Technical Phone Screen Interviews are as important as in-person or on-site interviews. Employers gain a lot of information about a candidate's core attributes during the phone interview round of an interview process. Recruiters often use this round to eliminate unqualified candidates. As such, technical phone screens serve as the perfect filter to identify meritorious candidates.
Several big tech firms assign considerable weightage to phone interviews to ascertain if a candidate is the right fit for a prospective role. While phone screen interviews may seem quite straightforward, your performance can be enhanced to ensure you stand out and make a good first impression. At times, interviewers can ask you some behavioral questions as well. Check out these 9 Behavioral Interview Questions to get an idea about what to expect.
In this article, we will look at some proven technical phone screen interview tips that will help you move to the next round of interviews.
Top Tips for your next Phone Screen Interview
- Know your company
It is essential that you do your research on the company’s values, goals, and culture. Look at the company’s website, social media pages, and other relevant channels of information/communication to develop a thorough understanding of what your prospective role will entail. Knowing details such as the company’s recent rounds of funding, or recent achievements that made the news, can help you answer common questions like ‘What do you know about the company?’ effectively.
- Reschedule your interview, if necessary, in advance
If you can't attend your interview, inform the interviewer in advance and reschedule it. Fix a time that’s convenient for both you and the interviewer. Intimating your interviewer in advance eliminates unnecessary awkwardness.
- Review your job description
This is necessary if you hope to ace your phone screen interview. A typical job description tells you exactly what the company is looking for in you as a candidate. It also gives you a fair understanding of what skills are needed for the job based on which you can assess if you can effectively handle these responsibilities. If there are requirements that match your strengths, in the job description, you should lay emphasis on these specific capabilities during the interview. For instance, if a job description contains requirements such as ‘proven ability to manage a team, preferably of 10+ people’, you should highlight any past experience you have had handling a team to show you are well-suited for the role.
- Ensure your phone is charged, test your earphones, and keep an alternate number ready as backup
You really don’t want to be addressing problems with your phone during your interview. If you plan to use earphones, test them before the interview to avoid any snags. If you plan to use bluetooth headphones, make sure they’re charged. Have an alternate number ready so the interviewer can reach you immediately if you experience network trouble.
- Act and dress professionally
It is extremely important to be respectful, kind and professional during the course of your interview. Adopting a professional tone can pitch the odds in your favor when recruiters make their final decision. Also, smile appropriately when you speak and answer questions. Although your smile is not visible to interviewers over the phone, being in high spirits adds enthusiasm to your overall tone, language and speech.
Dressing up professionally will boost your confidence in the interview. Avoid slouching, to maintain a seriousness approach to the interview
- Be a good listener
A lot of candidates miss out on this crucial element without realizing it. Being a good listener will help you better understand the requirements of your role and let you ask insightful and appropriate questions. Consequently, it will allow you to engage better than the average candidate with average listening skills. Be patient while you listen and avoid jumping the gun when asked questions.
- Make preparatory notes and use them
If there is anything specific that you want to highlight about your roles and responsibilities at your previous company, make sure you note it down and keep it handy during your interview. This will help you be crisp and concise while delineating your skill sets. If the recruiter tells you more about your role having a notebook handy will help to understand your job role in better detail and prepare accordingly for upcoming rounds.
If your interview process contains technical rounds, practice these 35+ Technical Interview Questions asked at top tech companies.
- Ensure you have answers to commonly asked questions
Research the most commonly asked phone screen interview questions and have your answers ready. Remember, the only way a recruiter can gauge how good you actually are is by evaluating your answers. Doing your research also helps build your confidence as you’ll know what to expect and how to answer effectively.
- Ensure there are no sources of distraction
This is a very important point to remember. Eliminate all forms of distraction during the interview however insignificant. Especially, remember to keep all electronic gadgets away and find a quiet environment. Unwanted distractions have a negative impact on the interview process. Candidates are often caught off-guard by background noises or activities while engaging with the interviewer.
- Enquire about the next steps of the process
Getting shortlisted or selected after an interview is never in your hands. All you can do during the interview is give your best. However, it never hurts to find out about the next steps of the interview process. If you do pass your phone interview, knowing what to expect in upcoming rounds of the interview process is a subtle but effective way of staying ahead of your competition. You can begin preparing for the next rounds, while you wait to hear back from the interviewers.
- Follow-up after your phone screen interview
If you don’t hear from your interviewer or the company within a week, you should follow up with them. It’s possible they’re still in the process of screening candidates. However, they could be at the tail-end of their hiring process (this happens when they’ve selected the right candidate for the role). Either way, getting a status update can help you prepare for upcoming rounds or move on to explore other opportunities. If you receive feedback on your performance, you can identify areas for improvement.
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