Telephonic interview coming up?

In this blog we have collated some tips, tricks and questions that you need to practice well in advance to ace the much awaited telephonic round.

Practice for your telephonic interview well in advance with these tips.

Also, sound confident and impress your interviewer as you tackle their questions!

Let’s get started.

Before a telephonic interview

  • Talking on the phone isn't as easy as it seems. As with an in-person interview, practice can be helpful.

    So, catch hold of a family member or a friend and seek help from them to conduct a dummy telephonic interview with a template or print out of real interview questions.

  • Not only will this help you rehearse answers to common phone interview questions, but this exercise will also help you realize if you have certain verbal tricks, hitches to frame answers, failure to enunciate, or also spot if you speak too fast or too slow.

  • Ask your family member or friend to record the interview as they conduct it with the help of a call recording app. (There are many automatic call recording apps available for free on Play Store and App Store.)

  • Listen to the recording and study it for all your shortfalls on call. Listening to the recording with a friend will also help you pinpoint answers that you can improve and rectify blind spots.

  • Prior to the call, double check all the details like date, time, and who you will be talking to.

Be sure you know whether the interviewer is calling you or if you need to make the call.

During a telephonic interview

  • Choose a good spot.

  • Keep documents and 'google search' handy!

  • Use a cheat sheet (it is ok to use one no one is watching!).

  • Have a positive frame of mind.

  • Do your homework.

  • Treat it like an F2F or face-to-face interview.

  • Do not discuss remunerations yet.

  • Ask if the interviewer has any further questions.

  • Only then ask sensible questions.

  • Thank them for their time.

After a telephonic interview

Practice some commonly asked phone interview questions well.

Also, have a plan handy on ways to impress your employer even after the interview process.

Some things you can do after an interview are:

  • Inquire when you would be hearing about the next steps.

  • Follow-up on email or call for feedback. This will help you cope up with anxiety as well.

  • Send a thank-you letter or email within 24 hours of the interview.

  • Try to reaffirm your interest in the position by appreciating the interviewer or prospective employer for their time on the phone.

The idea is to leave a strong impression and also stay on top of the hiring manager’s mind as they make a final decision!

Common telephonic interview questions

Describe yourself.

“I graduated this year with a degree in Physics from PQR university and have fortunately topped my batch.

I have interned with ABC company during my graduation and was offered a PPO after three months of my internship.

I was asked to handle the entire procurement and sourcing for this region. I declined the offer as it was not in line with my educational qualification.

I am here because I would like to start my career from a convincing podium.

I had been looking for opportunities to lead from the front and that is when this interview call landed in my kitty, and hence I am here.”

Why are you searching for a job? Why not go for further studies instead?

“I graduated four months ago hence I’m actively looking for a job and searching everywhere, including on social media handles!

I’m hoping to find a position where I can use my skills and grow.

Further studies are not in my plan right now, maybe 3-5 years down the line I will study from a premium college, but not as of now.

I’m particularly looking to work in this industry, so this position excited me.”

How did you hear about this position?

“A friend of mine works with your organization and always talks about your amazing work culture and transparent policies.

Eventually, this made me visit your LinkedIn page and apply for the listed position.

This job role seems like a good fit for my educational background and project/training skills.

If I start with your organization, I can advance my career on the lines I have planned for myself. So, I eagerly came for this interview.”

What do you know about our company?

“I know you’re the first Robotics and manufacturing company in India.

I did some reading on your website and discovered that you are a major player in the automated manufacturing landscape.

This is the future for any operation that strives for maximum efficiency, safety and competitive advantage in the global market.

That’s something I care a lot about and something that attracts me to you as an employer.”

Why do you want this job?

“One of the key things I’m targeting in my job search right now is an opportunity to travel and I saw a 50% travel clause in your job description.

I am open to travel as I am single.

This job is all about domestic and international travel and interacting directly with stakeholders and clients, either on the phone or in-person.

This excited me to pursue the opening further. Being a people's person is in my key nature and I feel I am the best candidate for this position.”

What other jobs have you been interviewing for?

This question always throws candidates off the equation! Why would an interviewer ask this and how much should you actually reveal?

Let us find out from the sample answers below.

Answer 1:

“I have some interviews scheduled this week as I am an active job seeker on a popular job portal.

I would not reveal the company names, but I was actually looking forward to today's interaction with you as my hopes are tied up here.

