How to answer a phone interview call

How to answer a phone interview call

If you’re interviewing for a freelance or remote position or for any job with a virtual hiring process, you may have a longer and more in-depth interview. In these cases, a telephone interview may be the only actual interview you’ll have.  

Phone interviews are conducted just like in-person interviews. They are used by hiring managers and recruiters as a tool for screening candidates for employment.

The Importance of Phone Interviews

Phone interviews can make or break your candidacy for a job. While they are a good means for an employer to save the time and costs required to interview candidates in person, they are by their very nature impersonal.

In some cases, you won’t even be talking to a hiring manager—a human resources staffer or an administrative assistant may simply ask you a preset list of questions and record your answers for later review by their superior.

These types of interviews thus come with their own special challenges. For one thing, a phone interview is likely the first time you’ll speak directly with a representative from the employer, and you won’t be able to rely upon body language to build rapport. And, unlike emailing back and forth, a phone interview offers no chance to re-read and re-formulate your thoughts.

Common Phone Interview Questions and Best Answers

The best approach to a phone interview is to come to the conversation prepared to answer any and all questions the hiring manager might ask. Review some typical questions and answers here, and you’ll have a great head start.

Interview Questions About You

These questions are asked both to assess your level of self-knowledge and to determine whether you would be able to fit in with the employer’s workplace culture. The interviewer wants to know whether you're the right person for the job and for the company.

  • What are you looking for in your next job? – Best Answers
  • What is your greatest weakness? – Best Answers
  • What is your greatest strength? – Best Answers
  • How do you handle stress and pressure? – Best Answers
  • What motivates you? – Best Answers
  • Tell me about yourself. – Best Answers
  • Questions about your career goals. – Best Answers
  • What type of work environment do you prefer? – Best Answers
  • How do you evaluate success? – Best Answers
  • Job interview questions about your abilities. – Best Answers

Questions About Your Background

It’s important to be able to describe your education and work experience in a way that persuasively demonstrates your strengths as a candidate. Take the time to match your qualifications to the job description and show the hiring manager why you’re a perfect fit for the position.

  • What were your responsibilities? – Best Answers
  • What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them? – Best Answers
  • Why are you leaving your job? – Best Answers
  • What are your salary expectations? – Best Answers

Questions About the New Job and the Company

One of the best ways to rise above your competition in a phone interview is to show that you’ve taken the time to research the employer’s company, history, culture, and mission statement. Explain how your experience could help the company if you were to be hired, and share what you’ve learned about the organization.

  • Why do you want this job? – Best Answers
  • What experience do you have? – Best Answers
  • What can you do for this company? – Best Answers
  • What do you know about this company? – Best Answers
  • What challenges are you looking for in a position? – Best Answers
  • What can you contribute to this company? – Best Answers

Tips to Answer Questions During Phone Interviews

Here are a few additional strategies that will help you to rock your phone interview.

Observe phone interview etiquette “Dos” and “Don’ts.” When it comes to getting hired, phone interview etiquette is just as important as in-person job interview etiquette. That’s because, regardless of the means of communication, a successful interview will get you to the next stage of the hiring process.

Do a mock interview. Ask friends or family members to help you conduct a mock interview and record it so that you can hear what you sound like over the phone.

Prepare your environment. Prepare a quiet, comfortable space for the interview itself, so that you’ll feel ready for the call.

Prepare for tough interview questions. Preparing for these tough interview questions will save you from being surprised, should the interviewer decide to skip the easy stuff. And even if she keeps it simple for the phone screen, you’ll be happy you prepared for the harder questions that may arise in a face-to-face job interview later on.

How to Make the Best Impression

As the old commercial goes, you never have a second chance to make a first impression. Another issue with phone interviews is that you can’t rely on body language (unless, of course, your phone interview is actually a video interview; tips on that situation can be found here).

It pays to take the time to practice answering common questions before your interview.

