While most job seekers don’t put much thought into it, a phone screen interview is a critical step in an interview process. So, why a phone screen interview?
Companies conduct phone screen interviews to quickly pick out who they will invite for an in-person interview.
Since a lot of people apply for the same job opportunities we apply for most companies start with a phone screen interview. So instead of spending a lot of time and resources bringing in every applicant for an in-person interview, they will conduct a phone screen interview to determine whether or not you will make the cut.
That is why as an interviewee, it’s crucial to take phone screen interviews just as seriously as physical interviews, if not more serious.
Well, let’s take a look at some mistakes to avoid when you have a phone screen interview and some useful tips on how to ace it.
1. Do not take that call if you are not prepared
Like standard interviews, there’s a lot that goes into preparing for a phone screen interview. Here are a few tips on how to prepare yourself for a phone interview.
- Go through the job description of the position you’re applying for. This will allow you to know what skills, knowledge, and abilities they are looking for in order to tailor your answers according to these requirements.
- Do thorough research on the company. Get to know the organization’s background, how they are doing in terms of competition, finances, among other areas.
- Go through some commonly asked questions during phone screen interviews
- Prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview. This will help you make an informed decision about the job.
- Prepare yourself to answer questions about the salary. You can do so by researching the appropriate salary range for that job position. If you can, also talk to employees working for that company, to know more about how much they are getting paid. This will enable both you and the interviewer to have a common ground before going for an in-person interview. However, don’t bargain at this stage.
Since you are not sure when they will call, take time and prepare for this interview before, so you are ready. It’s also recommended to always save relevant information and company details in your smartphone, tablet, or notebook so that it’s easy to access them when you get a call.
2. Do not pick the call in a distractive environment
This is one of the most common mistakes that many interviewees make, according to most interviewers. Remember, this is not just any other typical phone call.
So it is important that you take the phone call in a quiet environment. For starters, this will help you hear all the questions being asked by the interviewer. It will also help you let them know that you take the phone screen interview seriously. This is because, like any other person, the interviewer can hear what’s happening in the background.
Pro tip: If you get that phone call in a distractive environment, it is best that you let it go to voicemail (don’t forget to record an appropriate voice message). You can also answer it and request if you can reschedule the call for another time.
3. Do not talk too much
While it is normal to be excited and enthusiastic about the interview, this may cause you to talk too much, which might end up making a poor first impression. So it is essential to keep your answers and questions short and precise but not too short. This will help you hear what the interviewer has to say and show that you are a good listener.
It’s also important you understand what is required of you at this stage.
4. Do not interrupt the interviewer
This is another huge turn-off for interviewers. Avoiding this can be challenging because you are not seeing the interviewer face to face, so it can be difficult to tell whether they have finished talking.
Experts recommend waiting until the interviewer is done speaking, then silently count to three, and then begin talking. This will enable you to hear the entire question and show the interviewer that you are a good listener.
Well, there you have it. Avoiding these common mistakes made by interviewees during phone screen interviews will significantly help you make a great first impression or even land you that job!