Tips from Wall Street Mastermind – Sam Shiah’s Course

How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

There are many different ways that companies screen job applicants to find the right candidate for the position. In today’s busy and fast-paced world, phone interviews have become a common way to streamline this screening process. It’s not unlikely that you will come across a job posting that requires a phone interview before you have the chance to speak with a recruiter in person.

If you’ve never had a phone interview before, don’t worry. Here are some ways to prepare.

Know Who You Will Be Speaking With

Some companies (especially large corporations) use a multi-step recruitment process to manage the overflow of applicants they receive for a job position. The first step in this process is typically the phone interview. However, you won’t be speaking with a hiring manager at this stage. You will most likely be speaking with a recruiter. If the phone interview goes well, the recruiter will recommend you to the hiring manager.

Plan for 30 Minutes of Your Time

A typical phone interview lasts 30 minutes or less. If it’s shorter or longer than this average, don’t worry. Every company has its own unique way of doing things. But in general, you should prepare to be on the phone with a recruiter for at least 30 minutes.

Read the Job Description of this Job Carefully

Before your scheduled interview, make sure you study and understand everything about the job position and its requirements. Jot down some notes to help you remember the most important parts of the description, and how your skills and experiences make you the best person for the job. It’s okay to take a lot of notes and make a cheat sheet to help you feel more confident and prepared by the time you get on the phone.

Study Common Phone Interview Questions

Once the recruiter speaks with you on the phone, they will likely want to continue the interview process quite quickly. Employers want to wrap up their employee search as fast as possible so they can fill in that empty role. That’s why it is a good idea to be as prepared as possible beforehand. The recruiter will ask a lot of questions that you should answer with straightforward answers so your responses can be passed to the hiring manager.

Some questions include:

  • What is your availability for an in-person interview over the next few days?
  • Are you willing to travel to our location?
  • Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  • If you were offered this job, when would you be able to start?

Remember that honesty is the best policy.

Prepare Questions of Your Own

After answering the questions the recruiter has prepared for you, they will want to know if there’s anything you want to ask. Take the time to write down a couple essential questions that will make you appear professional and intellectually curious. For example, ask what is expected of you, what a day in the life of the company is like, or even what you can do to further support the organization while you wait to hear from the higher-ups.