Achieving your dream job! Acing the phone interview

Posted by on August 23, 2016 at 1:30 AM

Have you ever applied for a job, hoping to get that face-to-face interview for your next big career break, but receive a phone call instead? Did you ever find this hurdle daunting especially when you receive this call when you least expect it?

It has become a rising trend for recruiters to use this low-investment screening method to efficiently and effectively assess potential job applicants before arranging for a face-to-face interview. As Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half says “phone interviews will rarely get you the job, but they could [definitely] lose it for you”.

Here are some of Navitas Professional’s quick tips to help you prepare and secure a face-to-face job interview.


Tip #1: Keep track of your applied roles and expect the call – anytime!

Job search is a time consuming and daunting task. You can end up applying for multiple roles and end up with a call from one of them, forgetting which one it was! 

So always remember to:

  1. Keep a notebook/notes on the phone as to what roles you’ve applied for.
    1. The worst thing is not knowing what role the interviewer is calling about – you have to keep on top of this or fail in the first 10 seconds!
  2. Keep a copy of your CV handy – as it’s a phone interview and you can always refer back to it.

As a last resort, ask to reschedule the interview to another time.


Tip #2: Preparation, preparation, preparation

The structure of a phone interview is very similar to a face-to-face interview, in terms of the questions asked and the interviewer wanting to gage your level of interest. The major difference is that your tone of voice is vital to conveying your motivation for this role as compared to projecting your body language during a face-to-face interview. In order to increase your chances to land that second round of interviews, your preparation and communication skill can make all the difference.

  1. Review the top 10 phone interview questions
  2. Prepare your answers and rehearse; be flexible with how you adapt your answers to questions being asked so that you don’t end up sounding like a tape recorder!
    1. Important to note: be concise! Try not to ramble as you may lose the interest of the interviewer and reduce your chances of the next interview stage.
  3. Choose a quiet place and ensure you won’t be disrupted for up to an hour.
  4. Make sure your phone line is secure.
  5. Listen carefully to what is being asked; do not be afraid to ask them to repeat. Though if you ask too often, it may indicate you don’t listen well.
  6. Research the company that you’ve applied for and prepare 3-5 relevant questions of what else you would like to know for e.g. what is your company culture like?


Tip #3: What not to do!

There are times that we don’t notice the little things we think are normal, but off-putting to a total stranger. So here are some things to be mindful of when you apply for roles:

  1. Make sure your voice mail greeting is appropriate.
  2. Do not answer another call whilst on the phone with your interviewer. This is not only rude but indicates to your interviewer that you’re not serious about the role.
  3. Make sure there are no distractions to divert you away from the interview at hand.


Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to ask about the next steps

At the end of the interview, it is always good to clarify expectations of where to next. This not only shows your eagerness to proceed to the next stage but show an ability to plan ahead. Some questions you could ask are:

  1. It has been lovely speaking with you. If I was lucky enough to progress, what would the next steps be? 
  2. Are you able to let me know what the time-frame is, of whether I have succeeded in progressing to the next stage?


Tip #5: Tone of voice

Last but not least, in a phone interview, your tone of voice is everything! Talk with genuine enthusiasm and remember to smile. Even though the interviewer cannot see you, they can hear the positivity in your voice when a candidate sounds happy to talk about the job.

With these 5 tips under your belt, I hope you succeed in your next phone interview to land your dream job!