Since you’re looking for a job and prepping up for interviews, it is important to be prepared for every method of interview. Nowadays, people don’t always ask you to come over for a formal interview session. Many interviews are done over the phone, over Skype, and some times just by chatting on Linked IN. It is important to be prepared for anything that’s coming your way, and here we’re about to discuss phone interview questions.
In many cases, interviews are scheduled in advance through emails or phone calls. Sometimes you receive a surprise call asking if you’re available to chat about a potential position. You might never know that it is the first step of an interview and your first opportunity to leave an impression.
Why companies offer phone interviews?
The foremost reason why companies start the interview process with phone interviews is to streamline the selected candidates. In order not call everyone for face to face interviews, they narrow down the number of people who they call for the second round. With each interview, there is a number of people who are selected and the rest rejected. This is why it is important to be ready with probable phone interview questions and answers to not miss a chance.
How to prepare yourself for a phone interview?
You need to prepare for a phone interview just like you would for a face to face meeting. Below, we have compiled the list of probable questions interviewers ask over the phone. You need to go through them and prepare yourself to answer these questions promptly. Before you do that, go through some general tips that will help you ace your phone interview.
1. Practice interviewing
Talking on the phone is very different from being in front of a person – we all know this but when you compare an interview panel and a phone call, you need to strike a balance accordingly. You cannot rehearse answers or get time to deliver it with facial expressions or actions. You have to straight forward and quick to deliver answers.
It is best to get on calls when your friends who can conduct interviews for you. Ask them to record the call so that you can hear yourself out and correct the silly mistakes you’d make. If there is no one to help out, just list down the questions and keep recording the answers you would reply if asked over the call.
2. Prepare for the call
You must confirm details like time, date, whom to talk to, and be sure that your interviewer is calling you as promised. If there’s anything going wrong and you miss the call or you don’t get the call as said, don’t panic. You must call back, track or reschedule the interview. Make sure you’re in a quiet and comfortable space where no one can distract you.
3. Know phone interview etiquette
There are some basic etiquettes that you need to follow when you’re set to reply to phone interview questions. These are:
Receive the call yourself
You must let your family or roommate know that you’re expecting an interview call. The person who receives the call should be you, and you introduce yourself by that name. The interviewer must reach the right person upon receiving the call.
Don’t speak before the interview is done talking. If you have something to say, jot that down and mention when you’re asked to talk.
Be quick yet firm
You might need a few seconds to answer something unexpected. But you shouldn’t leave it in the dead air. If you need the interviewer to repeat what he just asked, you may do that as well.
Do's and Don'ts of a phone interview
Here are some points that will help you prepare better:
- Use the person’s title while addressing them with their first name. For example, Ms. Rosy or Mr. John
- Keep a glass handy so that if you tickle in the throat you don’t cough or excuse yourself
- If you’re positive and welcoming, it will reflect in your tonality. Let that happens and let the interview analyze your enthusiasm and energy
- You must be attentive, listen, and enunciate
- Take notes because it will be hard to remember everything
- Give short and crisp answers and focus on what’s important
- Remember that your goal is to go to the next level of face to face interviews. You must ask them if they are keen to meet you in person.
- Make sure you aren’t munching, chewing or smoking
- Don’t interrupt when the interviewer is talking even if you have a question. Ask him what you have to when he is done
How do you answer phone interview questions?
It is time you prepare yourself for some of the probable questions that you may come across over a phone interview:
1. Tell me about yourself
When you get into a conversation with an interviewer, it is pretty evident that they already have your resume. They know the basics of your educational qualification and job experience. Thus, when an interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself, they don’t want to hear about what’s mentioned in the resume.
You need to talk about who you are, what you want to be, and why you aspire to work with the company. Every word you speak will make them access if you are at all someone worthy of their position or not.
You must talk about your job experience or education that will help you do well in the job. These things count not only to increase your credibility but also to explain how much you know about what you’re expected of already.
2. What interests you about the company?
You could be applying for ten different companies, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t know everything about the one you’re getting a call from. As soon as you know that you’re shortlisted for a phone interview, you need to find out everything about the company.
