Phone Interviews: How to Get Ready?

In North America, phone interviews are an opportunity for recruiters to get to know you better and assess if you would be a good fit for the role, the company, and the culture of the organization. Also, this is an excellent way to screen candidates and check on some necessary information, like your availability (when are you available to start the position, if you get the job?) and your salary expectations. Besides, this is an excellent opportunity for you to get more information about the job position and the company to determine if it is a good fit for you. It will generally take 20-30 minutes for the recruiter to evaluate whether you are going to the next step of the hiring process or not. Although a phone interview seems informal, you will need to be prepared as much as you would be for an in-person interview.

Before the interview

It is essential to do some research about the company (through the company’s website, Linkedin, social media, Glassdoor), study the job description and practice the most commons questions asked:

  • Tell me a bit more about yourself? That is a brief description of yourself. For example, start with where you are from, when did you arrive in Toronto or GTA, what do you like about Toronto/Canada, what job are you looking for? In which industry?  
  • What are your strengths? Choose two strengths that will be useful for the job, give specific examples of when you mastered these skills, including the time, your position, and the company you worked for.
  • What are your weaknesses? Take a look at this article to help you identify the flaws that you should mention during the interview.
  • Why would you be a good fit for this job? To answer this question, you would have previously studied the job description and done some research about the company to understand what kind of candidate the company is looking for. Talk about your professional skills, but don’t forget your interpersonal skills. For example, showcase your ability to integrate a new environment and your strong teamwork skills quickly. More information can be found here.
  • What are your long-term goals? Your potential future employer wants to hear that you are willing to commit to this company long-term. This article will help you to answer this question.
  • Why do you want to work for this company? Do some research about the company, its values, and objectives, then identify how you can contribute to the organization.

Check out this GTA Talents’ article for additional information about job interviews.


Be on time

The same as a face-to-face interview, be ready at least 10 minutes before the actual time you are scheduled to be interviewed. Choose a quiet place where you know you won’t be disturbed by any noises, or by someone unrelated to the interview, and where you will be able to focus on what your interviewer is saying. Here is an article about the importance of being on time.

Get into the right mindset

Even if your interviewer can’t see you, some details are primordial to get into the right mindset during your interview. First of all, get dressed! Don’t pick up the phone in your pajamas. Even if you are only wearing casual clothes, you will feel (sound) more professional and more prepared to answer your interlocutor’s questions. During the phone call, stand or sit with your back straight to help keep you more focused and avoid feeling too comfortable. Find more information about having the right mindset in this GTA Talents’ article.

Smile

You want to give a good impression over the phone. Your interviewer does not see you, so the way you sound will help them to determine if you will be a good fit for the position you have applied for. Smiling during the phone call will make you seem more friendly and confident. (Find more information about this in this GTA Talents’ article under the section “The power of the smile).”

Have some notes in front of you

Keep a copy of your resume, cover letter, and some notes that you have prepared. These notes could be some questions you would like to ask the recruiter or some tips and specific examples you would like to highlight during the interview. However, be careful not to read when answering the questions. It will be quickly noticed on the other end of the line and seem unprofessional. Have them remind you of the keywords that you want to use. Read more about the importance of keywords during an interview.

You are now ready for your next phone interview. Good luck! If you need more help to prepare, take a look at our Job Boost service in the Career Clinic.



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GTA Talents uses decades of experience from our team, volunteers and network to create curated content for the francophone community. We are focused on helping you to understand the cultural gap in order for you to thrive in your career in Canada.