Tuesday, February 20, 2024

How To Schedule A Phone Interview

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Focus On Your Language And Voice

How to Schedule an Interview

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.

Ask For The Appropriate Individual

If a receptionist does answer your call, ask for the appropriate individual after you introduce yourself. For example, ask for the interviewer using their first and last name. If the interviewer answers your call, use this step to ensure you are speaking with the correct individual. Here are two examples for each case:

Example:“Hello, I’m Gemma Rutherford, and I’m calling for a scheduled interview for the accounts payable clerical position. May I speak with Jackie Renshaw, please?”

Example:“Hi, this is Gemma Rutherford, and I’m calling for our scheduled phone interview today. Am I speaking with Jackie Renshaw?”

Prepare Your Own Cheat Sheet

Like all good interviews, its not just about answering questions, but asking the right ones as well.

The right questions not only help you get information you might need to make an informed decision regarding the job, but it also helps confirm your qualifications as the ideal candidate for the position.

Ask about the different aspects of the job and express genuine interest and excitement in the opportunity.

Take the time to make sure that this is the organization you want to work foritll save you a ton of heartache and headaches in the long run.

Dont be afraid to dig for more details about the position and the company.

Ask questions about the job that werent covered in the job postingask about specifics and get details.

You need to know exactly what youre getting into before you say yes to the job

Make sure you prepare your own list of questions before you start. Make sure your questions are thoughtful and have a purpose.

Need some examples to use or ideas to kick start your own list? Check out our Top 14 Questions to Ask In An Interview blog post.

Remember though to keep these questions short and sweet. Again, remember, Its not about you, its about them. How can you fulfill their needs?

Read Also: Where Can I Watch The Interview

The Bottom Line On Replying To Interview Request Emails

Usually, accepting an interview opportunity is the smartest thing to do, even if you are not officially in a job search. However, if you decide that this isnt the right time , you can gracefully turn down a job interview invitation without burning any bridges Why and How to Turn Down an Interview Invitation.

Scheduling Phone Interview Checklist For Efficiency

Free Interview Agenda Templates (Hire the Right Person)
  • Work with the Hiring Team to Reach Consensus
  • First of all, let’s meet up with the hiring team to clarify unanswered questions, concerns, and ensure that the implementation timeline will meet their needs . For recruiters, make sure that you know the hiring team’s available time for interviews, their must-have requirements for candidates, questions that you need to ask, or any important notes.

  • Always Schedule a Phone Interview in Advance
  • Imagine you are working on your project when your phone rings. On the other side of the phone, there is someone who would like to talk about an opportunity in 20- 30 minutes. You don’t want to miss it, but you are also having things to do. And that inconvenient situation is what may happen to top candidates when recruiters choose to pick up their phones and call. Even though phone interviewing acts as a quick scan, picking up your phone at your convenience and making random calls often lead to unproductive, flustered conversations, and thus, you will risk damaging candidate experience. So, make sure that you schedule phone interviews via email or call in advance. Between the two channels, using email is more convenient for both recruiters and applicants. For templates of interview invitation , you can check our previous article on Interview Invitation Email Sample .

  • Invest in ATS or Interview Management for Productive and Hassle-Free Experience
  • Prepare Your Pre-Screening Interview Questions
  • Also Check: How To Act During An Interview

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    Sample Email Confirming Date And Time Of Interview

    An invitation may provide complete information would give the date and time for the interview and answer the questions you may have asked. Or, you may have sent the message above and received a response with the information you requested.

    When you agree with the chosen date and time, send a short and simple message, like this:

    Subject: OR

    Dear :

    Confirming the interview on at to speak with about .The meeting will be conducted via Zoom .

    I look forward to speaking with you and am very interested to learn more about this opportunity. Please let me know if you would like any additional information about me.

    Best regards,

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    Email Sample : Accepting A Recruiters Invitation To Talk

    If youre contacted by a recruiter who youve never spoken with, then you can use the sample email to respond and express interest. Just reply to the same email address that they contacted you from.

    Hello NAME,

    Thank you for contacting me about this role. It sounds interesting. Id love to hear more about the position.

    Here is my availability to talk on the phone this week:

    Monday Thursday, 7:00 am 2:00 pm Central Time.

