Phone Interview Tips To Get You To The Next Round
This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach.
What is a phone interview and what role does it play in the hiring process? Many companies use phone calls with candidates who look good on paper to determine if those applicants are ready to move to longer, more in-depth interviews. This is sometimes called a phone screen.
Can You Tell Me About Yourself
Once youve determined that their salary requirements match the position, let the candidate provide an overview of their background. This is their elevator pitch, where you can gather high-level information about their professional and cultural fit for the position. It can also help them ease into the interview and relieve some of their nerves.
Pay attention to their experience and personality traits. Theyll likely cover a majority of the information listed on their resume, but may give additional insight into experience or skills that werent included.
Practice With A Mock Interview
Are your interview skills a little rusty? Participating in mock interviews is a great way to rehearse your answers and work out some of the kinks in your interview strategy before the call.
Stop by your schools career center and ask if they offer phone mock interviews. Just be aware that they may record the phone call so you can listen to yourself afterwards. Although this may sound torturous, listening to yourself speak can be extremely effective at helping reduce those dreaded ums and uhs on a phone call.
If youre not affiliated with a school, consider reaching out to a former boss, coworker, or mentor and asking if you could run your job experiences by them. This is a low-pressure way to practice your interview skills plus, its an excellent opportunity to get back in touch.
Read Also: What To Know Before A Job Interview
Online Interview Questions And Answers
1. Tell me a little about yourself
This question sets the stage for your online interview. The key things toremember are to be concise and target your answer to the job opportunity. A fulldiscussion of how to best answer this question can be found at Tell Me About Yourself
Sample interview answers for different situations.
2. Why do you want this job?
This is where your homework comes into play. Know as much as possible aboutthe job and the company before you sit down for your interview.
Focus on whatyou can do for the company rather than what the employer can do for you.Practice this interview answer beforehand so you can answer with confidence andclarity. Sample Interview Answers
3. Why do you think you are the right candidate for this job?
Discuss your related skills and experience. Highlight your on-pointcompetencies. Discuss your all-round fit with the job and company. Find yourunique selling point, something that can differentiate you from the competition. Good Sample Answer
4. What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
Your life is full of achievements. Focus on a relevant work-relatedachievement to discuss. If you have little work experience consider a personalgoal you achieved. Interview Answer
5. What motivates you?
Motivation is crucial in every job. Expect online interview questions that explore your motivation. The passion and energy you convey inanswering this question will add credibility to your answer. Sample Interview Answer
8. Do you have any questions?
Make Sure Theres Excitement In Your Voice
One of the biggest mistakes people make in phone interviews is not sounding energetic and excited enough. Because the person cant see you, you have to work extra hard to show that youre enthusiastic about the role and meeting with them.
To help convey this, use gestures and smile while you talk. Both will automatically inject emotion into your voice. Hey, get up and walk around if that keeps you lively. And if somethings funny, laugh! Thats allowed!
Of course, youll want to balance this out by not sounding fake. Keep an eye on how loud youre speaking and try to lower the volume when you find yourself getting too animated. Practice and getting feedback from peers can help with nailing this down.
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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.
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!
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Interview Questions About Responsibilities
Before you pick a candidate, youll want to know if they can handle the responsibilities of the role they are applying to fill. Use pre-screening questions to find out what experiences your candidates have accumulated.
A job title doesnt mean much these days as businesses have different requirements for the same position. Instead of asking about a persons previous title, have them define the roles and responsibilities they were responsible for at their last job.
Useful pre-screening interview questions to ask regarding responsibilities can be something like:
- What types of things were you responsible for doing at your last job?
- Were there jobs you did that do not typically fall under someones responsibility in your job position?
- What roles did you have to fulfill at the previous post that you think will be useful for this position?
- What responsibilities do you hope to have with our company?
Phone Interview Questions To Ask Your Top Job Candidates
As a hiring manager, you know what a good resume and cover letter look like. You also know that despite their promises, they might fail to deliver the candidate you need. The phone interview questions you ask during this first round of vetting will be a critical piece of winnowing the field and making a successful hire.
Time always matters, so you should be both efficient and strategic during this initial call. Questions for a screening interview will of course touch on whether a candidate’s hard skills, experience, education and certifications are right for the open position. But as you check off the boxes, pay attention to soft skills and how the candidate presents during the call. At the end of a phone screen interview, you want to be confident a candidate can do the job and also mesh well with your organizational culture.
Open-ended, in-depth questions arent necessary at this stage of the hiring process. A screening interview is typically a 15- to 30-minute phone call. Your objective here is to narrow your list of top candidates to the handful you want to consider for formal interviews. Thats when you can go deep.
Read on for some phone interview questions to ask during this first call, tips for what to look for including red flags and what comes after.
Set Up A Professional Voicemail
Hello? Helloooo? Just kidding, this is my voicemail. Leave a message!
Many of us have fallen for this classic voicemail prank before. One person who probably wont be laughing: the hiring manager or any recruiter that comes calling, for that matter.
Before your phone interview, go to a quiet room and set up a professional voicemail. Stick to a simple, Hi, this is . Im not available right now, but please leave your name and number and Ill get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks!
Also, dont forget to regularly clear your voicemail messages to avoid a full inbox. Nothing is more frustrating to an interviewer than playing a game of phone tag with an applicant.
Prepare Questions You Want To Ask
Interviewers want to know youre interested in the position youre applying for. Display your interest by asking insightful questions at the end of the interview. Some questions you could ask include:
- What will my daily responsibilities include?
- What is the workplace environment like?
- What is your favorite part of working for the company?
