Home » Interview Tips » How to Crack a Phone Interview
How to Crack a Phone InterviewPhone interviews are usually the first stage of the process.
Once the company has received your Resume and cover letter, the interviewer may want to conduct a phone interview.
You’re unlikely to get a call to go in and interview before even having a phone conversation.
Many businesses have discovered a new method of saving time while carefully reviewing applications.
More firms are now conducting phone interviews before inviting a job seeker to an in-person interview.
Employers do not have the time to engage in a meeting with every other potential candidate who appears good on paper.
Therefore they will look to screen a candidate and decide if they can back up how good they appear to be on their Resume.
Some of these phone interviews may involve typical fact-based inquiries, such as the candidate experience and any unique abilities you possess.
However, some companies will get right into the most challenging questions, such as presenting you with a situation and asking for your reaction and plan for dealing with the problem presented.
Advantages of the Phone Interview
A phone interview has advantages for job applicants.
Some people are excellent on the phone, but their uneasiness shows in person.
Some people prefer to communicate in person and lack individuality while conversing over the phone.
When you do not have feedback through face-to-face communication, it might be difficult in both instances.
Regardless of the circumstances, you must be at your best to make an impression on the current employer.
This might be your sole opportunity to move forward to a job offer with them.
Remember that if you fall short of expectations or make an unfavorable impression on the phone, the company may reconsider bringing you in for the main interview.
Your social media presence is heavily valued when considering job recruitment, especially a strong LinkedIn profile with good employee reviews will make you stand out from the rest.
You’re creating an excellent first impression with these basic techniques.
Mostly, questions regarding salary expectations or salary range will be asked only in face-to-face interviews.
However, you can expect these in the phone screening sessions too.
Remember that your intonation is most crucial in how you come across in a phone interview, so be lively and passionate, and modify your tone to actively communicate with the interviewer.
You should prepare a set of questions to ask the interviewer and be ready for the session. However, you can save the more complex ones for a formal interview.n
How Important Phone Interviews Really Are
The quality of your résumé landed you a phone call.
Now, it’s time to focus, as this one 10-minute exchange will now determine whether or not you receive the interview.
That’s how critical it is.
Companies employ this gating method to narrow down their list of prospects.
You will not be given another job opportunity here.
This is the make-or-break point that decides whether you can be considered for the job.
Why Phone Interviews are Critical
Job seekers are generally aware they’re not the only person who has applied for the position.
Companies and recruiting managers simply do not have the time to interview everyone.
So, they put you through a short conversation to evaluate if you’re worth an hour of their convenient time in a regular interview.
They can interact with more individuals in less time this easy way.
Recruiters are very short of time – which is why they do phone screening.
They’re not producing if they’re chatting to you.
They’ll look to do a phone interview if it can be more productive and efficient.
They also benefit from it in other ways.
For one thing, there is less commitment.
It can be quite brutal, but it’s easier for an interviewer to cut a phone call short if they decide you’re not the right candidate than it is face-to-face.
If they aren’t looking at you and have not yet gotten to know you, it’s much simpler for them to give you the thumbs down and go on.
Why People Succeed or Fail in Phone Interviews
Job seekers fail in phone interviews for two primary purposes: they do not even take things literally enough, and they don’t consider the specific problems that a phone interview presents.
Phone interviews, like all interviews, are all about communication.
The difficulty is that most of human communication is visual rather than spoken.
Consider your body language, face movements, gestures, and anything else that influences how your words are received.
Those visual signals offer you a distinct edge.
Those indications are gone when you’re on the phone.
You can succeed if you treat the interview as professionally as a face-to-face interview and learn to work with the specific conditions of an interview.
There is a significant difference between having a face-to-face job interview versus a phone interview.
A face-to-face interview allows you to read and interpret the interviewer’s body language and tone.
To assess and double check if he is listen carefully or if he is side-tracked by what you are saying.
If they are preoccupied and looking at other objects, such as their smartphone or the ceiling, this is a strong indicator that you are missing the interview.
Neither the recruiter nor the job seeker sees each other during a phone interview, everything is interpreted based on the vocal tone in the initial few seconds you employ during the interview.
Your voice and confidence throughout the phone interview will determine whether or not you ace the interview and advance to the next hiring stage.
We’ve compiled a list of phone interview tips and proper phone interview etiquette that will help you master the job interview like a pro.
Steps of a Phone Interview
When you apply for a job, there is still the chance that you may be called in for a phone interview. Always be on the lookout for this potential. Here are some actions you may take to prepare for and perform well in a phone interview.
