A phone interview has the purpose to ask the candidate to come to the company’s headquarters for an in-person interview. Companies also use the term phone screens because the purpose of the interview is to screen multiple candidates to identify the ones compatible with the job. Usually, from 3 to 5 candidates make it through the phone interview and participate in the next round.
A phone interview lasts between 10 and 30 minutes, and its goal is to confirm your compatibility with the job position.
So how can you ace an interview?
Knowledge about the company is useful for both a phone interview and an in-person one. When you read the job posting, note the requirements you meet, the ones you don’t, and the ones you exceed.
Check the company’s website and LinkedIn profile to find out information about the brand and to check all their job openings. Google the company to read the latest news. Have some questions prepared to ask if the interviewer offers the opportunity, to show them you’re interested in the job.
Prepare answers for common questions
All phone interviews include a set of common questions, so ensure you’re ready to answer them. The interviewer will check if you meet the basic requirements for the job, and then will ask questions about yourself and your current job. Make a list of common questions phone interviews contain, and answer them in advance.
Listen carefully to what they ask
If you listen carefully to the questions they ask, you’ll be able to answer effectively. Don’t interrupt them, and don’t make assumptions on what you think they may ask. Ask for clarification when you don’t understand and ensure you offer the appropriate answer.
During the phone interview, focus your entire attention to the questions they ask, and ask your own to find out more about the job and company.
Pay attention to voice and language
Your voice is the only power you have during the phone interview. Speak clearly, smile and use a positive language. Don’t speak negatively about your former jobs, or about people you previously collaborated with. Smile during the phone call because the interviewer can feel it. The way the interviewer speaks provides cues on how to answer. Modulate your voice, tone and choose words that can help you impress them.
Direct the interviewer to your resume, if possible
Some companies want to find out how candidates handled certain challenges they faced when working in the industry. Patrick Algrim, an independent career and human resources expert at Algrim.co told me, “ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) are really going to change the way job seekers have to think about their resume and cover letter. Keywords, like “Stanford”, for example, would prioritize your application in the HR portal over others. In order to get your application prioritized and seen, you’ll really have to think about listing your merits and positioning them correctly in your writing.”
You should include your merits in your resume and on your LinkedIn profile and when the interviewer invites you to describe a challenging, ask them to check your resume for a detailed description while you tell the short version. While you present a short description, the interviewer can check the entire situation.
After the interview, send them your thank you, and make a reiterating of your value for the position. Phone interviews show employers if you’re qualified to succeed in their open position.