In today’s world, people keep traveling for work. New places and new companies and multiple choices make employees look for better work cultures and remunerations all the time. This high level of attrition across industries has resulted in head hunters inventing any new means of setting up interviews as possible.
One of the most common and much used systems these days is the concept of phone interviews. With the invention of personal mobiles, its easier to conduct phone interviews because candidates can be reached anywhere and at anytime and its economical to fix a phone interview too. The candidates find it easier too because they don’t need to plan in advance to be physically present for an interview. Even choosing a time during someone’s lunch hour turns out to be quite feasible for both the prospective employer and the employee in concern.
There have already been several ways and methods listed on how to prepare for the common physical face to face interviews. But how would one go about preparing for a phone interview?
It helps to adopt a keen presence of mind and perhaps to also prepare for commonly used interview questions asked during a phone interview.
You will find that there are many similarities in questions between a normal interview and a phone interview.
A few commonly used phone interview questions are:
- What is your full name and title?
- What is the name of the present company your work for? Which industry does it belong to?
- How long have you been associated with the company?
- What is your present remuneration like?
- What do your exact responsibilities entail?
- What do you like most about working at …?
- What are the major challenges you are expected to face and how do you manage them?
- Why would you be willing to leave your present job?
- Are you open to relocating?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What can you offer the company?
- If offered the job, how long will your present company take to relieve you of your duties?
- What interests you most about the offer here?
- Are you qualified enough to perform these tasks?
- Do you see yourself working for the same company in 3-4 years?
- What more information do you want about this company?
- Are you open to traveling for work?
- What is important to you while looking for a job?
- What are your biggest weaknesses?
- What strengths of yours can help the company progress further?
- Where do you find your inspiration?
- Is your career your top most priority in life?
- What career goals have you laid down for yourself?
- What work environment are you looking for?
- Are you a team player?
- What as per you defines success?
Phone interviews are usually supposed to be shorter than what a normal face to face interview would involve. Further, key aspects like what you wear and how you shake hands don’t matter in a phone interview, so in that sense its a lot more flexible.
Before you go in for a phone interview, its advisable to try and develop your speaking skills because how you speak and present yourself over the phone and the confidence that comes across in your voice will influence the key decision at the end of the interview.
Other tips to prepare for a phone interview would be:
- Find the ideal place for the interview. It should be in a place that’s not too noisy so that the caller can hear all that you are saying clearly.
- Try and record your phone interview too so you can go over it later. You may think of something else that you will want to add later.
- Fix a time that’s suitable to you and the prospective employer. If the employer is in a different time zone, be courteous enough to allow them to suggest a time that’s convenient for them.
- Talk less about you and your dreams and more about your education, strengths and what you can offer the organization if hired.
- Be diplomatic. And formal. Just because it’s a formal interview it doesn’t mean that you are going to be excused when you act too casual. Remember that there is an interview going on. And interviews are always serious events.
- Ask the interviewers to call you on a secure phone line. You don’t want other colleagues and peers over hearing your interview call.
- Prepare and practice as to how you would answer the interviewer’s questions over the phone. Because sometimes, there is a huge disadvantage in not meeting face to face to explain certain technicalities of your capabilities and job.
- Record your practice conversations and play them over so you can pick up faults you would like to improve before the final interview.
- Be polite when you start talking. Oral courtesy counts a lot especially since the interviewers can’t see you.
Finally, be you during the interview. Do not try and talk with a fake accent or like someone who doesn’t really sound like you. The interviewers will be smart enough to see through it and then your chances to get that job will be slim.