Before a hiring manager would interview you in person, you will likely go through a phone interview first. Phone interviews are similar to in-person interviews wherein you will be screened but, obviously, you will be interviewed via a telephone or a cellular phone. Phone interviews are common nowadays and are used by hiring managers as well as human resources recruiters as one of the tools that could help them in screening their candidates.
Like how in-person interviews come with challenges, phone interviews can also come with its own kind of challenges. If there was no initial interview, the phone interview is the first interaction you will get from the employer or from the Human Resources department.
Advantage and Disadvantage of Phone Interviews
With all the advancements in technology, there is also such thing as an e-mail interview, but the advantage phone interviews have over an e-mail interview is that the answers generated out from this is more genuine and not rehearsed since the interviews would hear the answer right after asking a question. Whereas for e-mail interviews, it gives the candidate some time and chance to re-read and re-formulate their responses and they could also ask help from others in answering and the interviewer would not know about it. You may also see Samples of Pre-Interview Questionnaires.
Possible Phone Interview Questions
While phone interview questions and in-person questions do not really differ that much, it does not change the fact that you should be prepared when it will be time for you to get interviewed via a phone call. Here are some common and possible phone interview questions that you may encounter:
Phone Interview Questions about Your Background
- Name of your previous company, your job title, your job description, and the dates of employment.
- What was your starting pay? Final levels of compensation?
- What were your job responsibilities?
- What were the major challenges and problems you encountered? How did you handle these?
- Why are you leaving your job? or Why did you leave your previous job?
- What are your salary expectations in this company?
Phone Interview Questions about the New Job and the Company
- What makes you interested in this job position?
- What are your applicable attributes or job experiences that makes you qualified for this job position?
- Do you consider yourself overqualified for this job? What makes you one?
- What challenges are you looking for in this job position?
- What makes you interested in applying for this company?
- What do you know about this company?
- What can you offer to this company?
- What can you contribute to this company?
- Are you willing to travel and relocate?
- Is there anything else that you want to know about the job or the company?
Possible Phone Interview Questions about You
- What is it that you look for in a job?
- What can you consider as your greatest weakness?
- What can you consider as your greatest strength?
- How would you describe a typical work week?
- How would you describe the work environment you want to be in?
- In what ways do you handle stress and pressure?
- What is your motivation?
- Can you tell me about yourself?
- What are your career goals?
- What is the type of work environment you would like to work in?
- How do you measure success?
Phone Interview Tips You Can Follow
Do you want to ace that phone call interview tips? Make sure you follow these tips:
- Create a checklist of the qualifications the company is requiring for the job position they are opening. In the event that the interviewer would be asking you what makes you qualified for the job, you will be able to easily match your capabilities and skills to the qualifications they are looking for in a candidate.
- Have your resume with you when taking a phone interview because it is one of the basic documents your interviewer might be holding as he or she would be conducting a phone interview and they might be basing their questions with it.
- Always have a pen ready beside you as well as a notepad just in case you would have to keep something in mind or the interviewer would be asking you take down some instructions (such as the date and time of the next interview!)
- Turn off the call-waiting feature of your cellular phone so that when you would finally be taking a phone interview, the call would not get interrupted.
- If the interviewer calls you at an inconvenient time, do not be afraid to ask politely about moving the phone interview at a more convenient time.
- Be in a phone interview-friendly room once you would take the call. Avoid at all cost anything and anyone that would cause unnecessary background noise. If someone is talking behind you while having a phone interview, your interview might consider it as coaching. To be sure, be in a conducive place for a phone interview when you will be having one.
Dos and Don’ts During a Phone Interview
- Do make use of the interviewer’s title and their last name when acknowledging him or her. You can only make use of their first name if they ask you to.
- Do not smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink when taking a phone interview because it sounds disturbing.
- Do keep a glass of water handy especially if you would usually get a tickle in your throat when talking for long periods.
- Do smile while talking. Even though you would not be seen, it will change the tone of your voice and will make you sound more energetic and lively during the interview.
- Do focus, listen, and say your word properly. It is more important to keep your focus and attention in a phone interview compared to an in-person interview.
- If you will not be able to catch on the question, it would sound bad to your interview that you would be consistently asking him or her to repeat the question.
- Do increase the volume of the phone if you must. Also make sure that you will be able to speak your words carefully, slowly, and clearly enough for the interviewer to understand your answers.
- Do not be afraid to pause and take some time to think the answers to his or her questions.
- Do not interrupt the interviewer when he or she is speaking.
- Do not give other than short answers. Just stay on course and directly the answers required by a question.
- Do prepare questions to ask the interviewer ready as there are some people who would consider those people who would ask questions as someone who has fully understood what he or she is getting into.
- Do remember that the endgame is for you to be able to get the second or third level of the interview which is a face-to-face or in-person interview.
- Do not forget to thank the interviewer after the interview and ask if it would be possible to meet in person.
Proper Phone Interview Etiquette You MUST Follow
Here is an easy-to-remember phone interview etiquette you should observe while taking a phone interview:
- Make sure that you would answer the phone yourself and that you would inform family members or roommates know that you are expecting a call beforehand so that they would not answer a call. And when you would finally get the most awaited call, make sure you answer the phone with your name first so that the interview would be able to know that they have contacted the right person.
- Keep your attention solely on what the interviewer is saying and do not even dare to start speaking until the interviewer had finished his or her question. If you have something you want to say or if you want to clarify something, simply jot it down so that you will not be able to forget asking about it after the interviewer had finished his or her question.
- Never ever leave a room for dead air but do not also hesitate to take a few moments to think of a good answer. Your interviewer will surely understand.
Are you now ready to take on a phone interview? You may also be interested in tips for job interview with sample questionnaire if you are already going to the next level of the screening process after a successful phone interview.