Phone interview

The phone interview is the first contact between recruiters and candidates. Make sure you do not get caught off guard and be well prepared with our advice.


How to succeed in a phone interview?

Though the apparently informal character of a phone interview we must not forget that during on the phone, the first impression is decisive! The phone interview is a real job interview that should not to be taken lightly. Also, a good preparation is essential.

The preparation

  • Follow up on your applications

In order to avoid unpleasant surprise and risk an answer such as "Excuse me, I do not remember ... I know I applied for many jobs." Make sure you have an up-to-date excel file listing the companies and positions you are applying for.

  • Be an expert on the company you are applying for

Like in a face-to-face interview, it is important that you know about your future employer and its activities. You will be able to adapt your answers to the characteristics of the job and the company, but also to ask relevant questions.

Organize the phone interview

  • Make sure you are available.

A telephone interview usually lasts 20/30 minutes. If the recruiter calls you and you do not have the possibility to spend at least 20 minutes on the call (or if you do not remember the job offer they are calling for), thank them and propose to postpone the telephone conversation to a more quiet time. This will allow you to take the time to prepare yourself and to be in good condition for the interview.

  • Be ready to take some notes

Prepare a pen and some paper to take notes of the information provided by the person you are talking to.

  • Be on time.

In case you miss the call, make sure your voicemail greeting is polite and professional.

  • Avoid background noise

Sit in a quiet place and get sure that no noise will disturb your conversation or distract your attention. Turn off your music, your computer, your TV, your apps, and anything else that might distract you.

  • Have your CV at hand

Even if you know your professional career well, it is better to keep your CV at hand. It will serve as a reminder in case the nervousness makes you forget some details. And you can answer without hesitation to any clarifications on dates.

Notes to prepare

The questions are more or less the same as in an in-person interview. Prepare in advance some notes that will allow you to quickly formulate an answer.

  • Tell us about your career path: a very open question in which you can list your previous experiences, especially those relevant to the position you applied for.
  • Tell us about yourself: another open question about how you work, what makes you the ideal candidate, how you like to work in a team, and how to handle stressful situations.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is the professional achievement you are most proud of?
  • Why did you choose to apply for our company? In this case, it is important that you take some time to study the company by visiting their website as well as their social networks.
  • Do not forget to prepare questions: you will make an excellent impression.

On the phone

  • Answer with politeness and professionalism

When the phone rings, take a deep breath and answer the questions directly, concisely and professionally, while keeping a positive attitude.

  • Control your breathing

The recruiter can not see your body language or facial expressions and your only interaction will be through your voice. It is essential to use an appropriate tone of voice for a phone interview, as well as to speak clearly and at a moderate pace. Feel free to leave a few seconds of silence before answering a question, which will show that you are giving thoughtful answers.

  • Stay focused!

Never interrupt your interview because of a double call that "beep". If you have a bad connection and cannot hear every word, suggest that you call them back.

At the end of the call, do not forget to ask the recruiter the timing and next steps of the selection process and thank him for his attention.

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