How To Prepare For Phone Interview Questions

Knowing what to expect with phone interview questions can help you land a second interview with a company. Phone interviews are used to screen candidates for a job opportunity, and that interview can take you to the next level. There are two types of phone interview questions-those designed for screening and more in-depth ones used for longer phone interviews. Here's what you can expect:

Screening Questions
Interviewers typically start with general job interview questions about your education, qualifications or reasons for applying for this position. You want to have clear answers, especially for why you are applying for this job. You may be asked to talk about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses and aspirations. Prepare two- to three-minute answers for these questions.

They may also ask you why you left your former position or are thinking of a change. Never bash your previous employer, even if the misery directly caused by that person is the reason you quit. Be diplomatic and positive.

Longer Phone Interviews
A phone interview that takes longer than 20 minutes may get more in depth about the position itself and whether you could be a good match. Do your research about the company ahead of time to get a sense of the size, responsibilities and place of this position within the organization. Have the job description you applied for at hand to refer to during the interview.

Dos And Don'ts
Here are some handy tips for preparing for your phone interview:

Quiet, please! Make sure that you are in a quiet room and undisturbed during your phone interview. Turn off your cell phone ringer and TV, and do not multitask during the interview. Call in a babysitter if you have young children.

Don't use a cell phone. Land lines have much better reception and clarity than cell phones. They also rarely drop calls. Try to use a land line to prevent anything from getting in the way of your successful interview.

Relax. Take some deep breaths before you begin the call. Being relaxed helps you speak naturally, without talking too fast or stammering for answers. You'll think more clearly and make a better impression from the start if you can put nerves aside.

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Structured interviews with canned questions have become the norm at many companies. Structured interview questions may seem impersonal or even silly, but they're designed to ensure candidates are evaluated on equal terms. By remembering that interviews are more about chemistry than specific answers, you'll ace those structured interviews.

The precious ten minutes you spend in an interview are often all you have, besides your resume, to make a good impression. Knowing how to dress for an interview can be just the boost you need to get the job.

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What are your greatest strengths? What are your greatest weaknesses? Name the biggest problem you've ever faced in the workplace. How did you solve that problem?

During a job interview, you might fumble the answer to a question, or your mind will go completely blank. But, at other times, the problem with the interview isn't you. Interviewers who haven't been trained properly or who are trying to screen out candidates for reasons other than their qualifications might ask you personal questions that are awkward at best and illegal at worst. This Q&A can help you handle these nosy interview questions.

Make sure you dress for success for your next interview to show that you are professional and interested in the job.

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