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Phone Interview Tips – #35: The One Question You Should Ask

Phone Interview Tips Series


Table of Contents


  1. Phone Interview - Tip 1 -- Check Your Voicemail Greeting

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 2 -- The Best Time to Set Up Your Call

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 3 -- Where’s the Best Place for a Phone Interview?

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 4 -- How To Keep Your Focus

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 5 -- How to Build Your Confidence


  1. Phone Interview - Tip 6 -- How to Project Enthusiasm

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 7 -- Use Cheat Sheets

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 8 -- Research the Interviewer

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 9 -- Research the Company

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 10 -- Prepare Answers to Common Phone Interview Questions


  1. Phone Interview - Tip 11 -- Practice Your Phone Interview

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 12 -- How to Hit Your Phone Interview Goals

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 13 -- The Best Phone for Your Phone Interview

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 14 -- Your Phone Interview Voice

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 15 -- How to Give the Interviewer What They’re Looking For


  1. Phone Interview - Tip 16 -- How to Project the Right Image Over the Phone

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 17 -- Help Them Qualify You for the Face-to-Face Interview

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 18 -- Speak the Right Body Language

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 19 -- Secret Tricks to Phone Interview Success

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 20 -- Ask Questions


  1. Phone Interview - Tip 21 -- How to Listen Well

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 22 -- Don’t Talk Too Much

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 23 -- Watch Your Language

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 24 -- Phone Interview Etiquette

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 25 -- Getting the Face-to-Face Interview


  1. Phone Interview - Tip 26 -- How and When to Follow Up

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 27 -- Biggest Phone Interview Mistakes

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 28 -- Small Phone Interview Mistakes That Cause Big Problems

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 29 -- Things You Should Never Say

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 30 -- Make a Phone Interview Checklist


  1. Phone Interview - Tip 31 -- Relax, Be Calm, and Make a Good Impression

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 32 -- Good Telephone Communication Tips

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 33 -- Typical Phone Interview Questions

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 34 -- Thank You Notes

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 35 -- The One Question You Should Ask

  6. Phone Interview - Tip 36 -- How to Keep Them From Screening You Out

  7. Phone Interview - Tip 37 -- How to Prepare for a Phone Interview


Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

Do you know the most important question you should ask in phone interviews?  Hopefully, you already know that it’s important that you should ask questions in your telephone interview.  But you might not know that one question in particular can ensure a good interview or even turn the tide of a bad interview.
Would you like some free training on  How to Answer Interview Questions? 

FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions


What’s the question?

The question is:  What does your ideal candidate look like?  What’s on their wish list of skills and qualifications of someone in this role?  If a person with those qualities walked through the door now, they’d be drooling and trying to hire them on the spot.

Why should you ask about their ideal candidate?  Chances are…you’re not that person.  But chances also are…that person isn’t going to come walking through the door, either.  It’s an ideal.  So what’s the point of asking about it?  It’s because their answer tells you what they really care about in a candidate.  It’s like saying, “What would you really like to hear from me in this interview?  What can I say to you that will get me this job?”  That is POWERFUL information.

When should you ask this question?  Ask it fairly early in the interview, before you start to get too deep in talking about yourself.

Does it have to be those exact words?  No.  Use whatever words are comfortable for you:  Tell me about your ideal candidate.  If you had a checklist for a perfect candidate, what would be on it?  What are the qualities of someone who would be perfect in this role?  This is a question that should feel like a natural part of your conversation, so ask it however it works for you.

Do you really have to ask this?  Yes. Can’t you just go by what the job description says?  Nope.  It’s entirely possible that someone besides the person interviewing you wrote the description—so maybe it’s not entirely accurate.  It’s just too much of a gamble to take for this important conversation.

What do you do with this information?  You use it to help tailor your answers to their interview questions.

If they ask about your proudest accomplishment, you can choose one that speaks to their wish list.  You don’t want to talk about something that they won’t care about hearing.

If they ask why you think you’d be a good fit, then you can talk about the skills that match up with what they told you.

Every time they ask you a question, you say something that answers that wish list as much as you can.  Delivering these types of super-targeted answers help you CRUSH the interview.  It’s being strategic and smart in how you approach the entire process.  It will help push you along to getting the face-to-face interview.

 

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