- Step One
Be prepared – The first step is to ensure that you have properly investigated both the employer and the position.
Employers won’t be impressed by applicants unfamiliar with them or the position.
They want employees who are really interested in the job and in continuing to work for them.
As a result, you should learn everything you can for them and the position.
Make sure you do this before submitting your Resume and cover letter.
Create a cheat sheet, bullet points, or a career blog outlining what you discovered you could refer to throughout your phone interview.
You should also plan responses to common interview questions.
This process should be taken just as seriously as an in-person interview. Telephone interviews may be lengthy and in-depth.
- Step Two
Hold off the jokes – Trying to be witty, attractive, or provocative is unlikely to endear you to a possible employer.
Your response should be both professional and concise.
Specify when you will be available to receive dropped calls and when you will return calls on your voicemail.
If you say you’ll answer calls at a specific time, be sure you keep your word.
Employers want employees who are trustworthy and follow through on their promises.
Bring a notebook and a pen with you to the phone interview.
You need to write notes and jot down the person’s full name throughout the talk.
If ideas come to you throughout the interview, write them down and cover them before the interview is finished.
- Step Three
Set up a private interview space in your home for phone interviews.
This is where you’ll keep your cheat sheet with data on the possible employer, your notebook and pen, a version of your Resume to refer to, and any other things you think would be helpful.
Having a bottle of water is a good idea.
Make sure you’re ready at your location, on your own, and in a quiet place where you’re unlikely to be interrupted.
It’s not going to make a good impression if you have to ask your interviewer to repeat themselves because your washing machine is on in the background.
You want to make absolutely sure there is nothing distracting you or leading the interviewer to believe you really aren’t professional.
- Step Four
When the interview begins, you should make sure you use headphones rather than holding your phone and are standing up. This will help to move about gradually while speaking.
Make an effort to smile.
By smiling, you may change the tone of your voice and make it seem more welcoming.
However, remember that because the interviewer cannot see you, they will focus more on your tone and how you respond to queries.
Again, planning ahead of time may offer you a considerable advantage.
- Step Five
Once the interview is over, ensure the following: Enquire about the next steps, and thank the employer for their time or interest in you.
Preparing for a phone interview is essentially the same as preparing for an in-person interview, if you can nail the phone interview, you can be successful in person.
Bonus Tips To Ace the Phone Interview
Preparing for a phone interview may be as stressful and demanding as the interview itself is overwhelming.
But when it arrives, you need to be prepared!
Use these methods to improve your chances of having a phone interview, wow the interviewer while on the phone, and close the deal after you say bye.
Before the Phone Interview
Add your phone number and address on each page of your Resume, as well as your application and cover letter.
You need to make sure your interviewer can phone you for the interview.
List any particular contact instructions in your letter, but don’t anticipate them to be followed.
Many interviewers will phone you whenever it’s convenient, having not read the section in your cover letter explaining when you’re free.
Ascertain that your voicemail greeting is proper. One interviewer may chuckle at the song or joke you tell during your welcome, while another may be annoyed and deduct key points from you.
A simple greeting like “You’ve found xxxx. “Please leave a message” or “You phoned 666-235-1212.” Please leave a message at the tone “is fine.
After you get the job, you can always alter your greeting.
Allow the phone to reach voicemail.
Despite the best intentions of your family members or roommate, messages might go lost.
The most straightforward technique is to provide a phone number that you know will either be answered by you or no one.
Maintain a copy of the new company’s information on hand.
Return messages immediately. Unreturned phone calls for phone interviews are a squandered opportunity.
Remember, most interviewers call groups of people to organize phone interviews.
If the job seeker doesn’t answer the phone, the interviewer will probably leave a message and move on to the next person.
Whoever answers puts themselves in pole position as they get the first interview.
If you call back, leave your name and number, why you’re ringing, and say you’re still keen on the post.
Once you do speak, confirm the details.
The day, time, who will be phoning who, and what number to call.
You’ll want a period to make final preparations, so set a timer for 15 minutes before the agreed interview time.
During the Phone Interview Process
If you phone the interviewer, do it at the agreed time.
If necessary, wait a few minutes beside the phone. If you cannot contact the person, leave a voicemail message, wait 10 minutes, and then try again.
If you still can’t reach the right person, try to get them another way. If the interviewer calls, be prepared to answer the phone when you are called.
It is conceivable that you will be contacted five minutes earlier than expected.
