10 Phone interview tips that will help you get to the next round

Many companies use phone calls as a first step to approach candidates and to know them better.

In order to get in touch with applicants that look interesting on paper; recruiters tend to call them to see if they are ready to move to the next step with more in-depth interviews. This process is called phone screening.

So, what can you expect during a phone interview? And what’s the role of this step in overall hiring process?

Find out the answers with our article.

What should you expect during the phone interview?

Some occasions dictates that the job interview, should happens through the phone. Numerous companies prefer to use phone screening through recruiters as a first step in the recruitment process. This is an important step in your job search path.

Recruiters will try to call you to ask you about:

  • Your skills
  • Your experience
  • Your background
  • Your motivations

To determine if you are a good fit for the open position. They may also want to know if you will fit to the company culture. If you succeed in this step, the recruiter will pass you to the next step of the hiring process, but if you fail to deliver a first good impression, things are unlikely to progress.

The next step may also happen through the phone. In this phase, you will probably directly speak to the hiring manager or any other member who works in the hiring team. This second interview is deeper than the phone screen, as your interviewer has a better knowledge of the position, the job requirements, skills, and needs that must exist in the future candidate.

Both of these interviews are short, they usually last around 20 to 30 minutes. So, consider phone interviews as your chance to present the most appealing elements, that attracted you to the job, the company as well as the skillset and qualification you bringing to the game.

- Phone interview tips to follow

Even though they are underrated, phone interviews are as important as physical interviews, so you better prepare for them adequately, to guarantee your success.

If your future employer chooses to have the first screen, being successful in this first round, will guarantee you moving to the next round.

So, here are 10 tips to follow when you prepare your phone interview:

- Know who you are calling

In most cases, you will interview the HR manager, your direct supervisor, the recruiter, or a headhunter in other cases.

Try to know your interviewer beforehand, in order to do your online research and determine his role in the company.

If you will be interviewed by a recruiter, you will get general questions about your future experience. Meanwhile, if it is your direct supervisor who will speak to you, you will get more detailed questions related to your role and industry.

- Confirm the scheduled time

Don’t forget to confirm the exact date and time of your phone interview, a day before. You can write down the scheduled date, and time on your notebook, add it to your calendar or set a reminder on your phone in order to get ready for the call. 

Your organization and punctuality will help you make a good impression on your future employer.

- Reschedule if needed

If you are unable to meet the interviewer at the suggested time, for any circumstance, consider suggesting other times that are more appropriate to you.

Offer to your interviewer a few alternatives by indicating the days and times that work well for you, then discuss a timing you both find convenient.

Rescheduling your interview if you need more time or have a conflicting appointment, ensure that you will be ready for your meeting and will indicate your honesty and proactivity.

- Be professional

Never forget to be kind and respectful throughout your phone interview. This professional attitude will help you to make a good impression on your interviewer, and they will remember your attitude as they consider their hiring decision.

Don’t forget, no matter who you’re interviewing with, if you are accepted, they will be your future colleague, which means that you need to eloquent and professional in your answers and speech.

- Research the company

Each candidate needs to do his own researches on the company he will be working for. 

Check the company website, social media, blog, and google it, to gather relevant information, that you can use during your interview. 

Take note of certain details about the company and try to mention them when the opportunity comes. For example, if the company recently made a fusion or an acquisition, mention that when the interviewer asks you what you know about the company. 

This step will show the recruiter that you are passionate and existed to work there. It will also help you to prepare some questions you will want to ask at the end of the interview.

- Look over the job description

Knowing the job requirements, your future responsibilities, and what the employer is looking for will definitely help you customize your answers to the interview questions.

For example, if they are looking for a candidate with advanced analytical skills for a data analyst post, and it happens that you master this field, you need to mention this during the interview and stress it out.

Having an exact knowledge of your future employer’s needs and requirements will guide you to craft the bestselling pitch.

- Be an active listener

Avoid the passive attitude during your interview. Be an active listener!

Engage with the recruiter, be attentive and ask smart questions. This will show that you genuinely care about what he is saying and that you’re taking the interview seriously.

Practicing with your family or friends can be very helpful. So, make sure to listen to every word and follow up with remarks and questions that show you were actively listening.

- Consider your salary expectations

Recruiters always ask about salary expectations by the end of the interview.

So, you better be prepared! Research the average pay in your industry when you consider what you’d like to get paid.

Don’t be over-greedy or too low at estimating your real value, be reasonable. Propose to your interviewer a salary range.

For example, you can say “I’m hoping to make between 50.000 and $60,000. This will let the recruiter know that you are flexible and ready to negotiate.

- Don’t forget to smile

Even if it is a phone interview, you need to smile. Smiling can promote a positive and cheerful tone of voice.

Though the recruiter won’t be able to see you, he will certainly hear your tone.

To get used to smiling while talking, practice this exercise in the mirror with friends and family.

- Charge your phone

If you will be using your phone during the interview, make sure it is fully charged and functional during the interview day.

You can also, go the extra mile be doing a test call.  Ask someone to call you and make sure that everything is going smoothly.

Be ready 10-15 minutes before the call interview, choose a quiet place, and avoid distractions.

This will help you to avoid any awkward situation or interruption that can possibly damage your first impression or prevent you from going to the next step.


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