PT. 4

Step 4: How to Successfully Pass Phone Interviews


To complete our series of information on How to Get Called for Interviews, we come to part 4. Here we’ll discuss the intimidating phone interview and how to make the most of this often less than ideal interview situation. Phone interviews can be difficult as they often make a person feel as though they are unable to communicate who they are as effectively as they would in person. That does not need to be the case, however, and we’ll tell you why.

Use the opportunity

to ask questions

What is a Phone Interview?


In preparation for a face to face interview, many employers will conduct phone interviews. While often uncomfortable for applicants, a phone interview is a cost effective and non-committal way for an employer to gather more information about potential candidates and determine who they want to bring in for an in-person interview. 


Will I Receive a Call Unexpectedly? How Do I Plan for a Phone Interview?


In most cases, a hiring manager or recruiter will schedule your phone interview with you in advance through email. They are setting time aside from their schedules to conduct the interview, so they don’t want to receive your voicemail system. When you are contacted in advance to schedule the interview it is important to block out that scheduled time to ensure there are no distractions and that you are able to speak freely.


If you do receive an unexpected phone call from an employer, don’t worry! Some employers will make calls without any advance notice to see how well individuals might handle an unexpected call. This doesn’t often happen, but is common in roles where an ideal employee will need to be able to think on their feet and respond intelligently.


If you received an unscheduled phone interview call and aren’t in a position to field it at that time, respectfully ask for the call to be rescheduled and then spend your time preparing for the follow up call. If an employer is interest in you as a candidate, that request should be met with cooperation.


What are Employers Looking for in a Phone Interview?


It’s important to speak clearly and calmly when on a phone interview. In most cases, employers will be looking to learn a little more about you, better understand your qualifications for the role, and most importantly see how well you communicate and handle the stress and pressure of a phone interview. The key to projecting confidence is answering calmly and using specific examples in your answers to their questions.

Should You Ask the Employer Any Questions?


In short, YES! Most often, employers will give you an opportunity to ask questions. In many cases, applicants are so concerned about the interview that is to follow that they don’t utilize this opportunity. Our recommendation is to ask preplanned questions when you are given the opportunity. You should ask at least the following two questions:


  1. Can you please tell me more about the roles and responsibilities of this position other than what is available online?

  2. What are the biggest strengths desired for this role?


Why do we recommend asking questions, and why these questions? There is a very specific reason. You see, before a hiring manager has the opportunity to ask you questions about your ability to fill the open job role, you then have the opportunity to glean information directly from the manager about what they are looking for. You can then tailor your answers using the specific keywords that the manager referenced in their statement!


Step 5: What About Face to Face Interviews?


If you are called in for a face to face interview, the rules change completely! Now you have a chance to show communicate much more about yourself than what can be translated over the phone. If you are called for a face to face interview, you should seek the help of one of our certified career coaches. Our talented coaches are skilled in preparing our clients for face to face interviews - contact one today!


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