Regardless of your niche or speciality, if you want to progress in your career, you’ll have to enter your fair share of interview situations.
Today’s recruitment processes are stringent, competitive, and multi-layered. The average interview process, end-to-end, takes 22.9 days. Moreover, it takes around two interviews and three to six weeks to receive a job offer.
Knowing how to thrive in a phone interview situation will help you get ahead of the pack to pursue a career that fulfils all of your aspirations.
Here we’re going to explore additional practical tips that will help you thrive in part two of our phone interview preparation guide.
While a first call interview may be slightly less comprehensive than other elements of the interview process, demonstrating a working knowledge of the company you want to work for is essential if you want to progress to the next stage.
Not only will gaining a firm grasp of your potential employer’s company values, brand mission, internal structure and current news from the moment you’re invited to interview give you confidence, but it will also help guide you through every step of the interview process.
Today’s hiring managers want to know that you’re invested in their mission, specifically—learning all you can about the brand will demonstrate your passion, commitment and work ethic.
On the days or weeks leading up to your phone interview, dedicate 30 minutes to an hour each day to read related blog articles and press releases; explore company values and conduct research on your interviewer—neglecting to do so is likely to result in failure.
Every company is different, so knowing which questions you’ll be required to answer during your first call interview is difficult. But as a guide, these are the types of questions that businesses across sectors typically ask during the phone phase of the recruitment process:
Naturally, these may vary and your interviewer is likely to ask you niche questions based on the specific role you’re applying for—but providing you’ve prepared in advance and have belief in your abilities, you’ll be able to tackle them with confidence.
For help answering the questions above, read this phone interview Q&A guide. Also, this video will help you answer any potential behavioural interview questions using the STAR method:
If your first call interview is to be conducted in a language that’s not native to your own, you should brush up on your language skills beforehand.
For instance, if your interview is in English, you should take the time to prepare certain words, phrases, and terminology. Having conversations in English with friends or colleagues beforehand will also help you sound fluent, professional and direct during your phone interview.
Reading through your potential employer’s website and watching their branded video content will also give an understanding of the company’s tone of voice as well as the terms that are commonly used throughout the organisation. If you can speak in a tone that’s comfortable to your interviewer, you’re likely to build an instant rapport.
Moving onto etiquette: despite the slightly less formal nature of the first call interview, you must be professional at all times.
To help guide you through the best phone interview etiquette, explore the phone interview checklist in our ‘what to do when HR calls you’ guide.
Curiosity is the very basis of education, and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly – Arnold Edinborough, renowned writer and arts advocate
During your phone interview, you’re more than likely to be asked if you have any questions—so be prepared. You should use these questions as a working guide, tailoring them as necessary:
By following the advice outlined here, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of thriving in your first call interview. Best of luck.
If you’re considering a career in consulting, explore our guide to pursuing a career in this challenging and rewarding field.