So, you just got yourself invited for a telephonic interview? Bravo!
However, if the idea of making an impression from distance makes you anxious, do not worry. We have got your back!
With the following tips, learn how to sound confident over the phone, how to convince the recruiter with your answers, how to handle difficult questions, along with a list of common telephone interview questions to prepare you well.
So, let’s get you set up for the phone call now!
1. Double-check interview details
If the interview was scheduled beforehand, double-check the time and date of the call.
If the call is from abroad, make sure you check the time difference and the time zone.
Know the full name of your interviewer and formally address them.
2. Do your research
Just as you would do for a face to face interview, prepare yourself well for a telephonic interview.
Go through the job description and the background of the company.
You can expect questions on the profile you applied for and key areas mentioned in the job description.
Furthermore, being informed about the nature and achievements of the company will add value to the conversation.
3. Keep resume handy
The most common question to begin a telephonic interview is usually - 'Tell me about yourself'.
As you brief about yourself to the recruiter, keep your resume handy.
Having the information will ensure that you do not forget to mention any crucial points or achievements related to your profile.
4. Have a cheat sheet
Even though making an impression over a phone call might appear a daunting task to some, it has its advantages.
The biggest advantage is that you both cannot see each other.
So make notes on expected questions beforehand, rehearse them and keep them in front of you during the interview.
Trust us, you will be able to speak with much more confidence.
Get a family member or friend to conduct a mock telephonic interview with you.
Record the conversation and note down the points you can improve upon.
Practicing will help you rehearse your answers and check your tone.
6. Facing difficult questions
On facing a difficult question, do not panic. Take a few moments to think.
You may also use your laptop to quickly look for pointers to build an answer.
However, if you cannot manage to come up with something worth saying, politely let the interviewer know about it.
Now focus on the next question without worrying about the previous one.
7. Ask questions
Always ask at least a couple of questions to the interviewer.
The questions should be related to the job profile, company culture, etc.
It will show your motivation for the role and the company.
You may also take the initiative to ask the recruiter about the right time for a follow-up, towards the end of the conversation.
However, do not sound too desperate. You may say something like, 'So when can I expect to hear from you next?'
8. Turn off call waiting
This is an important point that is often ignored by many. A call waiting can easily cause distraction and break the flow of your conversation.
Do not forget to turn off call waiting on your phone when getting ready to take the interview call.
9. Turn off any other possible interruption
This is a no-brainer. You cannot have a smooth conversation with sounds playing in the background.
Check that your television, music, etc. are turned off. Get to a quiet and comfortable area with no possible interruptions.
If you live with family or friends, inform them about the call beforehand, so that no one interrupts you in between and maintain silence.
10. Be a good listener
Besides speaking, listening skill is also a crucial component of the telephonic interview process.
Avoid talking in between and let the recruiter complete his thought or question before you speak.
So listen carefully, understand the questions well, and give ‘to the point’ answers.
11. Pen and paper
Do not miss out on important information that the recruiter mentions about the company or the job role.
Be ready with a pen and paper to take down all the vital points shared during the interview.
12. Be polite and professional
Keep your tone pleasant throughout the interview as most interviewers are experienced and can easily judge the comfort level of the candidate.
Use professional language to address the recruiter. Use Mr or Ms followed by the person's last name.
If you do not know the last name of the person, you can address him/her as sir or ma'am. Make sure that you sound courteous and polite.
13. Stay calm and positive
Did you know your voice reflects your mood? Try your best to sound relaxed and confident during the interview, even if you are not.
Ever heard the phrase - 'Fake it till you make it'?
Speak at a slow pace and be clear so that the interviewer can understand what you are saying.
Sitting in a comfortable position without any distractions will help you focus on the conversation.
14. Smile, please ☺️
Do not forget to smile. Yes, we know the recruiter cannot see you, but it will reflect in your voice and will certainly make you feel confident and positive about yourself.
15. Thank the interviewer
Before hanging up, do remember to thank the interviewer for his time and consideration.
Do not hesitate to reiterate your motivation for the job and your interest in the company.
Give your best during the telephonic interview as it will pave the way for further interactions with the recruiter.
Things to avoid in a telephonic interview
Do not reschedule the call a few hours before the scheduled time unless there is an emergency. It will send out a negative impression.
Do not eat, drink, or smoke while taking the interview. Make sure to have a bite and a glass of water before beginning the interview.
If you make use of a laptop during the call, keep the sound of your typing in check. Do not type hurriedly.
Do not make comments on personal life unless asked.
Do not use unnecessary everyday words and phrases such as 'you know', 'umm', 'let's see', 'whatever' while talking to the interviewer.
Do not take an interview while driving or on the road. If you are out, let the recruiter know the same and politely ask for the next available time for the call.
Do not put the interviewer on hold. This will make you appear casual about the interview.
Lastly, do not worry. Keep calm and carry on! ☺️
Common telephone interview questions and answers
Here are some common telephone interview questions and answers to help you prepare.
- How to answer "Describe who you are?"
- How to answer "What motivates you?"
- How to answer "What is your failure in life?"
- How to answer "Why do you want this job?"
- How to answer “What are your hobbies?”
- How to answer “Why Should I Hire You?”
- How to answer "What are your strengths and weaknesses?"
- How to answer "What are your short term and long term goals?"
- How to answer "Where do you see yourself five years from now?”
- How to answer "Describe Yourself in One Word”
Check out some company-specific interview questions.
All the best!