Questions To Ask Your Interviewer

In addition to reviewing the typical phone interview questions that you’ll most likely be asked, it’s also important to have a list of questions ready to ask the phone interviewer. It’s very possible that the interviewer will ask, at the end of the conversation, “Is there anything I haven’t told you about the job or company that you would like to know?”

Asking interested and informed questions during the phone interview can affirm your commitment to pursuing the opportunity.

Serious candidates want to know what it’s like to work at the organization, whether they’ll fit into the corporate culture, and where their careers might take them at the company should they get the job.

How to answer a phone interview call

How To Answer The Phone For An Interview

Be ready for the call. When you answer the phone for an interview, do so with great energy while remaining professional. The best calls begin with someone answering the phone saying, “Hello, this is _____.”

We can’t stress this enough. “Hello, this is Susan!” is an infinitely more professional way to answer a call than a simple “Hi.”

How NOT To Answer The Phone For An Interview

Do not answer the call and then need time to get situated. Make sure you’re not in a noisy location .

Before the interview begins, find somewhere where you can have an excellent chat about your experience and the opportunity you’ve applied to. If you need to reschedule your call, the interviewer will understand. People have busy lives. Providing as much advance notice as possible is helpful (and shows you really value communication).

This is a simple part of the phone interview experience and doing it well will set you up for success during the conversation. As the expression goes: You can only make a first impression once.

For more advanced phone interview tips, check out this guide from WayUp!

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How to answer a phone interview call

What Companies Look For In A Candidate – According To Two Capital Group Recruiters

How to answer a phone interview call

Phone interviews are common these days and can be very convenient. But just because you don’t have to get formally dressed and show up in person to an interview doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare. A phone interview should be treated much like an in-person interview. That means you only have a few seconds to make an initial impression over the phone.

When an employer calls you for a telephone interview, the way you greet him plays the same role as shaking his hand in a face-to-face interview. How you answer a phone interview is the first impression you make and it sets the tone for the rest of the call. Even if you’re taking the call from your dining room table, answer with the same level of professionalism you would if you were at your desk answering a call from a customer.

If you’re wondering how to answer the phone for a phone interview, here are some tips.

Answer With Your Name

Answer the phone for an interview by stating your name. That way the caller knows he’s reached the right number and doesn’t have to ask for you. It also allows you to take the lead in the conversation. Answering the phone this way for an interview conveys the same kind of professionalism you’d demonstrate if you already had the job.

Example:

Hi, this is Brooke Davis.

Prepare Your Greeting

If you fumble with your words when you answer the phone, the interviewer may think you have poor communication or social skills. Prepare your greeting and practice it before the call. Keep a script by the phone to help you focus and remember how to answer a phone interview.

Examples:

Hi, Mr. Jones. Thank you for calling. I’m so glad we are able to do this interview over the phone.

Hi, Kim. I was expecting your call. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today.

If you’re taking the call at home, let others in the house know you’re expecting a business call and need privacy and quiet. Keep children and pets out of the room, and choose a quiet space for the call. If the call was not pre-arranged and you can’t talk or need to gather your thoughts, ask the interviewer when you can call him back.

Tone of Voice

In a face-to-face interview, the interviewer uses visual cues such as body language and eye contact to assess your character and personality. In a phone interview, he has only the tone of your voice to rely on. Your voice communicates as much about you as these visual cues, so it’s important to be mindful of what you convey through your speech when you answer the phone for an interview. Strive for a friendly, professional tone and smile when you speak to convey enthusiasm. Always be polite.

Examples:

Yes, this is still a great time to talk! What questions can I answer for you?

I can’t quite hear you. Let me step outside and see if I get better reception. Do you mind holding on just a moment?

Practice Your Greeting

How to answer the phone for a phone interview should be professional, but you can always inject some of your own personality into it. If you’re not sure what you are going to say, practice your greeting with a friend. Have her call you so you can answer the phone as if she is the interviewer. That way you’ll be more comfortable with how to answer a phone interview.

