Congratulations! You’ve just landed a phone interview for a position that you are extremely interested in. You may be a little bummed that it is not a face-to-face interview, but more often than not companies are now starting the interviewing process with a phone interview. These calls can range anywhere from ten to thirty minutes or more and are a great way for hiring managers to identify the most promising candidates. A successful phone interview can help to secure an in-person interview, so do not take them lightly!
When you are preparing for a phone interview, it is important to treat it as a face-to-face interview as this will be a deciding factor of whether they will bring you in or not. Before your scheduled time to talk, make sure you’re in a quiet place where nothing will distract you. Also, be sure to have a copy of your resume and notes about the employer in hand so you can reference that information during the call. Throughout your conversation, remember to keep your tone upbeat and demonstrate excitement to show your interest in the position.
Lastly, you’ll need to prepare yourself for the questions that will most likely be asked of you during a phone screen. There are a variety of questions that you will be asked about your past experience and skills, as well as why you’re interested in a new job opportunity. Take a look at the following five essential questions that you absolutely need to be prepared to answer in your next phone interview.
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
This question is a given in interviews as it allows the recruiter or hiring manager to break the ice and for you to make an introduction. Here is where you want to have your elevator pitch perfected so you can make a strong first impression. Let your interviewer know what you can bring to the table for this position such as your strengths and areas of expertise. This first opening question will allow you to showcase your personality and demonstrate to the recruiter whether you will be a good fit with the rest of the organization.
Q: What is a typical day like for you at your current role?
Recruiters and hiring managers can read the descriptive bullets that you have on your resume, so you need to be able to talk about your experience in addition to what you have written down. This question gives you a great opportunity to elaborate and give examples of your responsibilities during a typical work day. Make sure to connect your responsibilities and accomplishments in your current and past roles to the position that you have applied for. Before the scheduled phone interview, it’s best to go over the job description and tie in your current skills to the qualifications for this new role.
Q: What are you looking for within your next position?
When answering this question, you need to think of what is motivating you in your job search. Are you looking for more responsibilities or a leadership role? Do you want to be more challenged? Are you interested in learning new skills or advancing current ones? Make a list of things you are looking for in your next position and what you want most from a potential employer. After you’ve determined what your motivations are, explain to the interviewer how their organization and role will meet or exceed those expectations.
Q: What is your reason for wanting to leave your current position?
If you are currently employed and actively looking for a new opportunity, prepare yourself for being asked this question. To answer this, you need to explain what has made you decide to explore new opportunities. Think of what is lacking within your current role and organization and focus on those desires to make the change. Whatever you do, do not criticize your current job, organization, or boss as it will act as a red flag to your interviewer.
Q: Do you have any questions for me?
When your interviewer asks this question at the end of the phone interview, it’s another opportunity to show how interested in you are in the position. If you say “no” then it shows that you did not prepare for your phone screen and that you aren’t interested in working for their organization. This part of the conversation is a way for you to learn more about the opportunity and culture of the organization. Some example questions can include what is an average day like in this position?, what do you like best about working at this organization?, or what are the top skills of someone who succeeds at your organization? Before your phone screen even starts, write down your questions so you’ll have them ready to go. This way your conversation will be more memorable and will help make you stand out from the competition.
Phone interviews are an extremely crucial part of the interview process and are a great way for recruiters to get a better understanding of your personality and work history. By preparing yourself for the conversation and potential questions, you are one step closer to a face-to-face interview!
Subscribe to the JOHNLEONARD blog below to receive even more advice that will assist you with your job search!