There is a chance you will be contacted 15 minutes late.
Do not appear offended in any way; simply proceed with the phone interview.
Reduce the negatives. If you’re interviewing on your phone, ensure the battery is fully charged, that you’re in a quiet location and that you’re not in a dead zone.
Do not consume gum, eat, smoke, or drink anything.
Distractions should be avoided.
Keep babies, pets, and items like the vacuum cleaner out of earshot.
“If you can’t hear the interviewer and there is some background noise, say something courteous like, “I’m having problems hearing you. Can you hear what I’m saying?”
Keep the job description, your Resume, and your notes close to hand.
Never assume that the interviewer will wait for you to locate such items.
Make notes with a pen and paper or a computer.
If you are doing a phone interview with a committee, write down the person’s name and current role or the people’s names and roles.
Smile: If you grin while on the phone, it will be audible in your voice.
Respond to questions, concentrate on the job’s requirements, the hiring manager’s requirements, the current company’s requirements, and how your previous experience in the last position and future prospects fit into all of those.
Ask questions of your own.
Show you’ve paid attention by asking specific or other questions throughout the phone interview and at the end.
Take a phone interview like a real one, and after the session, note down the phone interview answers.
Learn more about how you will find out about more interviews.
How long should you wait before taking action? Should you contact this interviewer or another one?
After the Phone Interview
Breathe! It’s ended.
Fill in the blanks with any notes or queries you have while they are still fresh in your mind.
Send a mail to the interviewer’s email address, including a thank you letter.
Express your gratitude for the chance to discuss the job, your level of interest, and why you are a good fit.
Make sure you include the job title, your name, phone number, and email address.
Address any lingering issues.
If the phone interviewer asks you a question about which you are unfamiliar, respond right away.
If you believe you did not provide examples of the best response to one of the queries, please explain it immediately.
Send the follow-up email.
If the recruiter does not return your call when they said they would, phone them or draft a mail.
If the interviewer specifically instructed you to call them on a specific day, do so.
Continue to look for new chances and apply for new employment.
No matter how ideal the new job appears to be, it may not be in your path.
The great news is that the more forms you send, so more phone interviews you will get, interviews you will have, and positions you will be offered.
Any rejection just indicates you’re one step closer to your ideal career!
The Most Important Part of your Phone Interview: Your Voice
You might not consider your voice quality before a phone interview, but you should. In that interaction, interviewers pay close attention to your voice: do you seem alert? Confident? Enthusiastic?
Are there any red signs they should be concerned about?
When you’re on the phone, they don’t have much to evaluate you on, so they focus on what they can—the things you say and the tone of your voice.
- Warm Up Your Voice Before the Interview
Talk to someone else around an hour before your interview to build up your voice.
It’s similar to warming up before working exercise.
You want to hit your stride for that chat rather than sounding scratchy or, worse, drowsy.
You can even sing if you enjoy it.
Choose music that gets you pumped up and makes you feel great so that it not only wakes up your voice but also boosts your level of energy before the call.
- Get a Glass of Water
Keep water handy nearby during the interview.
You can take a brief sip every now and then to maintain your voice smooth.
Remember not to add ice to your water. The tinkling of ice in your glass will be audible to the person you’re conversing with, which could lead them to believe you’re sipping Scotch on the rocks rather than plain water.
- Watch Your Tone
In a phone interview, they just have your voice to conduct personality assessments.
Just use small talk and time before the interview to practice making phone calls or recording yourself answering follow-up questions in interviews so you can hear how you sound.
Aim for positivity, upbeatness, energy, and enthusiasm.
Don’t try to be something you’re not, but remember that this interview might lead to a wonderful new career.
That is a good thing, and you should respond accordingly.
- Speak Slowly and Smoothly
Practice your responses to common questions like behavioral interview questions before the interview, so you don’t stutter.
When you’re on the phone, the hesitation in your voice sticks out because that’s everything they’re paying close attention to.
Even taking too much time to contemplate before responding might give the impression of doubt.
Sometimes you’ll have to pause and pay attention to your thought process before responding, which is OK but don’t do it all the time.
Prepare a couple of responses and avoid using unpleasant speech fillers like “um” and “uh,” and avoid too much dead air.
Even quiet is preferable to those.
And don’t swear!
- Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot
Make no visible blunders throughout your phone interview that will interfere with your ability to talk.
That means no smoking, no eating, no chewing gum, and no slurping coffee.
Any slurping, smacking, or excessive breathing will give them a negative image of you.