  • Fast Company: How To Nail The Dreaded Phone Interview
  • LinkedIn: Phone Interview Rule No. 1: Don’t Say Hello

Leslie Bloom is a Los Angeles native who has worked everywhere from new start-ups to established corporate settings. In addition to years of business and management experience, she has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of online and print publications. She holds degrees in both journalism and law.

How to answer a phone interview call

You know your resume did not fall into the proverbial black hole of no return when you get an email or phone call from a recruiter or hiring manager to schedule a preliminary phone interview. Since the phone interview is your first opportunity to express your interest in the job and promote your abilities, make it clear that you are available for the call by replying to the phone interview request as soon as possible. Call or write the recruiter or hiring manager as soon as you confirm that the time is a convenient one and start your preparation for a successful first interview.

How to Respond to a Phone Interview Request

If you received a phone call request for a phone interview, you should respond with a return phone call. Call the recruiter, introduce yourself and say that you are responding to her request to interview by phone. Restate the job position or title you are interested in to make sure it is the same one the interviewer called for. Express your appreciation for the invitation to interview for the job. The phone call is your chance to make a good first impression, so be sure to sound confident, calm and interested in the call. Make the call during a time you can focus only on the interview and have more than a few minutes to talk.

Example:

Hello, Ms. Smith. This is Mary Jones and I am returning your call to schedule a phone interview for the sales manager position. Thank you for contacting me. I am very excited you have considered me for this position. You suggested Monday, Feb. 25, at 10 a.m. That time is perfect for me. How much time should I block out on my calendar for our conversation?

If you respond to a phone interview request and get a voicemail instead of a person on the phone, leave a message. You do not want a missed call to show your phone number but no message. When you leave a voicemail, always confirm your phone number.

Example:

Hi, Mr. Nelson. This is Bob Joyce returning your call about scheduling a phone interview for the store-assistant position. I appreciate you calling. I am sorry I was not available to take your call, but I am confirming I can do a phone interview with you Monday, Feb. 25, at 10 a.m. I look forward to talking with you then. If you need to reach me in the interim, you can call me at 555-555-5555. Thank you!

How to Respond to a Phone Interview Email

If you receive a phone interview request via email, you should respond via email unless otherwise indicated. Follow a script similar to the one used for a phone reply, except for your introduction. Start your reply with a “thank you” for the opportunity. Restate the position and confirm the time. Let the interviewer know you are looking forward to the call and that she can contact you in the meantime with questions or requests for more information before the interview. Always include your telephone number in your written reply.

Example:

Thank you so much for contacting me about the project manager position at ABC Company. I would be happy to do a phone interview Thursday, March 16, at 1:30 p.m. I’m looking forward to talking with you more about the position. If you need anything from me in the meantime, you can email or call me at 555-555-5555.

Proposing an Alternate Phone Interview Date

If the date and time suggested for a phone interview do not work for you, you will need to propose an alternative time. Briefly explain that you have a conflict at the time the caller proposed and tell him when you are available.

Example:

Thank you for calling me to schedule a phone interview for the marketing position at XYZ Corp. Unfortunately, I am not available at the time you proposed. Would we be able to schedule a phone interview on either Tuesday or Thursday at 4:30 p.m. instead? If not, please let me know another time that works for you.

Whichever way you respond to a phone interview request, do it promptly. This confirms your interest in the position and ensures you don’t lose your interview spot to another candidate.

  • Paxus: How to Respond Electronically for an Invite to Interview
  • Indeed: Email Examples: How to Respond to an Employer Interview Request

Leslie Bloom is a Los Angeles native who has worked everywhere from new start-ups to established corporate settings. In addition to years of business and management experience, she has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of online and print publications. She holds degrees in both journalism and law.

Best answer for this question, how do you take an interview in a phone call?

  1. Get prepared for your phone interview.
  2. Answer the call in a professional manner and introduce yourself.
  3. Before you hang up, address the interviewer by name.
  4. Greet the individual who answers the call.
  5. Ask for the appropriate individual.

