Phone Interview Tips

Do’s and Don’ts

“Hello, this is a call from the HR department of XYZ company”. That’s a call attached with a lot of confusion and bustle for both the caller and the receiver. There is a certain set of rules to be followed by both parties to make sure that there is no havoc and confusion during or post the call. 

Phone interviews are very common and it has made its way to the daily vocabulary of HR and job seekers. 

It is a type of communication channeled by phone. A  few people find it very difficult to speak to an HR on the phone. It is very normal to be intimidated by a call from an HR. A lot of thoughts will be boggling your mind. That is to say, 

  • How to impress the HR?
  • Will I get the job?
  • Will I come out as needy and many more?

Similarly, HR  also might be put in a challenging situation during the phone interview. It might be due to a myriad of reasons like;

  • Noise 
  • Language problems
  • Hostile applicant
  • Indifference while communicating and more.

Here are seven tips to follow to make sure your interviews go smooth and productive. 

Phone Interview Tips for HR:

As an HR, you do not want the interview to go topsy turvy. HR is always on the lookout for the right talent and you do not want the right talent to slip away because of a mishap as meager as wrong timing or false impression. Here are seven phone interview tips for HR to keep in mind.

Keep the Details Intact

It is important to ensure that the details of the person who is about to be interviewed are kept ready before making the call. The last thing you want is to look unprepared before the interviewee. In order for your tone to be confident, you should at least have a peripheral understanding of the person you are about to talk to. 

Take an Appointment/ Notify the Time of The Call

Notify the person you are about to interview in prior and make an appointment if need be. This will give them time to get prepared and also to keep any noise at bay. To catch them off guard is not a good idea. It might end up as a chaotic call and a waste of time. Notifying in prior can make the phone interviews more productive and can also help in leaving a good impression of the company as a whole.

Ask for permission

Even if the time has been notified prior, it is always good to ask if it’s a good time to talk. Again, this comes as a part of basic telephone etiquette. However, this can create a huge impact as the call with HR is the first point of contact which the person will have with the company and can help them in their decision making. 

Articulate Your Requirements

Ensure that the requirements are communicated properly. The job description must be made clear in the initial stages itself. You don’t want a potential employee you have to spend a lot of time on,  to drop out in the last stage just because that’s when they got clarity over what they would be doing in the company. It’s a sheer waste of time for both the HR and the person who has applied for the job.

Understand the Bootless Errands

Do keep an eye open and understand the efforts which are going to go in vain. Know it when the person on the other side is just wasting your time. This can be understood from their tone of the conversation, the questions which they ask, constant humming and the likewise. Make sure to pick up on the red signals and put the resume away.

Follow-ups

Being an HR is not an easy job. Quite often, there are targets to meet and talent requirements which are driving you crazy. Understand the worthy talents and schedule follow-ups. It is a competition-driven society and it is important to hold on to the right talent because there are zillions of organizations out there waiting to get hold of the talent. Make sure to schedule a follow up if you find the applicant worthy and do not leave them hanging or in doubt. This is applicable even in the case of rejection. Let the person know whether they have made it to the next level or not so that they can search for other options or plan accordingly.

Have a line rehearsed

HR personnel needs a comeback line to use on hostile candidates. Over the years, HR would have evolved.

We have looked at the phone interview tips for HR, now let’s take a look at the phone interview tips for the interviewer!

Phone Interview Tips for Job Seekers

Anticipate the call

If you are a job seeker who is waiting to get an interview fixed, then it is always best to anticipate the call. This will ensure that you don’t stumble and leave a bad impression in the minds of HR. By anticipating the call, one means to say that: 

  • Make sure that you are prepared with your set of answers to the commonly asked phone interview questions. 
  • Keep your resume ready where you can reach it.
  • Keep your phone available and do not ignore unknown numbers

The points are self-explanatory and trust us, it’s a great phone interview tip to keep in mind. Anticipating the call would imply that you are keeping yourself prepared and a prepared interview tends to go well.

Research about the Company.

One of the most common phone interview questions is ‘ what do you know about our company’. If you can ace this question, then you will definitely leave a strong impression in the HR. this will help you to stand out from the gazillions of calls that HR is making in a day.

Zero Noise Policy

Ensure that there are no distractions around to take off your concentration. You can apologize in case of sudden mishaps but continuous interruptions and apologies will frustrate the HR and will reflect badly on your profile. So keep a zero noise policy intact while attending a call from the HR and if you are in an area with a chance of interruptions, excuse yourself and ask if you can call them back or inform them about the plight.

Ask and Clarify

Do get clarity on what your job role would be and what the expectations are from the company. It is okay to ask questions as long as they are relevant. Don’t be afraid to clarify your doubts by thinking about how HR would take it. It would be really difficult for them if you drop out at the last minute because you had a different perception of the job. This can save time. So make it a point to ask and clarify things. You can ask for the salary and about the expectations which they hold. The skills which they are looking for and likewise.

Interpret Don’t Interrupt

As mentioned above, it is totally okay to ask questions but only as long as they are relevant and provided that you don’t cut off your HR in the middle.  Interrupting the HR would just make them have an unhealthy impression about you. Hear the HR out and push any doubts for later. That is to say, once the HR has stopped talking and has given you the platform to raise questions or clarifications.

Language

Use the standard universal language to communicate unless stated otherwise. Do not start talking in your regional language assuming that HR would understand it. Reply in the language the HR started the conversation in. If you have difficulty with that language, let HR know that you are not comfortable with the language and ask if it is possible to come to a common medium comfortable for both. 

Speak your Personality

Some telephone interviews become ineffective because the candidate on the phone and the candidate in person will be two different personas altogether. Speak your personality out but make sure to tone it in a polite manner. Politeness has never failed to attract attention. But one has to learn to hit the right balance between being polite and being a ‘do it all’.

These phone interview tips will help you get an idea about what to do and what not to do during a phone interview. Once you crack the first call from the HR, the rest will come easy to you if you are a deserving candidate. In addition to the above tips, certain things to keep in mind while giving a phone interview is to drink water if need be, you can ask for a better time to call them but never cut them off in the middle saying “ I will give you a call”. These are markers of bad attitude and will last as an unfavorable impression in their minds. 

Just make it a point to keep a proper list of the places where you have applied for so that when you receive a call you are not taken aback by the name of the company so much so that you have no clue as to what job role it is. 

Now that we have shared some phone interview tips, it’s time to share some of the most commonly asked interview questions. Wait for our next blog to know more. Meanwhile, read our previous blog.