Updated: Sep 28
You’ve begun your job search, your application materials are top-notch and a hiring manager has decided they want to get to know you better. In today’s increasingly digital world, and even more after the current pandemic, millions of interviews are being held either by phone or video conferencing. Even though phone interviews may seem a tad more stressful than in-person interviews, you have THE major advantage: the interviewer can’t see you. Embrace this opportunity to get help from a little interview cheat sheet with the following talking points and anecdotes:
About The Company
Your homework before having your phone interview is to do some in-depth research about the company you’re applying to; by in-depth we mean from the services they offer to the CEO’s name. Also, look up on different search engines any current or recent news about what the company is working on among other things. Hiring managers are sometimes curious to see how much you care about working at the company and will ask you questions to see if you know anything about it. Besides, if you don’t know what products or services the company offers, why are you even applying? Throughout your job search you have to be sure that the company you’re applying to is the right one for you. You don’t want to find yourself stuck in an interview that you don’t want to be having in the first place.
This is your chance at your elevator pitch to answer: 1) What do you do? 2) What distinguishes you? and 3) What are your goals? Even if you’re not meeting the interviewer in person, you want the listener to have a lasting impression of who you are. This is where recruiters will throw in some questions to get to know you so having some notes jotted down about your strengths, weaknesses, and relevant experience in your interview cheat sheet will be a big help.
Questions For The Company
Most of the time, interviewers will ask you if you have any questions about the company or the job position. You might feel like it’s a trick but in reality it’s of benefit to you. If you prepare a few smart questions beforehand, you will come off as an informed and prepared candidate and the interviewer will like you even more. This is your opportunity to find out what it is to work on a daily basis at the company or what their goals are for the next 2-5 years. If you ask questions about their future plans, the interviewer will view you as someone who is interested enough to become invested in the job and stay for a long time.
Questions To Prepare For
Take a step ahead of Interviewing 101 and get ready for the tricky questions that might be asked during a phone interview. Being prepared for these behavioral questions ahead of time will ease your nerves if asked one of the following:
Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
What are some of your leadership experiences?
Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
Tell me about a time you made a mistake and what you did to fix it.
Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
We consider these the most difficult questions to answer during a phone interview so just imagine coming up with an example of a specific moment right on the spot. The above questions are the ones we believe are the most common and will give you a head start if you write down the answer in your interview cheat sheet. You don’t have to write the complete answer but just certain words to help you remember the specific situation you want to talk about and you can expand on it during your phone interview. Keep in mind that if you do write the whole answer and read it when asked by the interviewer, you will sound robotic and rehearsed.
However, Glassdoor was nice enough to provide job seekers with even more common interview questions (50 to be exact). Take a quick scan of these questions because some might fit certain job industries more than ever and it doesn’t hurt to be even more prepared.
With all this preparation, you won’t be as intimidated and nervous in your next phone interview. Write down all your answers for your interview cheat sheet in bullet points and have it handy even before you’re called by the hiring manager. You don’t want to be found scrambling around your house looking for your notes and adding to your nerves. With your index card/sheet of paper by your side, you’ll have nothing to worry about and will be ahead of the game during your job search!