    The best number to reach me: 555-281-6872

    Thanks, and I look forward to talking with you.

    Best regards, Your name

    As mentioned earlier, include multiple days/times in terms of availability. And if they dont already have your contact info, then include that, too.

    Also, make sure you have a professional-sounding voicemail recording! You dont want employers and recruiters calling you and hearing an unprofessional voicemail that you recorded when you were in high school and forgot about!

    Interview Schedule Email Template

    Calling Candidates to Schedule Interviews

    Drawing from the information above, heres an example of an interview schedule email including all of the necessary details:

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for applying to XYZ Company.

    We reviewed your qualifications for the accountant position and we wish to extend an invitation for an in-person interview at our downtown Houston office.

    You will be meeting with , as well as two members of the accounting team. The interview should last approximately one hour and well be using the time to further discuss your background, details about the accountant position, and information about our company.

    Let me know what interview time works best for you at the following link:

    XYZ Company is located at 45 Washington St. Parking is free and driving directions to our exact location are attached. Be sure to bring your ID to obtain a visitors pass from security. Our office is located on the 12th floor. Upon your arrival, check in with John Smith, our receptionist, at the front desk.

    I look forward to hearing from you!


    Also Check: What Are The Top 10 Behavioral Questions In An 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!

    Greet The Individual Who Answers The Call

    First, greet the individual who answers your call. For instance, a receptionist may be the professional who you greet, and they need to know your purpose for calling and who you are contacting. Introduce yourself to the individual by stating your name and the reason you called. Likewise, the interviewer may answer the call personally. In this case, follow the same procedure of introducing yourself and your reason for calling.

    Example:Hi, I’m Gemma, and I’m calling for a scheduled phone interview for the accounts payable clerical position.”

    Example:Hello, this is Gemma, and I’m calling regarding our scheduled phone interview today.”

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Answer For Interview Questions

    Print Out Other Relevant Documents

    In addition to your cheat sheet, it might help to also print out a copy of your resume and cover letter, as well as any other information you think you might need to reference . As Muse writer Aja Frost points out, the interviewer may bring up points you made in these documents, and youll want to know what theyre talking about.

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    How To Schedule Phone Interview: Recruiters

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    More About Job Interviews

    About the author

    Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff graduate who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at and on , .

    How To Reply To An Interview Invitation

    Show your interest in the job and your professionalism in your interview confirmation email. Heres how to accept an interview invitation:

  • Choose the Reply All option if others in the employers organization were copied on the message. This will keep everyone on the employers side informed. Exception: If the message tells you to send your response to a specific email address, be sure to comply. You will be demonstrating that you read messages carefully and can follow directions.
  • Use the senders name in the salutation .
  • Thank them for the invitation to interview.
  • Include that you are very interested in learning more about this opportunity.
  • Clarify or confirm the type of interview. especially if it will be a video interview using a platform like Zoom or Skype.
  • If they have invited you to interview at a specific date and time, confirm if that time works for you or offer more than one alternative date and/or time.Generally, agreeing to their date and time is the best strategy, if what they have offered works for you. With video interviewing when working from home, we all usually have more flexibility in scheduling.
  • If they have offered you more than one date and time for the interview, choose the best date and time for you.When choosing the date and time, consider the following:
  • If possible choose mornings over afternoons, preferably mid-morning. When possible, avoid late afternoons.
  • Avoid Mondays and Fridays when possible because people are usually distracted.
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    Suggest An Alternate Date

    Wile youll want to be flexible and keep this open-ended, suggesting a couple reschedule dates for the near future will help to turn the focus back to your interest in the position. The sooner you can get in and get to know your interviewer the better. Dont reschedule your interview for two weeks after the original date or youll run the risk of being forgotten or replaced by someone who interviewed sooner. Before you call or email to reschedule, try picking two or three times that are open in your schedule and present them to your interviewer.

    Talking Points To Mention

    UI Online: How to Reschedule Your Phone Interview

    Streamline the conversation and help the interviewer find out pertinent information by providing the candidate with a list of things to bring up or be prepared to discuss. Simply stating what the goal of the interview is get to know you better, discuss your most recent product launch, etc. will suffice and is an effective interview technique. Keep this information vague and to a minimum as to avoid overly rehearsed responses. Again, your goal is to simply reassure candidates so they feel confident stepping into your office.

