Skip to main content
4 answers
5
Asked 1005 views

What is a phone interview, and how do I prepare for it?

I'm a sophomore in college, and I recently went to a technical fair and talked to a lot of recruiters, and many of them have gotten back to me and said that they wanted to set up a phone interview with me. However, I have little experience in interviews and I'm not sure what I should expect from a phone interview. What is a phone interview like, and how can I prepare for it?


Any insight would be great, thanks in advance!

Thank you comment icon It is the actual job interview, only via telephone instead of in person. This is usually done for candidates who live far from the job site or when the job they are applying for can be done online. Sheila

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

5

4 answers


2
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Ken’s Answer

Hi Albert!


I have not encountered much in the way of phone interviews, so I am referring you to a site that will provide much helpful information.

https://www.themuse.com/tags/phone-interviews


During the interview get the address of the person to whom you are speaking, so you can send them a hand written thank you note. You can use the simple fold over one that you can get at a drug store. That way you can stand out (not many people do that) and say something in the card that thanks the person and highlights something particularly important in the interview and say in the card that you would like to follow up with a phone call in a few days to talk about the next step in the interview process. Always assume that there is a next step. On the third day following the mailing of the card, call the person to whom the card was sent to inquire about the next step. You can tell the screening people that he/is expecting your call - as he/she is since you said in the card that you would call.


Here is a good site for making a follow up contact. It refers to using email, but a phone call is better since it is more personal and you can have a dialogue and introduce additional information and ask if there is anything else that he/she would like to know. When I was doing recruiting, I would not seriously consider someone until they followed up on the interview.
https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-following-up-can-help-you-land-the-job


Let me know if and how this helps. Please keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.

Thank you comment icon When you say "During the interview get the address of the person to whom you are speaking, so you can send them a hand written thank you note", how would one do this? It seems rather odd to just ask someone for their address, while at the same time giving the reason "I want to send you a thank-you note" is a little awkward. What's the best way to do this? Rosa
Thank you comment icon Try this: " Could I please have your address and contact information in case there is something important that I neglected to mention during this interview?" You would not tell them that you want to use it to send them a thank you note, but it is understandable that during the pressure of the phone interview there might be something that you wanted to say but did not remember. If you don't have the address and contact information, you are out of luck. I think that the interviewer would understand you asking for such information. Ken Simmons
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice Ken! I really do appreciate it, and the article is very helpful (the Muse writes some pretty darn good ones). Albert
Thank you comment icon You are welcome! Please keep me informed. I would like to follow your progress. Ken Simmons
2
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Jason’s Answer

Hi Albert,


Congrats on getting a bunch of phone interviews! Phone interviews are usually the preliminary interview of the hiring process. They're used to assess your professionalism and general knowledge of the job position/field. You will probably be asked questions about your resume/experience as well as projects that you've done. Expect a casual conversation between yourself and the recruiter.


Since you come from a technical background, you may not be asked traditional "behavioral" interview questions (such as: Tell me about a time when you failed). Definitely know what you have done and be sure to communicate that clearly. Sell yourself and your experiences and try to relate what you've done to the position you are interviewing for. A bit nerve-wracking if you've never been through one before but these will serve as good practice for the future!


Very general advice because each company will have different questions for the phone interview, but wishing you the best of luck on your internship search!

Thank you comment icon Awesome, thanks for the reply! If I may ask, should I expect any technical questions? I am a computer science major, and I know that they usually ask technical questions during the interview process, but I'm not sure if they ask them during phone interviews. Albert
1
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Genevieve’s Answer

Getting phone interviews are a good sign. It means the employer is interested in you! A phone interview is the first step in the hiring process. It is usually with a company recruiter. This will last anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Make sure you know your resume inside and out and are able to explain anything listed there in more detail. Also have a response ready for, "why you are interested in working for the company?" or, "why did you apply to this position?" At the end of the interview, make sure to ask the recruiter what the next steps are & when you can expect to hear back. You might also want to ask the recruiter to "describer the corporate culture" or "what type of personality would be a good fit" for the company's working environment. The benefit of a phone interview is that you can have notes or your laptop to help you during the interview in case you forget to ask a question or mention something related to the company or the job. Ask any family or friends if you can practice a mock interview with them. After all, practice makes perfect! Your school's career services office might also offer mock interview prep or other career prep resources. Most importantly, be yourself!


.

Thank you comment icon Thanks for the insight, Genevieve! Your advice really helps and I think I have a better idea of what to expect and how I can prepare for it. :) Albert
1
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Azharuddin’s Answer

Many companies use phone interviews as an initial employment screening technique for a variety of reasons. Because they're generally brief, phone interviews save companies time. They also serve as a more realistic screening alternative for cases in which companies are considering out-of-town (or out-of-state and foreign) candidates.


So the chances are pretty good that, at some point in your job hunt, you'll be asked to participate in a 20- to 30-minute phone interview with either one person or several people on the other end of the line. In many ways, the way you prepare for a phone interview isn't all that different from the way you'd get ready for a face-to-face interview—save for a few slight additions to and modifications of your list of preparation tasks.


Preparing for a phone interview:


Treat the phone interview seriously, just as you would a face-to-face interview.
Have your resume and cover letter in front of you.
Make a cheat sheet.
Get a high-quality phone.
Shower, groom and dress up (at least a little).
Stand up, or at least sit up straight at a table or desk.
A phone interview seems so informal on the surface that it can be easy to fall into the trap of "phoning it in"—i.e., not preparing for it as well as you would for an in-person interview. Don't get caught with your guard down. Be sure to research the company, study the job description, and practice your responses to anticipated questions, just as you would for any other interview.


You'll almost certainly be asked about some of the information that appears on these documents. You might also want to have in front of you any supporting materials that relate to information in your resume and cover letter, like documents you've designed or written, a portfolio of your various projects, or the written position description from your key internship.


Jot down a few notes about the most critical points you want to make with your interviewer(s). Are there certain skills and experiences you want to emphasize? Do you have certain interests or passions you want your interviewer(s) to know about and understand? Be sure these pieces of information appear on your crib sheet. Then touch on them during the interview, even if your only chance to do so is at the end of the session when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions or anything to add.


This isn't the time to use a cellphone that cuts in and out, or a cheaply made phone that makes it difficult for you and your interviewer(s) to hear and understand each other.


Odd advice? Perhaps. But focusing on your appearance, just as you would for a normal interview, will put you in the right frame of mind from a psychological standpoint. You won't do as well in your phone interview if you're lying in bed, for example, or if you're draped over your couch in your pajamas.


Again, there's a psychological, frame-of-mind aspect to consider here. But on a more tangible level, research has shown that you project yourself better when you're standing up, and you'll feel more knowledgeable and confident.


Phone interviews can be tricky, especially since you aren't able to read your interviewers' nonverbal cues like facial expressions and body language during the session—a big difference from the typical interview. But if you prepare well for your phone interview, you won't need to read anyone's nonverbals to gauge your performance. You'll know for sure how you've done because you'll be invited to a face-to-face interview, where you'll have yet another opportunity to prove you're the best person for the job.


Source : https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/mastering-the-phone-interview

Thank you comment icon Great, thanks for the advice! This helped me calm my nerves and hopefully it goes well! Albert
1