You asked, how do you make a good impression at a job interview over the phone?

  1. Be Prepared, Minimize Distractions.
  2. Avoid Using Cell Phones.
  3. Good Communication is Critical.
  4. Demonstrate Enthusiasm & Liveliness.
  5. Prepare Responses & Questions to ask in a typical phone interview:
  6. Be a Good Listener.
  7. Close the interview.

Similarly, how do I prepare for a 15 minute phone interview?

  1. Thank them for their application and resume.
  2. Tell them their experience looks interesting and you’d like to speak to them.
  3. Tell them you want to schedule a quick 15-minute phone call with them.
  4. Give them the date and time (from above) and ask if that works for them.

Quick Answer, can you tell me about yourself sample answer? I’ve worked hard in my education and now I’m ready to apply my knowledge into practice. While I don’t have any real-life work experience, I’ve had a lot of exposure to the business environment. A lot of my courses involved working with real companies to solve real problems.

  1. It’s nice to meet you.
  2. Thank you for meeting with me today.
  3. I’ve read the job description.
  4. I’ve researched your company.
  5. I’d like to learn more about the company.
  6. This job sounds interesting.
  7. the job description aligns perfectly with my qualifications.

How do I make a good impression on my phone?

  1. Always Pick Up the Phone.
  2. Watch Your Tone.
  3. Practice Active Listening.
  4. Ask the Caller Before You Put Them on Hold.
  5. End the Call Courteously.
  6. Be Honest With Your Caller.
  7. Go Above and Beyond The Call of Duty.
  8. Make the Best Call.

How do you answer why should I hire you?

  1. Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results.
  2. Highlight that you’ll fit in and be a great addition to the team.
  3. Describe how hiring you will make their life easier and help them achieve more.

How do you answer salary expectations?

You can try to skirt the question with a broad answer, such as, “My salary expectations are in line with my experience and qualifications.” Or, “If this is the right job for me, I’m sure we can come to an agreement on salary.” This will show that you’re willing to negotiate.

What are the 3 best questions to ask in an interview?

  1. Is this a new role or has this role existed previously with your company?
  2. Who are the main people and groups I’d be collaborating with?
  3. What are some of the paths you see in your company for the person who holds this position?

What are the top 5 questions to ask an interviewer?

  1. What do you expect from team members in this position?
  2. Will those expectations change over time?
  3. What is a typical day like at [company name]?
  4. Where do you see the company in five years?
  5. What are the next steps in the job process?

What are the top 10 phone interview questions?

  1. What Are Your Strengths?
  2. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
  3. Why Should We Hire You?
  4. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
  5. Tell Me About Yourself.
  6. Why Do You Want to Work Here?
  7. Describe Your Current Job Responsibilities.
  8. What is Your Management Style?

What are 5 words to describe yourself?

  1. Diligent / Loyal / Reliable. I am always the first person my friends call because they know I am always there for them.
  2. Creative / Innovative / Visionary.
  3. Motivated / Ambitious / Leader.
  4. Honest / Ethical / Conscientious.
  5. Friendly / Personable / Extrovert.

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

A Simple Formula for Answering “Tell Me About Yourself” Present: Talk a little bit about what your current role is, the scope of it, and perhaps a big recent accomplishment. Past: Tell the interviewer how you got there and/or mention previous experience that’s relevant to the job and company you’re applying for.

The interviewer is trying to quickly gauge if you are qualified for this role, or not. If they have called you, chances are – you have something on your resume that they like. Most job postings will specify the number of years of experience that the employer is looking for but it’s often a flexible number.

Let’s say the interviewer is looking for five years experience in a specific field or skill, and you have 15 years. Avoid being labeled as overqualified by saying: “I have more than five years’ experience in your direct field. My most recent position was similar to this role, and I was a top performer for the entire seven years of my employment there. I am eager to continue my path of success with your company.”

