Phone interviews during COVID-19 will certainly be happening more in the coming weeks for most recruiters. This may probably because of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine that was extended until April 30. This also means that everyone is advised to stay at home until lockdown is lifted, thus no face-to-face meetings or interviews is allowed.

Candidates on face-to-face interviews, or video interviews even before the time of COVID-19, were initially screened on phone interviews. This is to help recruiters pre-qualify candidates, and level them up in the recruitment process. Therefore, phone interviews during COVID-19 should be taken seriously as face-to-face or video interviews.

On our previous blog, we shared about how job seekers should prepare for phone interviews. In this post, we will further share pointers for job seekers on how to make their preparations even more effective.

Guide on Phone Interviews During COVID-19 : Do’s and Don’ts

Having phone etiquette is basic when answering any kind of phone calls. Certainly, it should be even more practiced on job phone interviews. Furthermore, candidates who come to interviews, prepared and ready shows professionalism. As we know, preparation is essential for job seekers who want to ace their job interviews.

We reiterate here preparations made for phone interviews and key points that will be helpful during the actual interview.

1. Prepare a checklist.

By organizing a list, it helps job seekers to skip mind clutter and avoid panic during phone interviews.

DO : Make the list simple as below :

  • Job Position Applied For
  • Company Name
  • Brief Company Background
  • Questions to Ask

DON’T : Ask the caller “From what company are you calling from?” or “What job position are you talking about?”

2. Research about the company.

 It helps the candidate come up with good questions during the interview if they do their homework. When doing a research about the company, following are what job seekers should learn about the company and the job:

  • Company’s vision and mission.
  • Skills and experience the company usually hires.
  • Key players of the organization.
  • Latest news or events.
  • Existing clients, products and services.
  • An insider scoop (if possible).
  • The interviewer/recruiter.

DO : Know the company and the job you are applying for. Visit their official website or follow them on social media. 

DON’T : Attend the phone interview clueless about the company. But do not hesitate to ask questions during the interview to further know the company and the job.

3. Promptly answer phone calls.

Expect to receive calls anytime from employers since job applications were already sent out. Don’t let employers wait when you will answer their third call. Moreover, it is best to answer the phone call on the second ring.

DO : Answer phone calls with enthusiasm and in a professional tone.  Never forget to practice phone ethics.    

If you missed a call, be courteous enough to :

  • Return the call when you are ready to answer or
  • Send text to reschedule the call if you are not.

DON’T : Pick up when you are not completely ready to answer your phone interview. Do not hit cancel button either, as it appears an offensive act for some people. Most importantly, do not schedule interviews if you are obviously sick and can hardly talk.

4. Prepare a list of questions.

Asking questions during interviews normally at the end of the interview, help job seekers decide if :

  • the company’s values and culture is what they think they want to belong.
  • the skills and experience they have is what the company values and needs.

DO : Come to the interview prepared to ask questions about the company and the job applying for.

DON’T : Ask about salary details on intial interviews, unless the recruiter      asks you first. 

5. Get a copy of your resume handy.

Remember that flow of interview will be basically based on the resume submitted to the employer. Although, at best, candidates should know the details of their resume by heart, but having a back up is smart move.

Thus, a copy should come handy during the phone interview. Having an easy reference is helpful :

  • In case of mental block, one can easily refer to it.
  • Properly labelled resumes tweaked according to a variety job applications made will avoid mixed-up.
  • Adding notes to hard copies of resume ahead organizes the candidate’s thoughts.

DO : Prepare a copy of your resume ready during the phone interviews either printed one or saved on a device.

DON’T : Let your mind clutter with the different job applications made to different companies. Organization is the key.

6. Get your quiet zone ready anytime.  

Phone interviews during COVID-19 may be challenging since kids are all present at home. If the actual phone interview will not run smoothly and handled properly, all of the preparations made will come to waste. Choose a quiet zone away from noise of people, television or pets. Most importantly, the signal in the area where you will pick your phone interview should be strong to avoid disruptions.

DO : The quiet zone should be away from any form of noise that may distract.

DON’T : Let poor signal reception disrupt the flow of the phone interview. Thus, choosing a quiet zone that has a strong reception is very important

Bonus Tips When Attending Phone Interviews :

  1. Sit properly on a comfortable chair as if you are facing an actual face-to-face interview.
  2. Use a headset or earphone so your hands are free when you need to write something or to go thru papers on your desk (resume, checklists)
  3. Be attentive and focus on the interviewer.
  4. Anticipate that supposed to be phone interviews can be changed to video interviews on a short notice, so be ready anytime.

Check out on our next blog on how to prepare and ace your video interviews.

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