Preparing for phone interviews is important to have a potentially successful initial screening for the job. Be it a face-to-face personal interview or on phone or video, candidates should always come prepared. They shouldn’t take these interviews lightly as this will be the first impression they’ll have on recruiters and hiring managers.

A community quarantine was implemented more than two weeks ago due to COVID-19 to help contain the virus from spreading. Company operations has slowed down, some has temporarily suspend operations. Most companies resort to a work-from-home system. This was also due to the suspension of mass transportation. As a result, finding jobs for job seekers was never the same again. Good thing, there are job portals or career portals that conform to the needs of jobs seekers and recruiters alike.

Applying for jobs online is the smartest thing to do for job seekers during the lockdown.Likewise, more companies will conduct interviews via phone calls or video conferencing. Recruiters initiate phone interviews so as to initially screen candidates. For job seekers, it’s their chance to ace it and land a second interview or a video interview. This process may slow down recruitment, but on a positive note, it will further promote social distancing.

Advance Planning Tips When Preparing For Phone Interviews:

Before we share here tips on how to prepare for video conferencing, let’s start with phone interviews. Preparation is the key, in order for job seekers who want to ace their phone interviews. ¬†Organizing things needed for the interview is important to avoid panic when the phone starts to ring.

Preparing for phone interviews ahead help job seekers be confident to attend his/her interview. Below are advance planning tips that may be helpful :

  1. Do a mock interview with someone. – By practicing with a pretend interviewer, answering mock questions help retain details application in memory. It also helps candidates to feel at ease and confident in an actual interview.
  2. Ensure your voice is in good condition. – First and foremost, the candidate should be well when he/she answers a phone interview. Since recruiters can only judge you with your voice, you shouldn’t be sounding like you are sick. Treat any sore throats ahead.
  3. Organize the area and the things needed. – This may include the zone where you will answer your phone interview. As well as the items needed for the phone interview like resume, a pen, a paper, and a checklist. Remember, a cluttered area, makes a cluttered mind.

6 Things to Remember When Preparing for a Phone Interview

In addition to writing resumes, preparing for phone interviews is important during job-hunting. Following are basic but helpful tips for job seekers when preparing to ace their phone interviews.

1. Do a research about the company.

Preparing for phone interview entails working on your assignment. It is important that candidates do a research about the companies they sent job applications to before the interview. By doing this, the candidate can also determine if the company is the kind they want to work for.

Browsing on careers give candidates an idea if their skills will fit the job requirement. Furthermore, doing a research before a job interview gives a better impression on recruiters and hiring managers. It shows your interest on the job and of the company. As a result, it could possibly turn interviews into job offers.

Here are the items you can start your research from :

  • the company website and social media accounts
  • latest news about the company
  • their competitors
  • their employees (to see trend on the type of people/backgrounds that they like to hire)
  • the recruitment officer or hiring manager

2. Prepare the checklist.

To raise the chance of landing a job, candidates would tend to send job applications to several companies. Some would even apply for different jobs. To avoid guessing which company and for what job the call is for when you received the call, prepare a checklist.

The checklist should include the following :

  • Job position – write exactly the job title, job description and skills needed
  • Company – complete company name, location, interesting details about the company
  • Questions – list down questions you want to know about the job and the company that you can ask during the interview.

3. Find a quiet zone.

Determine a quiet zone at home where you will pick up your calls. It should be an area away from the noise of pets or children. So as to simulate a face-to-face interview, find a place with a comfortable chair and a small table to place your resume and the checklist.

If you listed your landline number at home, move the telephone or use an extension phone if the location of the device is not a quiet zone. However, if it’s not possible to move the telephone apparatus, make the area a “quiet zone”.

Clear out the area from :

  • noise of pets and children, which may be hard to control but possible when properly planned with your household.
  • noise from the tv, so keeping the remote control always on sight can easily lower the volume if not turn off the tv.

Lastly, inform your household that you are waiting for an important call. Explaining to them that you need their cooperation to be quiet when the call arrives will truly help.

4. Ensure that phone battery is always full.

Low battery phones cause receptions to break, thus making the entire phone conversation useless. Also avoid panic when battery starts to die in the middle of the phone interview. Since you send out job applications to several companies, expect to receive and answer calls anytime.

In addition, make sure to charge your bluetooth headsets or earphones as well. Phone conversations are better using a headset or earphone.

5. Identify the zone where cellphone signal is strong.

Aside from determining a quiet zone to answer the call, identify which part of the house has the strongest signal reception as well. For those who will be answering phone interviews using a mobile phone, it is important to be always reachable. Place your mobile phone in this zone, not on your pocket to lessen the risk of missing a call.

Ideally, your strong-signal-zone should also be your quiet zone where you will pick up your phone interview. Run a test if the zone has strong signal by :

  • testing a call by calling your mobile phone using another number or;
  • ask a friend from outside your home, to give you a call.
  • try a video call in this zone, to test your signal at its strongest. If video calls are clear in this zone, it’s safe to say that phone calls will be much clearer.

6. Prepare a copy of your resume.

You may have a printed copy of your resume or soft copy saved on your laptop or device. Although it is ideal that you should know the details of your resume by heart, as back up make your resume handy.

If you have tweaked resume according to jobs you applied for, make these versions available too. Together with your resume, keep a pen and paper available in case you need to take down notes or telephone numbers.

Preparing for Phone Interview : BONUS TIPS!

  1. Treat phone interviews as if it’s face-to-face. To simulate a face-to-face interview, your quiet zone should have a comfortable chair and a small table. Your resume, pen, paper and your checklist should be accessible in this area.
  2. Think about salary. Remember not to ask about the salary during the first interview. But include such questions in your checklist, just in case the interviewer asks about your expected salary.
  3. Ensure to have a credit load. Some recruiters or hiring managers would first ask via SMS your best time to call. Send a reply promptly.

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