How to answer a phone interview call

“I have more than five years’ experience in your direct field. My most recent position was similar to this role, and I was a top performer for the entire seven years of my employment there. I am eager to continue my path of success with your company.”

How to answer a phone interview call

“I have been working in an administrative position for approximately four years. I also spent a great deal of time helping my dad with his bookkeeping business as a teen. I was exposed to organizing files, making appointments, and double checking the details of his work before he passed it back to his clients.”

“I have over seven years of experience. Although I have a lot of experience, I am willing to learn new opportunities.”

How to answer a phone interview call

Rather than finishing your answer with a willingness to learn, try focusing on the expertise that you have already gained in these 7 years. How will you add to the employer vs. take from their resources? I have offered a starter, below.

“I have seven years of experience in the field of (name your industry). Through these seven years, I have gained strong skills in (list your areas of expertise). I am eager to take this experience and knowledge and apply it to this role by (what action steps will you take to make a difference for the hiring company?).”

“I have five years of experience.”

Great. Be ready to answer follow-up questions. See below.

“In an interview, you may be asked the following question. It would be helpful to think about your response in preparation for an interview. “What is your greatest accomplishment thus far in your five years as an Engineer?””

I’m interested in knowing more about the type of work you are seeking, and your ideal workplace culture. What is your ideal position at this time?

The type of culture you are looking for will vary based on your field and personality. However, every candidate is looking for a positive work environment and growth opportunities, so be sure to stress these aspects in your response. In regards to the position, think of three traits that get you excited about your ideal job. What work elements evoke happiness? Be sure to demonstrate to the interviewer how excited you are about this position.

How to answer a phone interview call

“Ideally, I am seeking a role that offers a positive work environment with room for growth through challenging projects and continued training. I work best in a positive team environment where employees are respected and given some form of autonomy.”

How to answer a phone interview call

“I am looking for a role to which I can contribute value. An organization with a culture where administrative associates feel valued and appreciated. I’m passionate about working within a culture where people are recognized, ideas are celebrated, and innovation is happening all around you.”

“Ideally, I am seeking a role that offers a positive work environment with room for growth through challenging projects. I prefer the growth to happen on the technical and business sides as I’m interested in achieving that in my next role.”

How to answer a phone interview call

Good. The question is seeking detail about your desires so the interviewer can determine whether the organization or role will meet your expectations. You’re doing a great job answering the question generally, but if you have specific information about the kinds of projects and culture you can expect, discuss them. Then talk about how you’d meet the demand.

“My current workplace is one that is fast-paced that also has resources to train and reward success. My dream team is one that is communicative and supportive. I am looking for a manager/team that will provide consistent feedback and push me to grow with the team. I am looking for a team that lets me express my creative problem-solving skills. And hopefully low-ego salespeople.”

How to answer a phone interview call

This answer is fantastic! You offer up some great detail here, and enough that the hiring authorities will know if this role is a good workplace culture fit.

What are the top duties in your current position?

A great way to prepare for your interview is to reflect on the main tasks in your current position and how that experience would make you a strong candidate for the job for which you are applying. The interviewer wants to know if you have the knowledge and skills required to be successful in this position. Make sure you are familiar with the job description before your interview! You will want to draw on that valuable information.

How to answer a phone interview call

“The top duties in my current position are to deliver exceptional customer service, attempt to upsell every existing client at every touch point, and conduct 50 outbound cold calls per week. I understand that the primary skills you are seeking are in cold calling, up-selling, and customer service. I see a great match between my current job duties and this particular position.”

How to answer a phone interview call

“In my current role, being a solid organizer is the name of the game. I am the administrative support for the VP and President of the company. My day includes arranging their schedules, booking their travel, ordering lunch for meetings, and more. I do it all!”

