With remote working becoming more of a norm nowadays, we’re seeing scores of people becoming aware and comfortable with the concept of a telephonic interview. The show must continue for businesses, and job positions are still being interviewed, even during COVID-19 circumstances.
Employers have different ways in which they conduct their phone interviews. The process mostly starts with a phone call for an initial consultation, serving as the initial screening. If the candidate is successful, they will likely be asked to go on a video-call interview.
However, some employers may decide on the initial interview that they are happy to move ahead with you, which of course, would be the best scenario for you as a potential candidate for a vacant position!
To start with, we’ve compiled a list of the top apps for virtual interviews that you should be familiar with. We’ve pulled together some excellent telephone interview tips to get you prepared for any upcoming opportunities.
Top 5 Apps for Conducting Telephone Interviews
Having grown in popularity ever since the eruption of the COVID-19, Zoom is a popular hosting platform for conducting phone interviews. It’s an HD (high-definition) video and audio conferencing platform that allows users to join calls using unique IDs and passwords. It needs wifi/4G internet connectivity. This platform offers green screen and screen sharing features, which can be handy for later stages of interviewing. If you don’t feel comfortable with a video interview in the initial phase, you can use just the audio feature of this app. Zoom is available on both mobile and desktop and, therefore, will be easily accessible to most candidates.
This app is heavily used within businesses, especially if the calls are international. Similar to zoom, Skype offers both audio and video calls using a wifi/4G connection. Skype app is available for both mobile and desktop use, whichever is most convenient for you. As an internet connection powers the calls, both parties involved in the telephonic interview need to ensure they’ve got access to join the call. Calls connect on Skype by calling a contact. IDs will need to be shared before the phone interview to ensure that the call schedules are correct.
3. Talk Home App
Talk Home App enables you to call both nationally and internationally. The app is available on mobile devices and is compatible with iOS, Android. However, the app doesn’t currently offer a desktop version. When using Talk Home App, users can make audio calls and send instant messages. Even though video call isn’t yet available, the Talk Home App is advantageous for making calls without a stable internet connection. Using Wifi/4G powered apps for interviews can be a risk if both parties don’t have a secure connection. But with Talk Home App, only the person initiating the call will need internet access. It routes and optimises the call using local lines, which means anyone can receive the call on the other end on their wired and mobile phones without needing internet connectivity. In short, it can be a viable option for conducting phone interviews in places where internet connectivity is questionable.
This app is an advanced video conferencing platform, allowing participants to join the meeting via the Webex app or browsers. When using Webex, you can start video calls, share files and instant messages. The features offered by Webex also include recording, private rooms and scheduling. These conferences do come at a cost, though. So, if you’re looking for premium features, this is the app for you. Although a good platform, this tool is advanced and may not be required for initial phone interviews. However, you may consider using this software for communicating and managing remote teams.
Another application commonly used by remote teams is TeamViewer, as the service also offers VPN use. It’s available for both mobile and desktop. Primarily, the app was used to facilitate file transfer and remote diagnostics. You can use this app to plan, invite and start meetings and interviews, secured with passwords to avoid unwanted intervention. All instant messages shared are encrypted and remain private. When conducting phone interviews, you want an app with a clean design and is easy to use. Summing it up, if a telephonic interview is your core objective, there are much better tools to use. This application is more appropriate for communicating with colleagues.
Top 5 Phone Interview Tips
Here are some of the best tips you should consider before a telephonic interview.
- Be On Time: Schedule appointments to ensure that times do not collide. If you’re the candidate, make sure you’re ready and waiting for the start time.
- Check Facts: If candidates mention something specific that you want confirmation on, such as a figure, write it down and ask about it later in the interview. This would show you if they were truthful, as candidates who fabricate numbers or information often don’t remember exactly what they said when delay adds to the picture.
- Listen Carefully: Ensure you’re not dominating the interview. The candidate should be doing most of the talking. They will want to learn about you and the company too, but it’s important to remember that the interview is about them for the most part.
- Take Notes: If you’re interviewing several candidates for the same role, take notes. It’ll help you remember key things about each candidate without getting them jumbled up!
- Don’t overdo it: Avoid cramming all of your phone interviews into one day. If you squeeze too many into one day, you may come across as uninterested and bored to the candidate. Try to avoid doing more than 4/5 per day.
Do’s and Don’ts of Telephonic Interviews
- Be prepared: Take the exact steps you would for a face-to-face interview. Just because the interview isn’t in person, it doesn’t mean you should cut corners. This is your chance to prove you’ve taken the time to know the company and your potential role in this position.
- Charge Your Phone: Perhaps nothing can go worse than your phone battery running out at the most critical point in your phone interview. So, you need to make sure this doesn’t happen to you ever, especially when being assessed for responsibility in a job role!
- Speak Clearly: Without realising we’re on the phone, many of us talk much quicker than how we usually would. You don’t want your interviewer to miss any of the critical things you’re telling them. So, take your time to avoid any confusion and keep your conversation as crisp and straightforward as possible.
- No Background Noise: Being in a calm and quiet place will allow you to concentrate on the interview and any questions you may be asked. It’s also considerate for the person conducting your interview to ensure that there will be no interruptions while you’re being interviewed.
- Ask Questions: Have some questions prepared to ask your interviewer at the end of the process. It’s always good to show interest in the company you’re applying for. This also allows you to find out if the company’s plans align with yours.
