Learn About The Employer
Familiarize yourself with the employer before your interview by reading their Handshake page, company website, and searching for recent news online. Avoid asking questions about things that are readily available online, and show the interviewer that youve done your homework.
- What are the most important company values?
- What are the biggest goals for the company?
- How does this team/role contribute to the company goals?
- What excites you most about the companys future?
Prepare Questions In Advance
Before the phone interview, make a list of questions you would like to ask the recruiter. Contemplate the topics you would like to know that the job description or company website didn’t include. It might be helpful to make a list of at least five questions. If the recruiter discusses the answers to some of your planned inquiries, you may still have some left over to ask toward the end of the conversation. Also, rank the questions in order of importance, reminding you to ask them first, and keep the list nearby for the interview.
Related:A Step-by-Step Guide To Creating a Phone Interview Cheat Sheet
What Type Of Employee Tends To Succeed Here And What Qualities Are The Most Important For Succeeding Here
This question sheds light on whether the organisation has a clear idea of who they want to employ in the role. Hopefully, the ideal candidate looks a lot like you and if you feel like youve missed something they mention in response, you can always email the interviewer later to reiterate how well you think youll fit in.
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Key Skills And Accomplishments
To fill in this section, look at the job description for the role. Take note of the skills and experiences they emphasize. Jot them down. And if you have a past accomplishment that really shows your expertise in one of these areas, write down any highlights or key numbers that help quantify your success.
What Type Of Work Environment Do You Prefer
Employers want to make sure that your personality is a fit for their work environment. This is different than determining if your skills are a fit for their job.
So after some of the competency-based questions in the interview, theyll likely ask about how you prefer to work, types of companies/environments youve enjoyed in the past, etc.
To answer, you can either describe an environment that you feel is similar to theirs, or demonstrate that you can work well in a variety of environments.
For more help with this, read our guide to answering what type of work environment do you prefer?
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Smart Questions To Make You Stand Out During The Interview
- Post authorBy Hannah Morgan
Interviews can be stressful, but if youve done your research, prepared your answers, the next thing is to create a list of questions you will ask during the interview. Remember, the interview really should be a mutual exchange of information, not an interrogation.
When you ask questions is demonstrates your interest in the company and the position. It also shows you have given careful thought to what the job will entail and whether the company will be a good match. Sending these impressions to the employer can work in your favor. Remember, most employers arent hiring butts in seats. They want the people they hire to perform, and hopefully better than expected.
There are four different categories of questions listed depending on where you are in the interview process and what information you want to gather during your discussion.
Do You Have Any Questions For Me
The recruiters perspective: The worst answer you can give to this question is, No, you pretty much answered everything. You need to ask at least one question. Remember, interviewing is a two-way street.
The answer: Its important to have a few questions you can ask anyone.
- How would you describe the company culture?
- What changes has the company made since going remote?
- If I were to take this role, what are three things youd want me to accomplish?
Depending on whom youre speaking to, you can ask at least one, if not two, questions that havent been answered already during your conversation.
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What Are You Passionate About
Understanding what you are passionate about or what motivates you might help employers decide whether you might be a good fit for the position. If you are passionate about helping people, for example, and are interviewing for a largely independent role with little interaction with others, the position might not be a good fit for you. To answer this question, think of broad ways you are motivated both in and out of work. Consider how your passions might align with the role.
Example answer:Im driven every day by the ability to create beautiful, innovative experiences for users all over the world. There is so much helpful, valuable digital information on the web. Designing it in a way that is easy for people to consume makes me feel like Im truly making a difference for people to access whatever it is that helps them live to their true potentialeven if only in a small way.
Read more: Interview Question: What Are You Passionate About?
Be An Active Listener
Be attentive, ask insightful questions and engage with the recruiter. This will show that youre taking the interview seriously and that you genuinely care about what they have to say. Practicing with friends or family could be greatly beneficial. Make sure youre listening to every word, and follow-up with questions that show you were actively listening to what they were saying.
Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition and Examples
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Phone Screen General Rules Of Thumb
Keep in mind the purpose of a phone screen is to ensure you’re a good fit for the company and vice versa. For that reason, you’ll want to be honest with your answers. Additionally, show enthusiasm about the potential opportunity. Recruiters and hiring managers want to hear your excitement that’ll get them excited about you. Conclude your conversation with gratitude. Let your contact know you appreciate the time they took to talk and provide more information about the position.
If you don’t pass the phone screen, don’t feel bad. The recruiter or hiring manager saw something promising in your resume and cover letter. It could simply be that you’re not the best fit for the company or the position, and there’s no need to waste your time interviewing again.
Plus, there are plenty more jobs out there waiting for your application.
Not acing the interview the way you want to? It might be time to get a professional opinion. Our TopInterview coaches can help!
Common Phone Interview Questions And Answer Samples
If you have a phone interview coming up, there are some questions you are very likely to be asked and practicing them can immediately help you feel confident and be ready to wow the interviewer so you can move on to the next stage!
Im going to walk you through the most common phone interview questions and best answers, so you can get hired faster.
Lets get started
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Whats Some Feedback That Youve Received That Was Difficult To Hear But Ultimately Has Proven Really Valuable
It wont be easy for the candidate to relay some tough criticism to you, but its critical that she is mature and self-aware enough to show she can receive difficult feedback and use it constructively.
Look for a candidate who can be honest and non-judgmental about feedback she has received. You want a candidate to focus on how the criticism helped her improve — ideally, she will even say shes grateful that the criticism taught her skills that eventually helped her grow. Its not a good sign if applicants become defensive when asked this question, or blame the feedback-giver and refuse to take accountability. This could indicate a lack of maturity when it comes to receiving and using feedback to improve, and could be a problem for you down the road.
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.
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Consider Your Salary Expectations
Many employers ask about your salary expectations. Research the average salary in your industry when considering what youd like to get paid, but be reasonable. Its also wise to offer them a salary range within $5,000. For example, Im hoping to make between $60,000 and $65,000. This will let your interviewer know that you are flexible.
Read more: Interview Question: What Are Your Salary Expectations?
What Percentage Of The Time Should I Be Talking Or Listening
Interviews are intended to be conversational. Remember, this is not an interrogation. A quality applicant should be just as concerned about joining the right company, as you are about hiring the right talent. Try to keep the interview as close as possible to a 50/50 taking to listening ratio. Sharing extensively about the role and not allowing the candidate to share about themselves will do a great job of informing them of the job but a lousy job at informing you if they are a quality candidate. Conversely, only asking questions without giving the applicant a chance to learn about the role may help you with screening, but does a poor job at ensuring the applicant is able to make a well-informed decision.
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Listen And Dont Dominate The Conversation
Yes, this is an interview which means theyre going to be asking you questions, but its also an opportunity to show your potential employer that youre good at listening too.
Talk, but dont dominate the conversation. Let the interviewer guide the conversation.
Answer the questions, but dont turn it into a one sided monologue. This is as much about you getting to know them as it is about them getting to know you.
Keep a pencil and paper nearby so you can jot down questions and notes and save them for the end.
Ask a few follow up questions but dont flip the interview onto the interviewer. It helps to reinforce to the interviewer that youre truly interested in the company and the job and that youve paid attention during the interview.
Have a copy of your resume with you so you can reference it at any time. Keep your answers honest, thoughtful and reflective.
Make sure you breathe and speak clearly.
Most importantly, smile! Sure, they might not be able to see it, but your tone of voice will reflect it.
How To End A Phone Interview
The way you end the phone interview will set the stage for the in-person interview, so make sure you end on a high note. Thank the interviewer for their time and ask them for the next steps or a timeline.
