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Most Common Phone Interview Questions

By Edited May 29, 2014 0 1
Woman On Phone
Credit: Ary B via Flickr

Interviews are now often done by hiring officers over the phone since not all of them have the time and energy to do it face-to-face. Some even screen potential candidates over the phone first, before inviting applicants to meet in-person.

Here are some tips that you should adhere to before the phone interview:

Tip #1 - If you are living with others for example friends and family, let them know not to be on the phone 15 minutes prior the time of your phone interview. Just in case the interviewer rings early. 

Tip #2 - If using a mobile phone make sure the battery is fully charged nothing more embarrassing  than your phone shutting down in the middle of the interview.

Tip #3 - Choose a quiet place inside the house and announce to house mates or family not to disturb you while you are on the phone. Have someone look after your kids or pets if this applies to you.  If outside make sure you are in a quiet area away from traffic and noise. Possibly choose a quiet park rather than a busy cafe.

Tip #4 - It doesn't hurt to have notes in front of you so you can remind yourself important points that you want to say to the interviewer. Maybe have information on the company to refer to just in case. 

Tip #5 - This tip is important. If you have a voice mail with any profanity filled or deemed as inappropriate for most of society, you need to change this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Nothing worse for your employer to hear a voice mail message that you created in back college while under the influence of alcohol.

Tip #6 - Make sure you think ahead and plan your phone interview at time and day that you know you will be available, not on a lunch break at your current job or travelling home on a train back from it. The more relaxed your environment you are the less stressful it will be.


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Now that we are prepared phone interview. Here are a few common phone interview questions, and how to answer them to help you land that wanted job.

Tell me about yourself.

This question asks you to sell yourself to the interviewer. You have to give them reasons why to hire you. Start with your educational background, then highlight your past work experience. You want them to have an impression that you have contributed a lot to your previous position so tell them the job description, and the projects you’ve handled and succeeded.

Why did you apply to us?

The hiring officer wants to know the level of interest you have for the position. Tell him/her that the qualifications they require is something you meet and exceeded in the past. They would want to hear examples as well. Prepare to give scenarios where you’ve shown a specific skill, and how it benefit you in your previous job.

Why are you leaving your current company? ... left your previous company?

To answer these questions, you need to be objective, and not sound defensive. You have to explain the reason in a positive and clear manner. Tell them that even if the work environment is great with your current/previous job, you wanted an opportunity where you can showcase your skill more. Advise how your current/previous work was not challenging enough for you, and that their company will be able to help you with that.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

This depends on the company that you are applying for. If it is a big company, then there’s guaranteed room for promotion for you. If not, answer it in a way that you see yourself acquiring more knowledge, or getting better at your skills. Also tell them that you see yourself making meaningful contributions that will help the advancement of the company.

There are a lot more questions that can be thrown at you, so better prepare really hard. Research information about the company, and the position you are applying for. Find out the common phone interview questions and answers so that you can prepare ideas, and rehearse what you will have to say. The interviewer will also judge you based on your communication skills, so make sure to not stumble with your answers. If you have done all of that, your dream job will surely just fall right into your hands.

8 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Telephone Interview



May 18, 2014 2:54am
Informative. I guess it will be useful to job-seekers.
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