A phone interview can be a hugely helpful tool if you’re unable to come in for a physical interview. Here’s how to prepare for phone interview questions.
Preparing for Phone Interview Questions
Phone Interview Questions
When it comes time to interview job candidates, many employers opt for a phone interview. Here are a few things to know about acing your phone interview.
What Is a Phone Interview?
A phone interview is just like any other job interview, except that it’s carried out over the phone. That means the hiring manager is going to be asking you all of the same interview questions that you might see in other interviews, including screening questions and more in-depth job interview questions. In some types of telephone interviews, the process may even be automated, where you get a number of questions, and you record your answers to these questions to submit to the recruiter.
Best Questions to Prepare for in a Phone Interview
The questions that you get for a phone interview will usually be the same you’ll get throughout your entire job search. An in-person interview and a phone interview will typically include the same general questions. Here are some common phone interview questions to prepare for before your interview.
- Why are you leaving your current job/Why did you leave your last job?
- Tell me about yourself.
- What would your current employer say is your greatest strength?
- What was your biggest challenge at your last job?
- What is your management style?
- Why do you want this job?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- What is your current role in your job?
- Why do you want to work here?
- Where do you see yourself in 5/10/20 years?
Additionally, you’ll want to think about the type of interview questions that you might get because of the job you’re applying to. Behavioral interview questions may be more likely for a managerial position, for example. You’ll get some specific questions that will be different depending on the interview, but you’ll likely hear the above interview questions on a regular basis.
General Tips for Phone Interviews
When you’re preparing for questions and answers in a phone interview, it’s good to remember that you’re basically going to be doing all the same things that you might need to do for a face-to-face interview anywhere else. You need to present yourself as the best candidate for the job. That being said, here are some phone interview tips for interviewees who may never have gone through an interview before.
- Do your research on the work environment before you go in for the interview. The company culture can give you an idea of good answers to give to many of these questions.
- Know your career goals both in the short term and the long term. The dreaded question, “Why do you want to work here?” is all about understanding your current and future goals.
- Figure out a general idea of your salary range. While you shouldn’t advertise salary expectations if the hiring manager doesn’t ask, you need an answer if they do.
- Practice your vocal delivery – you want to be understandable and speak at a solid pace. Record yourself answering questions and pinpoint areas to improve, such as saying “um” too often, or speaking too fast.
A phone interview is a great way to express your skill set, avoid putting out red flags, and cement yourself in a hiring manager’s head as one of the best interviewees in the first round. Make it clear that this new job is the perfect fit for your skills, and you’ll be amazed where you might go next.
FAQ: Phone Interview Questions
Yes. Most people will do their phone interviews from the comfort of their own homes. If you have an office room in your house where you regularly do work, then this is where you should probably take your call. If you don’t have a home office, then set up a quiet little corner where you can take the call and focus exclusively on the interview. Your interview answers are just as important as how you carry yourself during the interview, so put out a good first impression.
Not too much. In general, you should talk clearly and concisely. If you have a pair of headphones with a good microphone, then use those headphones for your phone interview. You’ll be more audible to the hiring manager. Aside from that, pick a spot in your home that’s quiet and doesn’t have a lot of background noise so that you’re easy to hear.
Add the interviewer’s phone number to your contact list; if you don’t have the number, then turn on unknown callers. About 15 minutes before the scheduled interview, move to your interview area and turn off any distracting background noises. Make sure your phone is charged and has a good connection.