You should be able to say why you would keen to work with them and also point out how well they’ve been in the industry. You need to show how prepared you are and how much you have researched about working there. Only then will the interviewer know about your interests.
3. Why do you want to leave the current position?
If you’re not a fresher, you’re probably already working in a place where you wish to quit. You need to be honest about what makes you leave that place and look for better options. It could be as real as a low salary to the code of conduct. However, it is important to note that people know each other within industries and how you leave a place will have a lot to reflect on your overall work profile.
4. Why do you want this position?
Much like the previous question, with this answer, your interviewer would want to know if you’re aligned with your desires. It will also help him understand if the position fits your skills, strengths, talents, and interests. Your enthusiasm and clarity will prove if you’re fit for the job or if you’re what they’re looking for.
5. Why did you leave?
If you had a serious of jobs in your profile or you have changed jobs quite a few times in the last 2-3 years, you will have to explain your reasons. Always remember that employers don’t like job hoppers. They might think that you’d leave them soon and wouldn’t want to hire you for a promising position.
6. What did you enjoy in your previous position?
Many interviewers ask this question to understand if the job their offering matches your personality and skills. They don’t just want to know the technical skills but the soft skills. They will want to know what you genuinely liked about your job to be doing it for so long. It also helps them analyze how much you’d like the potential job you’re about to get through to.
7. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Every company wants to know how ambitious their employers are and their personal goals have a lot to reflect. If an interviewer asks you where you see yourself in the next five years, they will genuinely want to know how ambitious you are. However, you must understand that the question is tricky and your answer has to be slightly diplomatic. You wouldn’t want to say that you’d be in a position to take somebody else’s interview as that might seem rude. But you can always say that you cannot predict what comes, but you’d put in your best to do your best.
8. What are your salary expectations?
Assuming that your updated CV already mentions your current CTC, the interviewer will definitely know that you’re expecting more. It is best to ask if the company would like to have a face to face discussion in order to talk about the salary you expect. Clearly, salary negotiation over a phone call isn’t great. You can always say that salary isn’t your number one priority, and you’d like to know everything that comes along. It helps the interviewer understand your keenness and doesn’t let monetary discussions come in way of an interesting interview call.
9. What are your strengths?
As you work and get better at what you do, you need to know your strengths and understand them. It can be organization skills, marketing skills, multitasking, and more. You need to be aware of these and be confident to make someone else believe that it’s true.
10. What are your weaknesses?
It is difficult to be upfront about the weaknesses you have at work. But it is good to be clear about it and say it out aloud. You can’t be too blunt to be bringing in red flags for yourself. For example, you wouldn’t say that you’ve been late to work quite a number of times. On the other hand, you cannot say that you don’t weaknesses as that would be a lie.
11. What is your dream job?
This can be one of the most unexpected phone interview questions but it helps people get clarity. The interviewer might know if you fit into the larger and longer picture with your answer. If you say something has nothing to do with their company positions, you could be saying something they don’t want to hear. On the other hand, if you’re really honest and passionate about something, they’re likely to understand that even more.
12. What are your hobbies?
What do you do to keep yourself busy after work is something that does interest people. It could reflect how you look at life and what more you do to make it meaningful. You could like reading, you could like watching web series, making music, and so on. Just say what you like to do and keep your weekends going.
13. What other jobs did you consider doing?
You can always tell the interviewer what other opportunities you have been exploring. It might align the interests you have and probably help him understand why you fit this work.
14. Do you have questions to ask?
Once the interviewer is done with his set of phone interview questions, he will ask you if you have things to ask. You can ask questions like what their typical workday looks like, what are the working hours, what do they expect from you. You might have your own set of questions that you can ask away.
Follow up with a thank you note
You must follow up with a thank you mail because it is a polite gesture that shows your interest. You must send the email within the next 24 hours from the telephone conversation. Make sure to convey your enthusiasm and describe how excited you are to hear back from them. Tell them how much your career is aligned according to the work you wish to do for them. It will explain why you fit the position so well and that you’re keen to be a part of their company.