What to Say in a Phone Interview to Score an In-Person in 2022 : Current School News

What to Say in a Phone Interview to Score an In-Person in 2022

Filed in Job by on January 14, 2022

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– What to Say in a Phone Interview –

While you are job searching, it’s important to know what to say in a phone interview at a moment’s notice. Many companies start the interview process with a phone call to discuss the job opportunity. We left it for you to know what to say, but I will give you a clear insight into what you should say in a phone interview.

What to Say in a Phone Interview to Score an In-Person

In this digital age, interviewing for a job often feels like a chess match. First, there comes the opening gamut of submitting a resume.

Hopefully, this leads to a confirmation call from an internal or external recruiter to set up a phone interview with the hiring manager.

Now the game really begins—or ends—depending on how well you do during this introductory conversation with the client.

What You Should Expect in a Phone Interview

➣ Usually one interviewer only – not a group

➣ Hiring manager “trying to eliminate you”

➣ Varying “interviewer styles” (ex. casual or formal)

➣ Basic questions about your personal life

➣ Housekeeping questions (ex. availability, travel, etc.)

➣ Potential salary expectation discussion

➣ A few “oddball” questions

➣ The hiring manager expects focus – no distractions!

➣ Back and forth dialogue – pause and listen.

➣ Standard job interview questions

➣ No “next interview” promises

The last point is the key. It’s quite rare that you will get an offer of an in-person interview at the end of your phone call. But don’t be discouraged!

The general practice is for the hiring manager to assess all of her phone interviews and create a short-list of candidates to be brought in for in-person interviews.

If you’ve followed our tips, you’ll surely be getting another call from her to be brought in.

Preparing for a Phone Interview

Usually, during phone interviews, employers are seeking general, high-level information about you and your background to see if they should advance you to the next step in the hiring process.

You should be prepared to talk about why you’re looking for a job, why you’re interested in this specific job and company, and your background.

Each employer has a different set of questions for phone interviews, but there are several commonly asked questions.

Below are several phone interview example questions and answers you can use as inspiration when preparing for your interview.


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What the Interviewer is Looking for

What the Interviewer is Looking for

The recruiter has three main goals for a phone interview:

1. Confirm Interest

Hiring managers have a limited amount of time, and a recruiter’s first filter is to make sure they are passing along candidates that are truly interested in the role.

We are in the era where recruiters reach out to candidates more often than the other way around, and often prospective candidates will take a phone screen just to get interview practice and see what the market is willing to pay.

As such, recruiters use the phone interview to ensure you have a genuine interest in the company and the role.

2. Match Core Skills

A recruiter will not typically conduct a deep-dive on each of your core skills, but rather, they want to make sure you have general experience in the core requirements of the job.

For example, if you are interviewing to be a digital marketing manager they are less likely to get into the specifics of how you measure the success of a marketing campaign, but they will want to ensure you have indeed run marketing campaigns of similar size and scope as theirs.

This is more of a checklist approach rather than grading your skills in each category.

3. Assess Culture Fit

Behavioral interviewing is how most companies comprehensively assess “culture fit” in later rounds. However, the phone interview is also meant to do a preliminary check on how well suited you are to the company’s culture.

Key areas of interest for the recruiter is whether you have worked in similar environments (e.g., the pace of work, level of collaboration), your overall demeanor (e.g., level of humility), and your mindset (e.g., growth orientation).

How to Ace this Stage of the Interview Process

How to Ace this Stage of the Interview Process

1. Demonstrate Synthesis

During a phone interview, it is easy for the interviewer to get distracted (e.g., check email). This makes it even more important to be succinct and compelling to ensure you capture their attention.

This can be applied to the first question the recruiter will ask “Tell me about yourself.” Many candidates ramble and spend too much time on unimportant details, and miss out on highlighting the core aspects of their candidacy.

A practical way to solve this and demonstrate synthesis is to focus on the themes of your career progression.

For example, you might describe your career in three stages your first role, your ascension into leadership roles, and your current job, instead of reciting everything on your resume.

You can also describe your career by functional themes, especially when your career has the breadth and a non-linear path.

For example, you might frame your career as being a mix of bringing new products to market, developing and coaching teams, and partnering with cross-functional stakeholders.

2. Be Precise About Why You Want the Job

As mentioned earlier, often the recruiter has reached out to you, and it is important to show you are not passively taking a call, but rather have a clear interest in the role.

This is why it is important to do your research on the company to understand them more deeply, and then weave that into why it fits with the career path you are charting.

Specifically, you should have clarity on their mission, their ecosystem (e.g., customer segments, key competitors), and their products/services.

Ideally, in your research, you will find something that truly connects with your experience and/or professional interests and speaking to that will show a deep interest in the opportunity.

3. Simulate a Real Interview Environment

A common mistake candidates make is not recreating the environment that brings out their best, professional self.

Often candidates will take a call from home while reclining on their couch, and this casual attitude shows up in their communication style, dimming their professional energy.

Given this, it is important to find an environment that can simulate a professional aura (e.g., a home office, in front of a desk), and dress accordingly as your communication style will be more polished as your brain picks up on the subtle cues.

The right posture will also ensure your voice projects well, as opposed to reclining on your couch and sounding muffled.

4. Ask Thoughtful Questions

The questions you ask towards the end of the phone interview serve as an indicator of what is important to you in the opportunity so avoid administrative questions such as vacation policy.

Instead, focus on high-value questions that show you are thinking about things that really matter such as “What does success in the role look like?” These questions will also better prepare you to engage.

When the interview is over, carefully review any notes you were able to take during the conversation.

Jot down what types of questions you were asked, how you responded, and any follow-up questions you may have if you have an opportunity for an in-person interview or a second-round phone interview—or even a job offer.

Kindly share this post after reading it. Good luck!

CSN Team.

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