All the interviews I have lined up are for Marketing Manager job roles.

But, your job description lists all the challenges I actually am looking forward to.

Let me tell you, I am almost at a negotiation stage with a startup for a similar position, but heart-of-hearts I am not keen on taking it further as I look up to your company."

Answer 2:

"Actually I have landed another job offer from a mass recruiter which is in the IT industry.

I am not keen on joining that organization as I fear I would not be able to stand out and my talent/skills will go unnoticed.

I have spent 4 years of my life trying to learn all I could in college, and also am trying to hone special skills like public speaking, leadership, foreign languages etc.

So, I am hoping all these will be put to right use in your organization as it has a smaller and better quality work environment.

I’d like to keep the names of the other companies confidential and would do the same for you if anyone else asks me.”

How is your job search going so far?

“Things are going good and I have just begun to land quite a few telephonic interviews.

I am at the very first step of the entire job search process, but I am really very hopeful to receive relevant face-to-face interview calls soon.”

Tell me about your most recent internship or job. Describe an ideal work/training day for you?

Some other forms of this question are:

  • Walk me through a list of some work day activities.

  • What are the key things you need to accomplish on a daily/weekly basis?

  • What are the key deliverables for your role?

  • How do you prioritize work?

“One of the biggest areas I was responsible for in my internship was to ensure our server had as close to 100% up-time as possible.

I achieved it by making some key changes and optimizations in the backend code.

Your job description outlines skills in a person who has to be adept in Express, Django, Rails, Laravel, Spring, C#, Ruby, REST, GO etc.

I am comfortable in these languages and this job is something I could immediately pursue.”

What are your salary expectations?

“My salary expectations are in line with my qualifications.

I don’t have any work experience and hence there is no specific number on my mind right now.

However, in order to come up with a realistic figure, I would like to understand your budget for this job role.

Right now I want to focus on a position that’s the best fit for my skills and can drive my career forward.

Rest, any fair offer that you make will obviously be treated with respect at my end.”

When are you available to start?

“I was made a job offer right after I finished a 6-month internship at a software firm.

It's been only 1 month since I joined them and am still on probation.

However, I am required to serve a 30-day notice otherwise I would have to buy-out this notice, which is not doable as of now as I have some personal financial crunches.

Also, before starting with a new company, I was hoping to take 5 days off as I would like to visit my hometown - Bhubaneswar.

But I am eager to meet the rest of the team at your organization and get to work.”

What questions do you have for me?

Arrive prepared for this question. Have a ready list of 3-5 smart questions that you can ask your interviewer.

This is your chance to leave a lasting last-impression and get a call back or get hired!

It is your chance to showcase your interest and inquisitiveness about the business you are about to get associated with.

Some safe bets would be steering the questions around job duties, goals, the team, the company, training etc.

Appraisal, performance measurement and business's long term objectives are some safe questions too.

What type of work environment do you prefer?

You can describe a work environment identical to the prospective employer's.

In case you are not sure, show flexibility and a willingness to experience new things.

Also, say that you can work in a huge variety of environments.

Why will you succeed in this position?

Some interviewers will come out and directly ask why you think you’ll be a success in their job.

Don’t be timid when answering – this is your chance to show confidence and explain exactly how you can help them, and how your experience will be helpful to you in their job.

"From the discussion we have had until now, I believe my qualifications are in line with this job role and your requirements.

I am qualified for this position and also possess some training exposure and internship experience to back it up as well.

Besides, I am a fast-learner and a go-getter as well."

What motivates you?

Motivation is a concern every employer has, no matter how talented/qualified you are.

If you’re not coming to work motivated, your work will suffer.

So, they’re likely to ask one or two phone interview questions to find out what drives you, what interests you, etc.

“Success motivates me, but that does not imply that failure demotivates me. It does not.

I am a hard-working person and I keep trying and persist until I achieve my goals.

My stellar academic history testifies the same.

I try to do a good job with attention to detail and also ensure the entire team is on the same page all through the process.

In my internship, I managed multiple client accounts and often coordinated with 10-15 people on a given day across India.

Being a Chinese language expert, I had to handle Chinese clients all by myself.

I was also responsible for reporting goals, achievements, budgets and milestones as it was a startup and they were really counting on me.”

Follow the tips and tricks and also take cues from the sample retorts shared above to ace an upcoming phone interview on call.

All the best!

Covid-19 Resources Interview Advice