10 Tips to Ace Up a Phone Interview

The employment process can be very stressful and long for candidates. Express employment professionals get hundreds of resumes for one job opening and they need to select the best candidates. But before this happens, they have to arrange a phone interview for applicants with convenient resumes in order to speed up the hiring process.

phone interview photo

What is a phone screen interview?

Employers use preliminary screening interviews to select the best. Employers’ interview techniques are conducted similarly to in-person meeting. How long do interviews last? It will take approximately 20-25 minutes top. Interview will determine the decision of hiring managers and you can land an in-person interview if everything goes smoothly.

There are two types of phone interview - scheduled and unscheduled. Usually, you will be notified about a forthcoming phone interview via email, but sometimes recruiters can call you all of a sudden. Unscheduled phone interviews are intimidating, so the best advice for you is to read carefully and get prepared.

Most candidates mistakenly believe that phone screen interview is a piece of cake. The truth is that a phone interviews are underestimated but still they are very important and you have to be ready to answer real tough work-related questions. Read the article below in order to find out how to prepare for a phone interview. These tips will help you to nail your phone interview techniques.

10 Phone interview tips that land you a second interview:

1.      Take it seriously

Even if it is a phone interview, it is still an interview. The night before a phone interview, make sure to do all thing you would do before a real interview and most importantly take a good rest. Additional hint: you will never succeed in your phone interview if you are lying on the couch in your pajamas. You should dress up the same way you would do for your real interview.

2.      Do your homework

job search photo

While preparing for a phone interview it is paramount to do some research. First of all, your job is to learn as much information about company and your position as possible. Visit company’s website, LinkedIn page, company career blog, other social media and news articles. Learn their culture, goals and values. Read carefully the job description in order to grasp the main idea of the positions and requirements.

3.      Know the answers to common questions

Keep reading and you will find the list of the typical phone interview questions. Think of your answers beforehand. Knowing the right responses is your main weapon.

4.      Prepare your cheat sheet

The nicest thing about phone interviews, that you can make phone interview cheat sheet and no one will ever know. Write down info on company, position, and your answers on the most difficult interview questions. This information will definitely come in handy during the face-to-face interview after phone interview. 

5.      Put all your documents in front of you

It is necessary to keep handy all your papers like resume, cover letter or portfolio. You will be asked about information that you have included. So having all supporting papers as well as job description and cheat sheet on the desk is imperative. It will be better to have a pen and paper in front of you to take notes

6.      Find the appropriate place

Nothing is that important as quiet and comfortable environment. Find the place when there are no distractions and you can focus on the interview. Cut all the distractions and turn off the TV. Don’t lay down, you have to sit straight with no people around. If you have roommates or family, ask them to be as quiet as possible. But most importantly, make sure phone reception is great.

7.      Speak clearly and always smile

Despite the fact that your interviewer doesn’t see you, you have to smile anyway. Recruiter won’t see your smile but he will hear it and it will create a nice impression of you as a candidate and a person. You also have to speak loudly clearly - no mumbling. Use positive language and stay always upbeat and enthusiastic. Keep a glass of water handy, just in case your mouth gets dry.

8.      Ask smart questions

Don’t be afraid to come up with your questions. During a screening interview, your best approach is to ask your potential employer. Make a list of telephone interview questions to ask. It will show your level of commitment, enthusiasm, excitement about the opportunity presented and the particular interest in a company and a position. Besides, you will get much more valuable information regarding your future responsibilities. It will help you to make sure if this company is truly the place you want to work in.

9.      Send a thank you note after the interview

thank you letter photo

Last minute interview tips will be how to end a phone interview and how to follow up.

Show your interview etiquette knowledge and respect to a recruiter. Send a thank you note via email within next 24 hours. Follow up after phone interview is crucial for your success, so thank an HR for this opportunity and his time.

10.  What if interviewer doesn’t call?

If you want to know what to do if phone interviewer doesn't call, first of all, don’t panic and be patient. It is expected if recruiter is late for 10-15 minutes because of work meeting or other interviews. But if you don’t get a call after more than 30 minutes of waiting, you can then contact the hiring manager or send email with the desire to reschedule.

Recruiters’ favorite common phone interview questions

You will never get a second chance to impress during the call. Recruiter will ask you not just the valuable information like your competencies and skills. Get familiar with the most common phone interview questions and think of your perfect answers.

Background questions

  • Name of companies, job titles and job descriptions, dates of all your employment.
  • What were your essential responsibilities?
  • What major challenges and problems have you faced? How did you manage to handle them?
  • What are your biggest professional accomplishment?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • What are your greatest weaknesses?

Questions about the job and company

  • Why are you interested to join this company?
  • Why do you want to land this job?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What applicable traits/experience do you have?
  • What can you do for the company?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • What challenges are you ready for in this position?
  • What can you contribute to this company?
  • What is important to you in your next job?
  • Why should we hire you?

Now you know how to nail an interview via the phone. Use these priceless tips and get ready to successfully pass the desired interview and land a job!