In a world where everything is moving fast, time is precious and, as companies and teams become more remote, it is only natural that technical phone interviews are becoming more and more the norm. Being a remote company ourselves, with a team in the US and Europe, we too have a lot of experience in conducting such a hiring process.
So we decided to share some of the tips we found that could maximize your chances of making a good impression on a phone interview.
When doing technical phone interviews, here at Codeanywhere we use Skype (http://skype.com/) for communication and (obviously) Codeanywhere (http://codeanywhere.com/editor) for real-time collaboration on code with the candidate. Different companies use different tools, but it is usually a combination of a Video/Chat service and Web IDE.
The list below may seem like something everybody knows, but I can tell you from my experience that people often neglect these things.
- Come early. as you would with in-person interviews, be 10-15 minutes early online.
- Stable Internet connection. Don't just expect that you will find an Internet connection (that works well) in public places, because you won't. I say this mostly because, when the call drops, it is just annoying for all parties.
- Quiet place. As with the Internet connection, you also need to find a place that is quiet so that there aren't any distractions while you are doing the interview.
- Attire. Not all companies do video conferencing, but even if they don't say it explicitly, be prepared. Nothing fancy, just something that makes you feel confident.
During the interview, you will probably be asked to solve some coding problems. We will not deal with those here, but rather with what you can do to help yourself with issues specific to phone interviews.
- Think out loud. It helps to speak while solving an issue so that, even if you don't get it right, the interviewer can understand your thought process.
- Ask questions. This is very important in phone interviews. If you didn't understand the problem – ask. There is nothing wrong with that.
- Simple first. This is especially important in remote interviews because things don't always come through clearly. So give the answer in the simplest possible form first and then elaborate afterwards.
After finishing the technical part of the interview, feel free to ask questions about the potential job that concern you the most. And lastly – always say “thank you”. You wouldn't think so, but it does go a long way.
After the Interview
Most companies will get back to candidates no matter what the outcome, but if you don't hear back from your interviewer in the stated time frame, feel free to reach out.
I do hope this helps and I wish you all the best of luck!