“Currently, my primary duties as an Implementation Team Leader and Network Engineer, I provide solutions-based customer service. I mostly handle Cisco devices (wireless, switch, router, and ASA), as well as Fortigate and Riverbed. There are many transferable skills I can bring to this position at Qatar Airways.”

“The top duties in my last position are analyzing and resolving complicated patient accounts, communications regarding patient accounts with various payers, collection accounts review, and refund processing.”

How to answer a phone interview call

This is an excellent answer, showing the interviewer all the responsibilities you could take care of in this new role.

Be ready to answer typical phone interview questions. The phone call may come at any time, particularly if you have sent out a number of resumes. The key is to be be prepared, ready and confident to handle telephone interviews whenever they come.

How to answer a phone interview call

This type of interview is used to select applicants for face-to-face interviews. Take these straightforward steps to get to the next level of the interview process.

How do you answer phone interview questions?

Follow these 6 simple steps to answer typical phone job interview questions with confidence.

1. Conduct company research before your telephone interview

For every job opening you respond to, go to the company’s website and learn what you can about the organization, the position and the industry. Take notes to use during your phone interview.

Preparing for a job interview shows you how to conduct good background research and how best to use this information in preparing for your phone interview questions.

2. Know what the company is looking for in a candidate

Review the job description.

  • If you don’t have adequate information look up similar job postings on the internet or in the paper.
  • Think about the skills and abilities required for the job. Match up your skills with what they are looking for. will give you a full picture of the duties, responsibilities and competencies required for the position.

3. Prepare for common telephone interview questions

There are usually two main purposes to this interview – to evaluate whether the candidate is qualified to do the job and to address any areas of concern in the resume.

You will be asked phone interview questions that explore your ability to perform the job. Prepare your interview answers carefully. View common phone interview questions with sample interview answers including:

Make some notes of how to answer these phone interview questions. The aim is not to memorize them but to feel comfortable with your interview answers.

4. Prepare for phone behavioral interview questions

You may be asked some behavioral interview questions. Be prepared with good examples of how you demonstrated the skills required in this position in your previous jobs.

For example if the position requires good customer service skills, prepare an example of when you went the extra mile for a customer, jot down some notes to keep in your preparation portfolio.

5. Prepare for tricky interview questions

Review your resume and highlight any areas that the interviewer is likely to want to address such as gaps in employment and reasons for leaving.

Think about your interview answers to these difficult questions and make some notes to use in your phone interview.

6. Prepare telephone interview questions to ask the interviewer

The interviewer is likely to ask “Do you have any questions for me?”

How to answer a phone interview call

Be prepared with a couple of insightful questions to ask the interviewer. This useful list of interview questions to ask can help you with this. The interviewer should be convinced of your interest in the company and position.

How do you ace a phone interview?

Preparation is key to your success .

1. Organize your preparation and interview documents

  • Put all the relevant documents into a portfolio or folder that you can easily access at a minute’s notice
  • Include copies of the job posting, any information you have on the company and position, a copy of your resume and references
  • Clip together the information for each position and keep them separate so that you don’t get muddled up and refer to the wrong information during the phone interview
  • Mark each set of documents clearly with the name of the position and company they refer to
  • Know the format and interview process to expect in the phone interview

2. Practice answering telephone interview questions

  • This is essential for the phone job interview. Record your answers.
  • The key to success is the positive message your voice and words project
  • You can also have someone call you and listen to your responses. Ask for feedback on how you come across on the phone
  • Adapt the mock job interview to practice for this

3. Prepare your household for the call

  • Make sure that everyone in the household is aware that you are expecting an important interview call
  • Brief them to answer the call in a polite manner. Prepare them to take an accurate message if needed
  • Emphasize the importance of the call

4. Check your voice mail message/answering machine message

This should sound professional and positive. Decide what is an appropriate message for a prospective employer to hear.

Phone interview tips and techniques

Find more excellent phone interview tips to help you.

Online, Zoom and Skype interview questions and answers

A large number of interviews are conducted online. Find out what to expect from an online interview.

