Phone Interview Tips

It's likely that you'll have a phone interview at some point during your career--especially nowadays. In this article, we'll make sure you are prepared for common questions in a phone interview. We will also provide tips to make the most out of your phone call.

How to prepare for a phone interview

Before your phone interview, make sure your phone is fully charged. If you are using a cell phone, it's a good idea to test your connection from the location you will take the phone call.

Always answer the phone when it's an interview. Having to call them back is almost the same as showing up late to an in-person interview. When the interviewer asks questions, you want to give clear answers that show you are a good fit for the role.

Phone interview with human resources

The first step in prepping for a phone interview is to know who the interviewer will be. First-round interviews are often conducted by a recruiter or human resources. These interview questions will be more general and should be easy to answer. If it's a phone interview you're preparing for, here are some interview questions you are likely to be asked.

  • Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  • What is something specific you have learned at your company?
  • What skills do you have that make you stand apart from other candidates?
  • What is one thing that stood out to you from the job posting?
  • Is there a work environment you like best?
  • Share a recent experience where you had to deal with a difficult employee or client

Take some time to review the job description before you call. The interviewer might ask a question or two that relates to the position. At this point in the hiring process, the recruiter is looking to confirm your background matches the open position. If you impress the interviewer, you are likely to move on to the hiring manager in the next round.

These employment screening calls can make or break your job search. Make sure you thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity. It's also a good idea to ask the interviewer what the next steps are. It solidifies your interest in the role and moving on to the next round.

Phone interview tips with the hiring manager

If your phone interview is with the hiring manager, it will be a more in-depth conversation. Candidates are typically used to these being an in-person interview, so you will want to prepare commonly asked interview questions and answers.

  • Why are you interested in the job?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell me about your last position
  • Why are you looking to leave your current employer?

The job interview process can be long so to make it to the next round, you will want to nail phone interviews with a hiring manager. With any phone interview during your job search, you will want to have a good connection when you answer the phone. Since you won't be sitting in front of anyone during phone interviews, you can keep a cheat sheet in front of you. While no one can see you, make sure you don't sound like you are reading off a script.

Have examples from past job experiences to back up your answers. You always want to provide context when discussing your past. Make a list of things you might want to say so you don't forget. These could be professional accomplishments or achievements you have received. You could also write down something that makes you stand apart from others applying for the role.

Write down a few questions you have for the interviewer. Check out the company's website and social media profiles before your interview. Search the internet for any new press releases or recent articles on the company. The more information you have in advance, the stronger your conversation will be.

If you can't think of question, ask what the next steps are. It shows the interviewer you are interested in the job. Make sure you ask at least one question. The recruiting team can take it as a sign you aren't interested if you have nothing to ask.

Final tips to ace your phone interview

Hiring managers and recruiters are using telephone interviews more during the interviewing process. Job candidates can use these to let their communication skills shine through. Since the interviewer can't see you, you don't have to focus on your clothes.

If you tend to get nervous during interviews, practice your answers with a friend or family member. It can help build your confidence and calm your nerves. Remember these tips to help make your phone interviews more successful.

  • Ask the interviewer for their contact information to send a thank you note after your phone call.
  • Answer when the phone rings. Avoid the company having to leave you a voicemail message.
  • Take your call in a private place away from family members or roommates.
  • Keep your notes in front of you in case you get stuck or forget something.
  • Speak with enthusiasm, this helps leave a great first impression.
  • Try to make the interview a conversation with a good flow.
  • Leave plenty of time in your schedule. You never know how long the call will be and you want to avoid interruption.
  • Keep a glass of water nearby in case your throat gets dry.

You have what it takes to nail your next phone interview. Show your knowledge of the industry and that you can handle the responsibilities of the role. Take advantage of your time with the interviewer. Answer all of their interview questions with care. Remember to ask them a question or two. By following these tips, you'll be well-prepared for your upcoming phone interview.

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Dave Fano

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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