Here’s how to handle a phone interview that is late. Telephone interviews are becoming increasingly prevalent among businesses that seek to evaluate initial job candidates or when a job applicant is not based in the company’s geographic region. While the majority of phone interviews proceed as expected, some sessions can run late or interviewers/interviewees can fail to show up at all.
Why do companies use phone interviews?
Companies can conduct phone interviews as part of their interviewing process for a variety of reasons. To begin, a company can schedule telephone interviews with prospective employees prior to bringing them into the actual office for screening regarding their suitability for the position. This enables businesses to avoid wasting valuable in-person time interviewing individuals who lack the necessary skills or expertise for the job ad/job description.
Businesses can also conduct phone interviews with candidates who live outside of town. This can make an interview more convenient for both the employer and the candidate, as well as help the company save money on interview-related expenses.
Steps to take if your phone interview is late
The majority of phone interviews are conducted on schedule and in the way anticipated. However, you can have a phone interview in which the interviewer is late for the scheduled meeting. When confronted with a late phone interview, the following actions can be taken:
- confirm the day and time of the interview.
- Ascertain that your phone is turned on properly.
- Allow 15 to 20 minutes before attempting to contact the interviewer.
- After speaking with the interviewer, send a follow-up email.
- Determine the length of time you are willing to wait.
Double-check the time and date
When you become aware that your phone interview can be running late, the first thing you should do is confirm the date and time of the interview. Occasionally, a simple misunderstanding of the date or time can account for your belief that the interview was late. Alternatively, you can have neglected the time zone and discovered that the interviewer is in a different time zone. Ascertaining the correct time and date is the first step in ensuring that the phone interview is not truly late.
Make sure your phone is working
Additionally, you need confirm that your phone is turned on and capable of receiving calls. Ascertain that your phone is not in quiet or vibrate mode and that the volume is set to maximum.
Wait 15-20 minutes
After 15 to 20 minutes, contact the interviewer at the number provided. While you can be tempted to send an email, it is more professional to make a first phone call. This enables you to talk with the interviewer instantly if they respond, either to postpone or begin the interview. Additionally, it demonstrates that you are taking the interview seriously.
Send a follow-up email
Following your phone contact with the interviewer, send an email. In your email, you might notify the interviewer that you attempted to contact them by phone and confirm the agreed-upon interview time. If a new interview time has been scheduled, confirm it. If the interviewer does not return your call, inquire about the ideal time to call again or give periods when you are available to do the interview or schedule a new day and time.
Decide how long you’re willing to wait
If you have waited more than 30 minutes without hearing from the interviewer, you have the option of continuing to wait or informing the interviewer that you are unable to wait any longer. For instance, if you have another interview booked, you can be unable to wait longer than 30 minutes to hear from the interviewer. If you are unable to wait any longer, notify the interviewer via phone or email.
Example email to the hiring manager
“Good morning, John. I believe we had an interview scheduled for today. Is it still on? I’m available by phone at 333.444.555 to speak at your latest. If I have the date/time wrong for our scheduled interview, please let me know. And/or if I’m emailing the wrong phone interviewer, please let me know who I should be emailing. Really looking forward to this job interview. Thanks, John!”
Related: Phone interview tips
Common questions from job seekers
The following are frequently asked questions about phone interviews for job interviews:
How long do phone interviews typically take?
Phone interviews are frequently shorter than in-person interviews since they are used to pre-screen prospects. Given that the majority of phone interviews run 30 minutes or fewer, you should budget at least a half-hour for your phone interview.
What are the questions that are commonly covered?
Phone interviews are frequently used to determine whether an applicant is a good match for a vacant position. This means that the majority of phone interview questions will not be too detailed or company-specific.
Typical phone interview questions include the following:
- What are your advantages?
- What are your flaws?
- Tell me anything about yourself.
- How much experience do you have in the field for which you are applying?
- How much do you know about our business?
- What is your motivation for quitting your current position?
- Why are you interested in working for our company?
- What qualifies you as a contender for this position?
- When are you able to begin working?
- Do you have any inquiries regarding the position?