How to follow up after your phone interview

Always follow up after your phone interview with a well written and polite phone interview thank you email.

We live in a time of interruptions, and this is something you need to keep in mind when scheduling your job interview call. A few people still ask is this a good time to talk.

Is this a good time to talk?

How do you answer the question is this a good time to talk? Most people don’t answer it honestly. Instead, they may say sure when you don’t have their attention.

Schedule your Interview Call for when they have your Full Attention

Why might they not have your full attention?

Yesterday I was on my way to an outside appointment, and the phone rang. I thought I knew the number, so I answered the phone. It was my banker. She just wanted me to tell me the work I’d done was approved and ready for signature.

But I was nervous! I try very hard to be prompt for my appointments, in the office with clients as well as the myriad of a doctor, dentist, hairstylist, and luncheon meetings.

I told her I couldn’t talk and I would get back to her on time to meet because I was in a rush and couldn’t access my calendar right then. I didn’t want to think about one more thing.

When shouldn’t you answer the phone?

Perhaps I shouldn’t have answered the phone, especially since I was trying to get down the steps to get to the car.

She didn’t have my full attention, I was:

  • In a rush
  • On the steps and afraid of falling
  • Not in a position to answer her questions
  • Worried about being late for my appointment
  • Concerned that if I were late for my appointment, it would snowball and I would be late for my client appointment in the office.
  • Couldn’t concentrate on checking my calendar

It wasn’t her fault for calling. I don’t even know if she asked if it was a good time to speak because I wasn’t listening.

Jobseeker Lesson #1: Ask if it is a good time to talk

You don’t know if the other person is available.

Today we have voicemail, but people still fail to use it when they should. You don’t know if the person is:

  • Off to a meeting
  • On a deadline
  • In a meeting with a staff member
  • Late for lunch
  • Hurrying to get home
  • Driving

There can be a myriad of reasons that it is not a good time to talk. Be courteous and ask.

Make your interview calls brief and to the point. Script your calls to hiring managers in advance.

Jobseeker Lesson #2: Don’t answer the phone if it is not a good time to talk

Nothing can blow your chances more than taking a call when you are not prepared. Voicemail is there for a reason. Call back when you are in a position to talk without interruptions.

People respect that you will not always be available to answer the phone. Just return the call as soon as possible.

Communication is often difficult. Today’s world is full of interruptions and diversions. Common courtesy goes a long way.

I teach job seekers how to land new jobs quicker and create value-filled resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

(Phone rings and interviewee picks up)
Interviewee: Hello!
Interviewer: Hello? May I speak with Miss/Mr/Mrs X?

Now in a scenario like this, what should the interviewee say? Have been pondering over it all day. Some answers that I came up with:

“This is X.” (Sounds mechanical and redundant, IMHO atleast.)

“Yes this is him/her.” (Sounds weird.)

“Yes it is I.” (Sounds too grammatical.)

“Yes?” (Sounds too busy.)

“Go on” (Sounds vengeful.)

“Who else do you think is on the line?” (Sounds rude.)

What is the general reaction here? I remember fumbling and grunting to tell that it was me they wanted to talk to, during a phone interview.

7 Answers 7

You are over thinking it – try looking at it this way:

Scientific studies show that communication is delivered more by how you say it than the words chosen.

For example, you could say, “Who else do you think is on the line?” with the same emotion, tone, voice level, pitch and enthusiasm as you would say to a friend – Hey, what’s up man, haven’t talked to you in so long!! If you said who else do you think is on the line with this energy, you can bet he won’t think it’s rude, and probably be like “what’s up’s so glad to hear from you too!”.

See how it feels different ?

Keep it professional with a Yes, this is Arpith but with all the dynamics of: I am so excited to be interviewed, thanks for taking your time to do this, I am confident about this position and I know I will be a great benefit to this company.

You could even write down all these positive aspects on a piece of paper and stare at them the whole time you are interviewing – your positive internal state will make a difference!