From the recruiter’s perspective, when you're hiring, you can spend a lot of time interviewing job candidates who don't meet your needs before you interview the one who does. One way you can make your search go faster is to use the phone screen interview. A candidate's answers to phone screening interview questions can allow to speedily identify the most promising candidates.
The basics of any in-person interview are to determine the candidate’s ability to do the job, their motivation and their teamwork and manageability. Now, the telephone screen is a great timesaver. The goal is not to decide whether to hire the person, it is to decide if he or she is a close enough fit to justify an in-person meeting. Such interviews are primarily focused on the examination of the responsibilities and their deliverables and the candidate's qualifications and experience as it relates to this job opening.
Phone interview questions are about your background, reasons for leaving and the salary expectations. Here are a few examples of the questions to prepare for:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why are you looking for a change? Why this company?
- Give me a quick rundown of your resume (Name of company, job title and job description, dates of employment).
- What projects have you worked on and what were your key contributions?
- Why are you leaving your job? Why do you want this job?
- How do you see yourself contributing in this position?
- What are your salary expectations?
Phone Interview Preparation Checklist
Find a quiet space. Answer the phone with your name in an upbeat voice. Smile while on the phone! You will find that you sound more energetic and engaged when you do this. Your smiles will be "heard" by the interviewer making for a positive impression. Stand while talking. Experiments have shown that people tend to speak up and sound more energized when talking while standing!
☑ Have your resume and cover letter in front of you. Make a cheat sheet:
Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On the left side, make a bulleted list of what the employer is looking for based on the job posting. On the right side, make a bulleted list of the qualities you possess that fit those requirements.
☑ Research the company, industry and the competition.
☑ Prepare your 60-second personal statement.
☑ Write at least five success stories to answer behavioral interview questions ("Tell me about a time when..." or "Give me an example of a time...").
☑ List five questions to ask the interviewer about the job, the company and the industry.
☑ Take notes and don’t hang up without asking for the next step.
Companies see many benefits in using video technology to vet candidates. With a video interview, you have most of the benefits of seeing a candidate in person, but without the hassle/expense of actually meeting them (especially if someone would have to fly or drive to a different city). It’s quick, it’s neat, and depending on the technology used, allows the company some element of standardization of the interview process and candidate selection.
The live video interviews can take one of two forms.
The simplest approach is that the company could use something like a Skype, Google Hangout, Zoom, Blue Jeans, or any one of the million video-conferencing tools online. These are pretty straightforward since, in most cases, the interviewer will either send you a link or call your user-id / screenname. Just be careful to clean up your Skype account and privacy settings if you’re going to use it with potential employers (your college account with ID stoner-yolo1993 does not inspire confidence).
Alternatively, the company could use a system that does live interviews, but also acts as an internal candidate tracking/screening tool (something like like HireVue, SparkHire, TakeTheInterview, and dozens of other companies). From the candidate’s perspective, a live video experience via one of these platforms is generally not much different from interviewing via Skype or Google Hangout. On the employer’s side, there are bells and whistles that allow them to share, track, rate responses, etc.
Pre-recorded/Asynchronous Video Questions
In these cases, you’re given a link to a page where you can record answers to pre-selected/pre-recorded interview questions. You’re usually given a set amount of time for each answer, and you may get 1 or 2 tries before submitting. These questions could be part of the application process or be a screening step after your resume has allowed you to rise above the crowd. Tools used for these asynchronous video questions include AsyncInterview, Wepow, Sonru and others.
Video Interview Preparation Checklist
☑ What you wear is important to avoid distractions:
- Dress professionally head to toe.
- Avoid large plaids and prints which may be overemphasized on the screen.
- Consider a pastel color rather than white, because white may glare.
- When wearing white, add a dark jacket to cut down on glare.
- Watch out for red as it may "bleed" and should be avoided if possible.
- Cut out flashy jewelry that will catch the light.
☑ For the best results, pay attention to the background behind you and to the lighting in front of you.
☑ Not a busy background, no noise, face the light.
☑ Elevate your laptop.
☑ If you normally wear make-up, wear more than usual.
☑ Look directly at the camera not at your computer screen. The camera is your "eye contact" with the interviewer(s).
☑ Turn off cell phones and regular phone ringers to avoid other noisy interruptions.
☑ Control fidgeting and other nervous energy.
☑ Keep your resume and a copy of the job description, plus any other documents you may need, spread out in front of you for easy reference.
☑ Highly recommend rehearsing and recording yourself multiple times.