Are you Olim Chadashim? Foreign language speakers? Are you about to face a phone interview soon? This article is for you!

By Uwork | September 3, 2018

Nowadays, a lot of recruiters and employers prefer interviewing potential candidates over the phone first, before inviting them to the offices for a frontal interview and screen candidates beforehand, that is in order to save time for both the interviewer and the candidate himself. It is important for Olim Chadashim to know that In Israel it's very common to go through a phone interview, but for many German, Spanish, English, French, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and other nationals, it may feel a little bit odd. So, what is the purpose of a phone interview? 


Firstly, it's the first screening you'll go through at the beginning of the process towards your desired position. The interviewer will clarify if what you wrote about yourself in your CV matches the reality. It is of the greatest importance to treat the interviewer with the dignity he or she deserves, the same way they'll probably treat you, keep in mind that you're interested in a fair chance for the position and you'd like to receive more details about it so remain patient during the interview, even if you've been asked those questions before by other interviewers in other companies.

Your tone of voice has a major key role here, if you'll sound sleepy or bothered  - it will affect the way the interviewer perceive you – especially during a phone interview where your body language has no power.

The biggest issue about phone interviews is that you never know when they'll happen – usually, the interviewer will call you in a suitable time for him – you may either be at work, stuck in morning traffic, with your kids or still half a sleep.

A lot of people are embarrassed to let the interviewer know that they simply can't talk at the moment – for whatever reason – and then they're not complexly focused on what questions that are being asked or on making a good impression. 

It's best to let the interviewer know that you're occupied at the moment – it's OK and totally acceptable to ask the interviewer to call you later on the day – in a polite manner – instead of asking questions half focused.

Keep in mind that the main purpose the phone interview is aiming to achieve from your side is to establish chemistry with the interviewer so s/he'll be interested in inviting you to a frontal interview.

The best way to do it? Engage in a dialogue, ask the questions as well and elaborate on your answers – simply replying with a YES or NO would probably create a bad impression.


General instructions towards the phone interview in Israel for your desired job:

Stay focused! Being at our natural habitat can have a bad side here – you might be in your PJ's scrolling on facebook while suddenly you receive THE call – make sure to leave your smartphones while being interviewed, don't chew on any gum, speak appropriately and stay focused.

If you have any question to the interviewer about the desired job, always let him finish his sentence before asking your question so you will not come across rude. Feel free to ask what does the company expect from the potential employee – so you'll be able to fit your responses to the company criteria and emphasis that you're fit for the job.

It is mostly uncommon to ask any salary related questions if the interviewer doesn't bring it up – the whole salary subject will usually be brought up at the company's offices, during a frontal interview – so if the interviewer doesn't mention it – you shouldn't either.

Sometimes, you'll be asked what are your salary expectations – this is one of the questions that is considered crucial and your answer may get you left in the air without an invitation to a frontal interview.

Always keep a range of what you consider as acceptable salary for the position – be realistic and don't use the opportunity to show off – it will not impress the interviewer, if anything, it'll be the other way around.

In addition to that, it's also recommended to tell the interviewer how interested you are in coming to the offices and discuss everything face to face.


Getting prepared beforehand to answer the toughest questions – work related and other questions: 

Beside the 'professional' questions that will aim to see if you fit the job professionally, and the obvious work related questions, technically wise, it is to be expected you'll be asked a few more personal questions – which can be intimidating and a little bit confusing because we don't really know what the interviewer is expecting to hear.

Some of those questions may be – why are you so interested in this position? Why do you want to work for us? Are there any other details you'd like to know about the company? Can you mention your good and bad qualities? 

You can easily prepare yourself to answer all of these questions – write down a couple of qualities you know are considered relevant to the position, for example 'paying attention to details' or 'obtain a very strong work ethic' beforehand.

The interviewer will try and check not only if you're professional experience and qualities fit the position – but also if your personal character will be fit with the company's culture. Keep in mind that your CV is in front of the his or her eyes and what they're interested in is making sure you'll be a great team player as well. 

It is understandable that for Olim Chadashim that are coming from other cultures, for example, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, German, French, Spanish or even English speakers, the questions may seem a little bit too personal. Don't be too embarrassed to stop the interviewer from asking any too personal questions – if you feel the subject is irrelevant to the position it's perfectly acceptable to let the interviewer know how you feel about it.

That being said, one of the biggest questions a candidate can be asked is – why did you leave your last workplace? 

Answering this question should be done in a direct manner – even if you were made redundant – you should explain exactly what happened, and why.

While being direct and honest, do not, under any circumstances, try and 'bash' your last workplace or your employer – it will only make YOU look bad.

In conclusion, we can say that a good interaction with the interviewer will have a big impact on your process towards the position and passing the process successfully. 

A Phone interview that is done professionally and respectfully with a thriving dialogue between the candidate and the interviewer will flourish better chances to move the candidate forward to the next stage in his or her career.


Good luck!


Are you a foreign language speaker? Do you speak German / English / Spanish / Arabic / Russian / Japanese / Chinese / French?  For more tips and useful articles, check out our blog section!