you did research before applying for the job.

Employers dont want to hire someone whos just applying to every job, and not taking the time to learn anything about the company. They want someone who applied for a reason and wants to work at THEIR company.

For help with company research, we have a full article on how to research a company before your interview.

And for help with your interview answer after youve researched the employer, you can see the example response below or read our full article on how to answer, what do you know about our company?

Example answer:

I know youre one of the top alarm system manufacturers in the US. I did some reading on your website and discovered that you create alarms for businesses and office buildings, not just individual homes. I also did some reading on your corporate culture and it sounds like you do a lot to support the development of your employees, and get involved in community service too. Thats something I care a lot about and something that attracts me to an employer.

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Tips For A Successful Interview

The impression you make on the interviewer often can outweigh your actual credentials. Your poise, attitude, basic social skills, and ability to communicate are evaluated along with your experience and education.

You and the interviewer must engage in a conversation – a mutual exchange of information and ideas. Only through such a dialogue can you both determine if you, the organization, and the job are well matched. Preparation is the key.

Be on time.This often means 10-15 minutes early. Interviewers often are ready before the appointment.

Know the interviewers name, its spelling, and pronunciation.Use it during the interview. If you dont know the name, call beforehand and ask the secretary. Also, note the secretarys name in case you have to call back. Secretaries can influence the hiring decision!

Have some questions of your own prepared in advance.There is nothing wrong with having a short list of questions and thoughts- it shows you have done your research and want to know more about the organization and the position.

Bring several copies of your resume.Also, bring a copy of your transcript. Carry your papers in an organized manner.

Have a reliable pen and a small note pad with you.But do not take notes during the interview. However, immediately afterward, write down as much as you can remember, including your impression of how well you did.

Greet the interviewer with a handshake and a smile.Remember to maintain eye contact .

Have Your Job Materials Nearby

You should feel comfortable and ready to discuss your background and skills confidently during a phone conversation. Have a copy of your resume nearby, so that you can refer to it during the interview. Also have a copy of the job posting and a copy of your cover letter if you sent one.

Consider creating a draft email or a new Word or Google file with all of the relevant information. That way, you’ll have all the detailsnotes on the company, key points you want to emphasize during the interview, your cover letter, the job posting, and so onin one spot.

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Do Some Research Before The Interview

Odds are youve applied to more than one company and its always helpful to know a bit about who youre talking to, from both a professional and a business standpoint.

Double check the job description youre interviewing for.

Google the company. See how theyre doing and what theyre doing.

If you know whos doing your interview you can see what sort of digital footprint they have and find out more about them on a personal level. Look them up on but dont go overboard.

Its never a good idea to send them a Facebook Friend Request before you even have the interviewin fact, its probably not a good idea afterwards either. Maybe in six months when youve already got the job and youre all good friends having lunch twice a weekbut not yet.

The best part about doing this research is it also allows you to tailor your answers when you start getting hit with those interview questions.

Tailoring your answers is the best possible way to ensure that not only are you satisfying what the interviewer is asking, youre positioning yourself to be the best possible candidate for the jobor, dare we saythe perfect candidate!

Remember as youre pouring over all those notes you culled about the company and what they stand for that your ultimate goal is to be everything they need in a candidate and that means making sure your answers are specific, targeted and tailoredin a nutshell, customized.

Exude An Air Of Strong Culture Fit

Thank You For The Phone Interview Letter

Companies hire candidates based on three things, not just one. Number one is the obvious, Can she do the job? This must be a yes, no matter what. But what typically clinches it for the candidate who lands the job is that shes also a yes to these questions: Do we like her? and Do we think shes going to fit in around here?

You absolutely must showearly onthat youre a strong cultural fit. Thus, if youre interviewing for a role within a company you know little about, you should study the organizations online presencethe company website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, you get the pictureand figure out its brand personality, its tone, its vibe. And then, assuming you line up with that? Make it clear throughout the screening call.

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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.

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  • 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?

