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So, you’ve made it through the application process of a new job, and you get the notification that you’re scheduled for an interview. However, instead of an in-person interview, which is what you were expecting, you instead have been told that you’re going to do a telephone interview. This often throws people off, even though the interview questions and answers are often very similar. If you want to impress recruiters even through the phone, then here’s what you need to keep in mind.
A phone interview is just what it sounds like; it’s a job interview that you do over the phone. It’s part of the hiring process like any other type of interview, attempting to understand your career goals, skills and strengths, and work experience so that the hiring manager can narrow down the pool of potential candidates.
The job interview questions that you get at a phone interview will typically be the same specific questions you might find at any job interview. Typically, any type of interview will have the same questions and answers, so there are no specific phone interview tips you need to think about. Here are some common phone interview questions to prepare for:
● What is your greatest strength?
● What is your greatest weakness?
● What is the biggest challenge in your current role?
● Why should we hire you?
● Why did you leave/are you leaving your current/last job?
● Tell me about yourself.
● Why do you want to work here/Why do you want this job?
● What do you do at your current/most recent job?
● Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?
● What are your passions?
You may get a wide variety of questions, just like in any other type of interview. Questions may center around the work environment, your skill set, and your current employer. You may also want to prepare for behavioral interview questions, where an interviewer will ask you specific questions about a situation and see how you respond.
Just like in a face-to-face interview, having a good answer can be more about knowing how to navigate the interview than anything else. Here are a few tips that interviewees might want to consider, especially you’re in the first round of interviews.
First of all, have some follow-up questions prepared for the interviewer. Very frequently, the interviewer will end the interview with, “Do you have any questions for me?” If you say “No,” then this may reflect poorly on you. Even if you feel out of place, prepare to ask the hiring manager some extra questions.
Next, practice your phone demeanor. You won’t need to worry about your appearance, but you should focus on your voice, and practice speaking clearly. Set yourself up in a quiet environment where you won’t be disturbed during your interview.
It’s also a good idea to avoid asking any questions about salary expectations unless the interviewer offers you the job. If you’re actively in a conversation about receiving the job, then you can talk about salary range; but it’s generally considered unprofessional otherwise.
Lastly, make sure you do the same research for a phone interview that you would do for any other interview. Just because you’re going to do your interview on the phone doesn’t mean your answers to interview questions should be of lesser quality. Research the company goals and culture, and review your cover letter and resume so you’re prepared to talk about the skills and experiences you mention in those documents.
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Instead of phone interviews, some companies are moving to video interviews. If you’re going to do a video interview, then make sure you dress up and check how you look on your phone or laptop camera, not just in a mirror. You can typically use either a phone or a laptop to conduct a video interview. Either way, check yourself in the camera to be sure you’re displayed well, and make sure your connection is solid. For a phone screen interview, make sure you’re looking into the camera as much as possible, as looking at the screen might give the impression that you’re looking off to the side.
When talking for a phone interview, you need to make sure you’re enunciating clearly so the hiring manager can hear you. It might be best to get a headset or headphones with a built-in microphone for best results. Lastly, if you typically have a hard time being expressive, try to add extra expression through your voice. This is how the hiring manager will get an idea of your personality.
Make sure you ask what number the interviewer will be calling from, then add that number to your contacts under a name like “Job Interview”. Make sure you also clear your schedule starting about 15 minutes before the interview time, just in case the interviewer calls early, and move into a quiet area to give yourself the best environment to talk to the interviewer and answer questions.
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