    The following 11 templates will help you send polished, engaging interview invitation emails to candidates at every stage in the recruitment process. Copy and paste the text into a blank email, replace placeholder text with the correct details and proofread carefully.

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    Will You Travel For This Job

    Again, one you should consider before the interview. This one might be a little easier than the first question as it means you should be able to come back to wherever you are right nowbut again, keep in mind what this means to both your professional and personal life. Be honest. Be honest. Be honest.

    How To Reply Back To A Phone Interview Offer


    You know your resume did not fall into the proverbial black hole of no return when you get an email or phone call from a recruiter or hiring manager to schedule a preliminary phone interview. Since the phone interview is your first opportunity to express your interest in the job and promote your abilities, make it clear that you are available for the call by replying to the phone interview request as soon as possible. Call or write the recruiter or hiring manager as soon as you confirm that the time is a convenient one and start your preparation for a successful first interview.

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    Sample Email Response To Accept An Interview Request

    If you do not know these important details, send this first message to request all necessary information:

    TO: CC: Subject: RE: ORSubject: Interview on

    Dear :

    Thank you very much for the invitation to interview for the position. I am definitely interested in learning more about this opportunity, and I look forward to our virtual meeting on Tuesday, the 9th, at 10:30 AM.

    I understand that we will be using Zoom, and that the URL and password will be provided to me on the day before the interview via email.

    Will other people be participating in the interview? Please, if possible, share the names and job titles of the other people who will be interviewing me.

    If I should expect to spend more than two hours, please give me your best estimate of the amount of time needed.

    If you would like any additional information about me, please let me know.

    If the original invitation does not include the date and time, add this paragraph

    The best times for me to attend this interview are: or, if that is unavailable, . Let me know which date is best for you.

    Best regards,

    Respond promptly when they reply to your message. See the sample below as an example of an interview confirmation message, if they have provided answers to all of your questions and the schedule works for you.

    Follow Up If You Dont Hear Back

    Schedule an interview

    If you dont hear from the hiring manager in a week or so, dont hesitate to follow up to see where they are in the process. They may still be conducting interviews and thus have no updates for you, but checking in keeps you top of mind when they go to narrow down candidates.

    It could look something like this:

    Hi Jen,

    I hope all is well! It was really nice speaking with you last week.

    I just wanted to follow up and see where you were in the hiring process for the sales development representative role. Im still very interested in and excited about this opportunity, so please let me know if theres anything else you need from me to help in making your decision.


    For more help on writing this follow-up email, check out this article and this one.

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    Contents Of A Typical Job Interview Invitation

    The emailed invitation you receive should provide the details about the interview:

    • Employer name, job title, and location of the job.
    • Location of the job interview .
    • Type of interview, which may include any of these different options:
    • Telephone.
    • Video like Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, WebEx, GoToMeeting , Google Meet, or other video platform.
    • In person.
  • Name and job title of the person who will be interviewing you.
  • Other information like video URL and password or driving directions and parking details may be provided.
  • A few date and time options, offering you the ability to choose the one which best fits your schedule.
  • If their message does not contain all the information you need, request the missing information in the message you send in response.

    Phone Interview Best Practices

    During a phone screen, your goal is to eliminate your least qualified candidates to save onsite staff time and money. Additionally, you are hoping that your most qualified, mission compatible prospects rise to the top. During a phone screen, you are also looking for hints that the candidate’s needs are congruent with the offerings and culture provided by your organization.

    You want to ask enough questions during the phone interview to determine if the person is a viable candidate. Remember, you have already screened many resumes and applications to come up with your short list of applicants eligible for a phone screen.

    The applicants that you will phone interview should be your best prospects at this point in your recruitment process. If a candidate was sorted into your “maybe” resume stack, the candidate is unlikely to surpass the prospects you definitely identified as your top candidates. Don’t waste your timeor theirsin a phone interview unless their credentials and experience were in your top tier of candidates.

    Are you interested to know what you should be able to expect from the candidate during the phone interview? See these recommended phone screen interview questions.

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