Telephone interviews can be just as nerve wracking – if not more so – than a more traditional interview…
As with ‘normal’ interviews, question preparation is key to success. We take the hassle out of preparing with our advice on phone interview answers…
It’s all about you
Employers used to use telephone interviews for running basic background checks and to make sure you weren’t telling any porky pies on your CV, so expect a few questions about you and your work history to crop up in conversation.
If your mind tends to go blank when you’re trying to recall what you’ve put on your CV, remember to keep it in front of you while you’re on the phone. You don’t want the interviewer thinking you’re lying when you’re actually just forgetful.
No company wants to waste their time having a face-to-face interview with a candidate that’s unqualified for the role, so expect a few testing questions about your current skill set and qualifications during your telephone interview.
This is the time to show off your transferable skills and make them feel rather silly for even questioning whether you were skilled enough for the job. From skills you picked up in your past jobs to academic qualifications that you spent hours studying for, if it fits the job description mention it.
Just remember to keep it relevant. They won’t want to know about your swimming certificates or that you quite like riding ponies.
Guide to competency based questions
Researching the interviewer
This is where your chances of a second interview can be made or broken; YOUR knowledge of THEM.
They went to the trouble of picking your CV out of the towering pile and read it from top to bottom to make sure they knew everything about you in preparation, and now they’ve asked everything about you, from work history to hobbies. Don’t research them back at your own risk!
The interviewer is sure to ask about your knowledge of their company to test how much you REALLY want the job, so make sure you’ve got those handy notes in front of you to refresh your memory.
How to answer why you want the job
Looking to the future
Unless you’ve got some sort of amazing time machine, no one really knows where they’ll be in five years time, but in a telephone interview you’ve got to look to the future to show them you have ambition. Why? Because it’s likely that they’ll ask, “So what are your career goals?” (or something to that effect).
Get ready to have an answer about your future goals and career ambitions within that company to prove you’ve got the drive and passion to stay, and not just leave when you get more experience at their expense.
How to answer questions about your career
It’s the question that everyone dreads in a face-to-face interview, so you can bet they’ll ask it in a telephone interview too. Make sure you’ve prepared some questions of your own to ask the interviewer just to be on the safe side.