Say again that you are confident that you are the right choice for this position and how excited you are at the possibility of working for the company. If you dont have the interviewers email address, ask for it now so you can send a thank you note.
Then follow up after the interview, not immediately but a few hours later, to thank them again for their time, recap any high points of the discussion and restate your enthusiasm about taking the interview process to the next step.
Phone interviews can be intimidating and challenging, but with these tips, you’ll be armed with the tools you need to ace the interview and get to the next round.
One last thing, if you want to practice your answers to the most common interview questions, we’re here to help you! Check out our in-depth guides:
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Why Will You Succeed In This Position
Some interviewers will come out and directly ask why you think youll be a success in their job. Dont be timid when answering this is your chance to show confidence and explain exactly how you can help them, and how your experience will be helpful to you in their job.
Heres more info on answering Why do you think you would do well in this job?
What Is Your Company’s Customer Or Client Service Philosophy
This is an impressive question because it shows that you can make the connection between how the company thinks about its customers and the end result. In other words, how the customer is treated on a day-to-day basis, and in turn, how that shows up in the product.
How It Helps You
While you might be able to find a canned response to this question on the company’s website, it’ll be useful — and possibly eye-opening — for you to hear it more candidly from an employee. How the company treats its customers could end up informing your decision to join if you are offered the job, especially if you’re applying for a job where you’ll be communicating directly with customers.
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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.
How Do You Deliver Negative Feedback
If you would be working with the person interviewing you, this is another tough question that can give you some insight into how the team works. It pushes the hiring manager to think about how he or she would handle an uneasy situation, while at the same time showing your level of maturity in that that you expect to receive tough feedback sometimes.
How It Helps You
Just like different people take negative feedback differently, different people give negative feedback differently. Does this person tailor their feedback approach depending on whom they’re giving feedback to? Do they make feedback a two-way street? Their feedback style — especially when it comes to negative feedback — will help you understand how well you would be able to work with them.
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What Salary Are You Looking For
The recruiters perspective: Sometimes people think that by withholding their salary preferences to the end they are somehow giving themselves a leg up. Thats frustrating to us as a recruiter because were on your side. We want you to get the job. We cant fight for you unless we know what salary youre looking for. Thats why we ask the question. And when youre talking to hiring managers, giving them that information up front makes the process smoother.
Youre never going to paint yourself into a corner by giving an honest answer to this question, even if your number is higher than our salary range for the position.
The answer: Sometimes people answer with where theyre at now salary-wise, which is helpful information. Other times, theyll ask for a salary based on research theyve done. They might say, Im really aiming for this salary, but Im flexible with other perks.
Youre never going to paint yourself into a corner by giving an honest answer to this question, even if your number is higher than our salary range for the position. Hiring managers appreciate people who are upfront about their salary, and if we can do it, well do it. Otherwise, well give you the best deal we can. But your salary request doesnt ever discount your chances for the job.
Good Questions To Ask At An Interview
To make sure the employer knows you’re prepared and interested in the role make sure you have some questions ready to ask at the end of the interview
Your interview is going well. You’ve answered all the recruiters questions confidently and the session is coming to a close. One of the final things you’ll be asked will be, ‘Do you have any questions for me?’ To have a chance of securing the job, always say yes.
Having a list of questions to ask an interviewer makes you look interested, enthusiastic and engaged – all qualities that the employer will be looking for. It also gives you one final chance to further highlight your relevant qualities and experience.
Try to come up with at least four or five questions to ask the interviewer. That way, if one or two of them are answered during the earlier discussion, you have backups in place.
Avoid asking questions that focus too much on what the organisation can do for you. Save questions about salary and holiday allowance for when you’ve got a job offer. Also, stay away from questions that require a yes or no answer, as you’re likely to find this information on the company’s website.
While it’s ok to ask your interviewer to clarify certain points, avoid asking about anything that has previously been covered. You don’t want them to think that you haven’t been paying attention. If you need some inspiration here are some good questions to ask at an interview
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