How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

JobJane phone interview

Congratulations on being selected for a phone interview! This is often the first step in the interview process and not the last so you need to prepare for a phone interview. Sometimes phone interviews will be with someone from Human Resources and sometimes they are with the actual hiring manager. Make sure to pay attention to who it is you will be talking to.

Preparing for your Phone Interview

Here are some tips on how to prepare for your phone interview.

  • Plan to be somewhere quiet with good reception and limited distractions
  • If there are other people in your house, make sure they know you will need it quiet
  • Have your resume and the job description in front of you to be able to reference them
  • Research the company ahead of time and maybe even the person you will be speaking with
  • Have some water nearby in case you get nervous or end up talking for a while
  • Make sure they have the number you are expecting to be called at
  • Be ready at least 5-10 minutes ahead of the expected time so you are not feeling rushed

Interview Questions

Here are some questions you might be asked that you should prepare answers for. Try to do a mock interview with a friend or family member so you can practice your answers more naturally.

  • Tell me about your experience
  • What are the reasons you left your last 3 positions?
  • What are 3 words that your colleagues would use to describe you?
  • If you could improve one skill, what would it be?
  • Tell me about a challenge you have had to overcome at work?
  • Talk about a time you didn’t agree with a decision at work and how did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work and what did you do about it?

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

These questions could change depending on whether you are speaking to Human Resources or the hiring manager but most of them could be asked of either.

  • What do you like most about working for this company?
  • If you could change one thing about this company, what would it be?
  • What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for whoever is hired for this position?
  • Why is this position open?
  • What are 3 characteristics that you are looking for when hiring for this position?
  • How do you describe the company culture?
  • What are the next steps?

You got this! Stay calm, be yourself, and remember that you are interviewing them just as they are interviewing you. During the interview, you should also be deciding whether this is somewhere you want to work.

If you are wanting some more help, check out my 1 on 1 coaching sessions or my E-book that will walk you through this job hunt process.

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