A Way of Living. Celebrate how you live your life!

Phone Interview Tips: How to Ace Your Next Interview

young business woman talking phone standing by window

Phone interviews are becoming increasingly popular as a way for employers to screen candidates before inviting them in for an in-person interview. While phone interviews may seem less intimidating than face-to-face interviews, they still require preparation and practice. In this Modvive article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ace your next phone interview and increase your chances of getting hired.

Pre-Interview Preparation

  1. The first step to acing a phone interview is preparing beforehand. You want to make sure you are familiar with the company and the position you are applying for. Research the company’s history, mission, and values.
  2. Check out their social media pages and read recent news articles about them. This will not only help you to answer questions, but also show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the company.
  3. Review the job description and make sure you understand the responsibilities and qualifications required for the position. Think about how your skills and experience match up with what they are looking for. Prepare specific examples of how you have used these skills in past jobs.
  4. Prepare answers to common interview questions. There are a number of questions that are often asked in phone interviews, including: “Tell me about yourself”, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, and “Why are you interested in this position?”. Have some bullet points ready, but don’t memorize responses word-for-word. You want to sound natural and authentic.
  5. Set up a quiet and comfortable space for the interview. Choose a location where you won’t be interrupted by noise or other people. Make sure you have a comfortable chair and a table to place your notes on. If you’re using a cellphone, make sure it’s fully charged and has good reception. If you’re using a landline, make sure there are no issues with the line and that it is free of static or background noise.
  6. Test the technology and equipment before the interview. This includes testing your phone or internet connection, and any software or apps that you may need to use for the interview. Make sure you know how to use these tools, and have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.

During the Interview

When the phone rings, answer it professionally. Say your name and a greeting, such as “Good morning, this is [Your Name] speaking”. Smile while you’re speaking, even though the interviewer can’t see you. Smiling will help you sound more enthusiastic and engaging.

Listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions and ask for clarification if needed. Avoid interruptions and distractions. Turn off any other devices that might cause distractions, such as your computer or television. 

If you’re using notes, have them organized and easy to access. Don’t shuffle through papers or rustle through your notes while the interviewer is talking.

Speak clearly and confidently. Use appropriate tone and inflection, and avoid monotone speech. Be concise and avoid rambling. Try to keep your answers to less than two minutes. Remember, you want to make a good impression and show that you’re respectful of the interviewer’s time.

Common Phone Interview Questions

There are a number of questions that are commonly asked in phone interviews. Here are a few examples, along with tips for answering them effectively:

“Tell me about yourself” – This is a common question to start off an interview. Keep your response focused on your professional experience and skills, and avoid discussing personal details. Highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the position.

“What are your strengths and weaknesses?” – When discussing your strengths, focus on those that are relevant to the position. When discussing your weaknesses, choose something that is not a critical skill for the position, and also explain how you are working to improve in this area.

“Why are you interested in this position ?” – This is a good opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the job and the company. Discuss the specific aspects of the job that appeal to you, such as the opportunity to use a certain skill or work with a particular team. You can also mention any research you’ve done on the company and how it aligns with your own values and interests.

Closing the Interview

As the interview comes to a close, you may be asked if you have any questions. This is your chance to ask about the company or the position, and to show your interest in the job. Ask about the company culture, growth opportunities, or what a typical day in the job might look like. This will also give you a chance to assess whether the company is a good fit for you.

Express interest in the position and thank the interviewer for their time. Let them know that you are excited about the opportunity and that you look forward to hearing from them. Ask about next steps and when you can expect to hear back.

After the Interview

  1. After the interview, take some time to review how it went. Assess your strengths and weaknesses, and consider what you could improve for the next interview. Make notes on what questions you were asked, how you responded, and what additional questions you could ask in a follow-up interview.
  2. Send a thank-you note or email to the interviewer. This is an opportunity to express your appreciation for their time and to reiterate your interest in the job. Keep it brief, but mention something specific that was discussed in the interview.
  3. Prepare for a potential in-person interview. If you’re invited to an in-person interview, make sure you are fully prepared. Review the company’s website and any additional research you may have done. Consider what questions you might be asked and how you can prepare your responses. Practice your responses in front of a mirror or with a friend.

Additional Tips and Considerations

There are a number of additional tips and considerations that can help you to ace your next phone interview:

  • If the interviewer is running late or doesn’t call, wait 10-15 minutes before reaching out to them. Send a polite email or call to inquire about the interview.
  • If you’re not sure how to answer a question, take a moment to collect your thoughts. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if needed.
  • Address technical difficulties as quickly as possible. If there’s a problem with your phone or internet connection, try to troubleshoot the issue. If it can’t be resolved, let the interviewer know and suggest rescheduling the interview.
  • Follow up after the interview. If you haven’t heard back after a week or two, send a polite email to inquire about the status of your application.

Take Away

Phone interviews can be challenging, but with the right preparation and practice, you can increase your chances of success. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to acing your next phone interview and landing your dream job.