- Don’t Be Late: Make sure you stick to the arranged time for your interview. It’s likely the interviewer has got other candidates directly after. Being late for your phone interview might impact their schedule for the rest of the day.
- Don’t Rush: Many candidates feel the need to cover every silence by talking through. This isn’t necessary by any means. Take your time and think through what it is you’re saying.
- Sound Bored: Although you don’t need to go overboard in your level of enthusiasm, make sure you don’t sound like you’re bored. A trick we liked was to smile. Even if no one can see you, the interviewer may be able to hear it in your voice!
Advantages and Disadvantages
Listed below are some of the most common advantages of conducting telephonic interviews.
- Couch Comfort: An advantage of having a telephonic interview is the comfort you garner from being home, especially if you become extremely nervous and feel it could compromise your performance during the interview. Being at home rather than sitting around a conference table is bound to make you more relaxed for the interview at hand.
- Take Notes: It might be frowned upon in face-to-face interviews and slightly awkward to pull out a script to read from. However, you are free to prepare some points during a phone interview lest you get stuck with what you’re saying. Make sure you write down the key points you want your potential employer to know so you don’t forget anything essential.
- Accessibility: Interviewers can accommodate candidates over a broader geographic scope as they will not have to travel to the company’s location. This factor is especially advantageous if the role is a permanent remote one or a freelance position. It means the company will have a wider choice of applicants.
And, some of the disadvantages include:
- Face to Face Interaction: When interviews aren’t face-to-face, there is a lack of personal touch. No shaking hands or eye contact! Body language can be a considerable part of interviews. The little things that occur on the day can improve back and forth communication between the two parties.
- Shorter Interviews: Phone interviews tend to be shorter than face to face interviews, primarily because of the possibility of a considerably higher number of applicants to get through.
How to Conduct a Phone Interview?
To conduct a phone interview, arrange a time with a candidate. Make sure they know which application you’ll be using to interview on, if applicable. Create a checklist of what you want to cover with them, as there’s no need for massive details in the initial interview. Cover the basics topics which can help you decide whether the candidate is to be shortlisted to the second stage. Make a checklist of what you want the call to cover. Here are some ideas.
- Ask about their education; the most recent is often the most relevant to the role.
- What experience does the candidate have that’s relevant to the role? Find out more information on previous employment and briefly why they might have left.
- Job expectations, are they familiar with everything that’s required of them?
- Is there any particular software that you would prefer them to have experience with? Check which tools they’ve used previously and if they match your needs.
- What are their salary expectations? If you’ve got a strict budget for this role, ensure you discuss what salary range they’ll be expecting. If you’re shortlisting candidates, you want them to be happy with the compensation you’re offering.
Are Phone Interviews Good or Not?
If you’re trying to shortlist candidates, conducting phone interviews is an excellent first stage. It can help to decipher who has the relevant background that’s suited to the role. Finding out your potential candidate’s strengths and weaknesses early on helps save time continuing the process if they aren’t suitable. Not only might they not be ideal for you, but the salary or benefits you’re offering might not be ideal for them. Be transparent with candidates in what the job entails and how they’ll be compensated. If you do not do this, it could be a waste of time and resources later on.
Are Phone Interviews Recorded?
Whether the telephonic interview is recorded is down to the discretion of the employer. However, typically the person conducting telephone interviews will advise you that it’s being recorded.
Are Phone Interviews Easier?
Initially, phone interviews can make the process more comfortable, avoiding several candidates coming for physical meetings. It also saves the employer’s time when using phone interviews pre-meeting to help decide if the candidate will be taken forward to the next stage.
How to Conduct a Phone Screen Interview?
Any of the previously mentioned apps can be used to conduct a phone interview. Talk Home App, Skype, Zoom, TeamViewer etc.
How to Conduct a Professional Phone Interview?
You can conduct a phone interview professionally by previously agreeing to a time and platform where the call will take place. Just make sure both parties are aware of the essential information.
What is Asked In a Phone Screening Interview?
Here are some questions to expect during a phone interview.
- Why are you leaving your current role?
- What are your salary expectations?
- If applicable, what is your notice period?
- Can you give me more detail on your previous role and how the skills are transferable?
Why are Telephone Interviews Conducted?
Typically, companies conduct telephone interviews to be able to shortlist the number of candidates who have applied.
Are phone interviews effective?
In terms of time-saving, phone interviews can be helpful. However, typically this isn’t the only interview stage, as it doesn’t allow both parties to communicate as effectively as needed. When a role is on the table, both the candidate and company need to ensure they’re moving forward with the correct person.
How many candidates get phone interviews?
This is all dependent on the demand for the role. Also, how many candidates the employer feels are suited to the task. The employer might start with fifty phone interviews and only take ten candidates to the second interviewing stage.
The same way you should end a phone interview, we’re going to end this blog on a positive note! We wish you the best of luck for any upcoming telephonic interview. We know the last couple of years have been pressing and different to many previous years with the uncertainty of jobs and companies. For that reason, we wanted to ensure we provided any help we could with these tips. If you’ve had a phone interview recently, then do get in touch and let us know what you took away from the experience. Of course, if you’ve got one upcoming, then make sure to adhere to our tips and let us know how it went. We’ve got our fingers crossed for you!