You always have to keep in mind that better chances of selection is when you are presentable with a positive image.
- The Best Time to Set Up Your Call
You have far more control over your phone interview than you undoubtedly know, including when it is scheduled.
Why is it so vital to maintain control during an interview?
First, allow yourself adequate time to prepare.
This phone interview is critical.
It is the gate that will lead you to the confrontation.
You won’t get another opportunity if you blow it here.
So, you should prepare and research the company well for this interview.
Second, you will always come across better if you can arrange the interview when you are calm and awake.
Don’t forget to stay focused.
Sometimes you’ll receive a call only to set up a telephone interview, which is fantastic.
But every now and again, you’ll get a call from someone who wants to talk to you right now.
It’s absolutely OK (and in your best interests) to say, “Hello, I’m happy you phoned. I’d love to chat with you right now, but I’m afraid I won’t be capable of giving this the proper attention right now.
“Can we chat in the morning tomorrow?” (Or whenever it is convenient for you.)
Every now and then, you’ll meet someone who believes it’s a good idea to catch others off guard, and this will not work.
If the timing is not suitable for you, you must speak up.
When it comes to arranging a phone interview, recruiting managers are usually quite accommodating.
If they are unwilling to be flexible, you will have to accept whatever time they request.
However, if you are given the best way, always arrange your interview around the time of day when you are most aware and on your game.
You may be limited to requesting a broad time of day for the call, but you may typically select a precise time for your call.
It’s the same as making an in-person interview appointment.
You’d have a defined time for that one, so scheduling a phone call isn’t an issue.
In reality, it demonstrates your management style as a good time manager.
When you arrange your call, give yourself plenty of time if it goes over.
Some managers will inform you that the call will last 10 minutes and keep to their word.
They have a set of questions ready, they go through them, and they’re finished.
However, others could be set to a 10-minute timeframe and then extend to 20 to 30 minutes, or can even last for 45 minutes.
Most Common Phone Interview Questions
A human resources professional or a recruiting manager conducts phone interviews.
However, some phone interviews are now performed by a third-party recruiter.
Though phone interviews are unpredictable, you still need to prepare as your interview responses will decide your suitability for the job.
The following are the common phone interview questions and how to respond appropriately.
- What can you tell me about yourself?
You are expected to keep it as brief as possible.
When responding to this kind of questionnaire item, you should concentrate on the characteristics that are relevant to the job you are looking for.
Mention your relevant experience that highlights your best characteristics and soft skills. Tell the interviewer about your strengths.
- What motivated you to apply for the current position?
The fact is, job interview questions like these are not designed to condemn or evaluate you.
The interviewer is primarily interested in determining your interest in the job or in the firm.
As a result, reply with zeal and enthusiasm.
- What are your thoughts about our company/position?
To answer questions in this interview successfully, you need to do some research on the firm and searching the job position.
As a result, being is critical.
Try to understand more about the company culture to get a better understanding.
- How do you deal with stress?
Everyone experiences stress from time to time.
How you manage them reflects your ability to overcome challenges and flaws.
Physical activities are usually the best stress relievers.
- Where do you want to be in five years?
Employers often want to screen candidates who want to work for them for an extended length of time.
This will save them money on the hiring process and job training material.
You are more likely to be passed the phone interview if you react with an answer that is directly related to the job you applied for.
- Why are you thinking of quitting your current job?
Interviewers want to determine whether you are qualified for the second interview.
They have created more interview questions to make the recruiting process more manageable and speedier.
In fact, they would prefer to spend several days on a phone interview rather than a face-to-face meeting.
As a result, if they discover that you are an entrepreneur who quits for no good cause, they will not consider you.
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
Your responses to this phone interview will help you decide your priorities.
Set your career goals and achievements depending on the employment requirements.
So, if you’re seeking a teaching post, your greatest accomplishment may be your influence on one of your students.
There are particular interview queries that only need a short response.
For instance, how many years of past work experience do you have?
Respond as briefly as possible.
In addition to these phone interview queries, you will be asked when you will be available. What are your pay expectations?
If you are truthful, you could well ace your phone interview.
Phone interviews have only one purpose: for the employer to narrow down the applicants and see if you’re suitable for a full interview.
This is required since it saves the firm time and money throughout the selection.
The ideal candidates will have the opportunity to interview for the position.
This is an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your qualifications and expertise for the post.
Preparing for a phone interview should be treated as seriously as preparing for a face-to-face interview.