Read more: 17 Best Questions to Ask Your Interviwer
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Still Do Your Research And Come Prepared
Before the video interview process, be sure to read up about the company’s mission statement, services and products offered, consumer base, and even any recent press releases they might have. This helps you to be informed about the latest happenings in the company and allows you to discuss them knowledgeably. Similarly, you should also be prepared to answer any questions about your past experiences. Be sure to review your resume right before recording the video and prepare some talking points. Lastly, dress professionally when you’re recording your video interview, even if you’re just recording in your bedroom.
Research The Company And Position
Learning about the employer and the occupation youre hoping to be hired for can give you the information you need to perform well at this event. Use the job description company publications such as the website, press releases, and social media accounts and employee reviews to get the information you need.
Learn more: How to Write an Interview Confirmation Email
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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.
Follow Up After The Interview
You survived the screening round of the interview process. Pat yourself on the back. But don’t sit back and wait. Just like a face-to-face interview with a hiring manager, the screening interview calls for a follow-up message. Send a thank-you email to the recruiter who interviewed you. Highlight some of the key discussion points from the screening interview, and repeat your excitement about the opportunity.
If you don’t hear back from the recruiter when you expect based on the hiring timeline, you can reach out to check with the recruiter. Reiterate your interest and let him know you’re checking in to see how the interview decisions are progressing.
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You Cant Be Too Prepared
Just a like a face-to-face job interview, a phone screening requires preparation. Your interviewer should give you some time for this by asking when youll be available to answer some questions. If possible, give yourself at least a few hours to prepare. If you answer the phone and the interviewer wants to ask some questions right there and then, let them know you need a few hours, and ask if they can call back or you can call them back at a more convenient time.
Start your preparation by perusing the organisations website, including the about page, the organisations history, current leaders and staff, and any controversies or recent news. Read up as much as you can!
Next, brainstorm some likely questions and rehearse the answers aloud.
Then prepare a couple of questions for your interviewer that demonstrate your competence as well as your interest in the organisation and the job. Your phone-screen interviewer may or may not give you a chance to ask questions, but its worth having them just in case.
Try questions like, What specific skills and experience are you looking for? and How do you see this position contributing to the success of the organisation?
And try to find a photo of the person interviewing you or the organisations website are great places to do this because its always easier to chat to someone if you know what they look like.
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.
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Be Professional And Sincere Rather Than Ignorant
The job applicant needs to take the screening as seriously as any other formal interview, even if its an informal session. You should not forget that screening interview is the first step towards your formal interview in the organisation further leading to the job. It can be a make-it-or-break-it situation as it gives an idea about your personality to the recruiter.
Thus, it becomes very important to be enthusiastic and professional from the first interview leading to your new job, rather than being ignorant just because its an informal interview not directly by the manager of your job.
Focus On Your Language And Voice
You have only the power of your voice in a telephone call. Speak clearly, stay upbeat, and use positive language. Smiling will help.
Dont trash anyone, not even the former boss who was such a jerk!
Try to take cues from the interviewer , and modulate your own tone and word choice to make a positive impression.
The mirror will help in staying positive, but you must remember that the words you choose and the motivation you put forward will help determine your outcome.
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Don’t Forget To Follow Up
The video interview process doesn’t end once you submit your recorded answers be sure to show your courtesy by sending a thank-you email to the interviewer or employer on the day of submission. In the email, you can indicate your interest by asking about the next steps and when you should expect to hear a response.
It helps to show your interest by keeping a constant stream of communication between yourself and the interviewer. You can email them once a week to follow up and reiterate your interest. But keep in mind, anything more frequent might make you appear aggressive and desperate! Following up is important, but not knowing how long to wait after an interview to send a follow up, or checking in too much can easily backfire.
Make sure to follow these tips before your next pre-recorded video interview and success will soon follow.
Hesitant to tackle a pre-recorded video interview? Our TopInterview coaches can help you feel cool, calm, and confident!
How To Prepare For And Crack Phone Screen Interviews At Faang
Your resume has passed the complicated application tracking system of FAANG, and you have received an email from the recruiter for an initial phone screen interview.
What is a phone screen interview, and what role does it play in the hiring process?
A phone screening interview is a brief job interview to determine whether you’re a qualified applicant. In most cases, it includes a quick review of your background and a few questions around your qualifications, skills, interests, and projects. In some cases, the interviewer may also want to know your salary expectations and how soon you can join them.
Sounds simple enough?
But donât take them for granted! Phone screen interviews are just as important as onsite or in-person interviews â adequately preparing for them and doing well can have a positive impact on your success.
However, before you start preparing, you must understand what to expect at FAANG phone screen interviews.
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How To Prepare For A Phone Interview
Whether youre trying to launch a career, land an internship, or get into your dream school, first impressions are everything. To get an offer letter, youll need to dazzle the interviewer and showcase yourself in the right light.
Before you hop on the phone, check out these pre-interview tips to make sure that youre prepared and ready to impress.
Things We Observe In A Screening Interview
An experienced and skilled recruiting manager can observe a lot of things while listening to your interview answers:
- Your listening skills, whether you talk to the point, or answer a totally different question .
- Whether you are introverted or extroverted .
- What matters for you the most in job and in life .
- Whether you are a good fit for the position, considering your future colleagues, the working environment, and other things we know about, but you know little about them in the screening stage of the hiring process.
- Whether we can count with you in a long run .
- Whether you are honest to yourself and to others. Are you humble, confident, over-confident?
Special Tip no. 2: You can , and practice your interview answers anytime later, even when offline:
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The Bottom Line With Phone Screen Interviews
Phone screen interviews are typically the first hurdle in the interview process used by employers to quickly separate the qualified from the unqualified job candidates. Follow these 12 steps to succeed in your next phone screen interview, and youll be invited to continue the interviewing process. These steps will guide you successfully through the telephone interview. Remember, do not leave this interview to chance prepare now for success!