Changing Your Salary Expectations

Mike Astringer, founder and principal consultant at Human Capital Consultants, noted that HR professionals interview candidates based partly on their initial compensation expectations.

“We know that they fit into our overall compensation range,” he said. “All too often, a candidate will interview for a job, become overconfident then dramatically increase their compensation expectations.”

Astringer said he makes an offer to a candidate based on those initial salary expectations. Candidates should avoid greatly increasing their expectations at the final hour, he said.

“It makes the candidate look bad, it makes me look bad, and it wastes everyone’s time,” Astringer added.

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The Purpose Of Phone Interviews

Its no secret that people under the age of 35 tend to dislike talking on the phone. So, why do some employers and colleges insist on conducting phone interviews?

It mostly comes down to convenience and necessity. Some employers may end up having far more qualified applicants than they can realistically interview. To narrow down their pool of applicants, theyll use phone interviews to identify the top finalists.

During a phone interview, most employers have the following objectives:

  • To confirm the applicants interest in the position.
  • To make sure that you have the required skills they need.
  • To assess cultural fit.
  • To get a better idea of your expectations, especially on salary and benefits.

In college admissions, phone interviews are typically conducted by college representatives and former students. These interviews are slightly lower stakes in that your phone interview likely wont make or break your chances of admission. Still, you should come into the interview with an idea of what college interview questions will be asked and how you want to answer them.

The main objectives of a college interview include:

  • To get to know the applicant a little better, beyond their test scores and grades.
  • To confirm the applicants interest in the college.
  • To discuss the students educational and career goals.
  • To answer questions about the college.

Know Who Will Be Calling You

Best Phone Interview Tips – How to pass a phone interview with a recruiter

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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Test Or Scenario Question

During a phone interview, you might be asked to perform a simple test or respond to a scenario of some sort. They might be looking for something in your answer like your thought process, ability to be creative or think under pressure. While it might feel awkward to be silent on the phone, it is acceptable to ask for a moment to think about your answer.

During this time, calmly consider the steps you would take to respond to their test. Try and avoid taking more than 30 seconds to respond. You can also try asking clarifying questions to better understand what theyre looking for. Write down the question to make sure you address each part.

Example answer: The employer explains that theyd like you to provide ideas for marketing a local event on a tight budget, and which companies they could partner with. For this scenario, you might explain that grassroots marketing is both affordable and effective with local events. You would invest in strategized word of mouth efforts and a bold, teaser-style social media campaign. You provide examples of several local companies with the same mission or similar industry to partner with to help get the word out.

Best Phone Interview Questions To Ask Candidates

Your job is to find the best candidates for your business, but can you be sure that they are really the right person?

Its not uncommon to interview someone who may seem like a great fit on paper. Only to discover later that they just arent a good cultural fit.

As technical recruiters, we conduct phone interviews and phone screens almost every day.

To help you avoid this problem with each hire and make sure it works out. We list some phone interview questions that will give you valuable information about each candidate.

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A Few Common Scenarios For Leaving A Job

  • You feel like youre being underpaid in your current job. Recruiters wont want to hear that youre looking to leave your job because of money. A savvy and honest way to talk about this would be to point out that youve grown in your role, and you feel that your current organization no longer offers opportunities for you to advance your skills / career.
  • Youve been recently laid off. Gaps in employment are no longer the taboo that they once were, and interviewers generally understand that its very common for companies to downsize. Be honest let the interviewer know that you were part of a layoff that affected X percent of the workforce. This helps demonstrate that you werent let go for performance reasons. If anything, recruiters are likely to be pleased that you are ready and available to work as soon as possible.
  • Youve only been with your current job for a short time, and you dont want to look like a job-hopper. Recruiters see this all the time, and most will understand if you have ended up in a job that just isnt the right fit. You can demonstrate commitment by letting them know that you arent looking to jump ship for just anything. You are going to focus on finding the right opportunity now.

Are you starting to feel more prepared, confident, and ready for the interview? Now its time for the last few steps to set yourself up for succcess.

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