The interview process for most positions will start out with a phone interview. The purpose is to “get to know you” and broadly understand your experience and skill-level. The phone interview can last anywhere from 20-45 minutes. This opportunity is a great time for the employer to learn more about you and also allow for you to learn more about the position and company to which you are applying.
In today’s blog, we want to review tips to prepare you for a great phone interview. By following these helpful steps, you are more likely to be contacted for the next (and sometimes last) step of an onsite interview.
1. Prepare logistics:
Will you be calling into a conference line? Will the hiring manager be calling you directly? Gain this information ahead of time so you know what to expect. Always be sure to take the call when you are in a quiet location (not driving nor distracted) and with a full charge on your phone battery and full service (there’s nothing worse than having an interviewer asking you to keep repeating yourself when you are cutting out!).
2. Study your resume:
This one may sound funny, obviously you know your experience! But, the hiring manager will have your resume in front of him/her and may ask you why you made specific career decisions and what your responsibilities were in particular positions. Having your resume in front of you will help you to follow along with the questions being asked by your interviewer. Know your resume!
3. Research the company:
There is one almost inevitable question you will get in any interview, that is: Why are you interested in working here? Be able to cite a recent press releases you saw about the company or something that you found intriguing on their website. Recite the company’s mission statement and why it resonates with you. Other recommendations we have are to look up the company employees on LinkedIN and see if they have long job tenure – this is a great reason to want to join a company. You can also reference any company highlights you discussed with your On Cue Hire Recruiter. And finally, don’t forget to look up your interviewer prior to the call to understand their background. Perhaps you have even crossed paths earlier in your career or have other commonalities to reference on the call.
4. Attitude and presence:
Come to the call with an upbeat and positive nature. They say, “the energy you give, you will receive” and that is very true when it comes to that first conversation with your potential new employer. Be sure to maintain your upbeat enthusiasm throughout the call, as this will demonstrate that you have a high level of interest in the role. It also allows your personality to shine through the phone. One other thing to note: Part of having a great attitude is not talking poorly about past employers. Don’t say that you left your last position because you didn’t get along with your supervisor, rather, say that you didn’t like the company’s direction and decided that it was best to move on. Explaining how you have dealt with adversity in a professional manner will show the interviewer the type of professionalism you will bring to their company.
5. Answer directly
Listen to the question and answer that question concisely. Often where we see interviewees stumble is when they over-answer a question and provide too much information that isn’t relevant.
Question – Do you have experience with PowerPoint?
Answer – Yes, I do
Wrong Answer – Yes, I do but the last time I did use PowerPoint, I only created 3 major presentations and then just reused those over and over.
Point is, our best advice is to just answer the question directly. There is no need to over-explain unless further questions are asked.
6. Discuss next steps
The best general advice we can provide is never leave a great meeting without a follow up. At the end of the interview, you should ask your interviewer: “What are next steps from here?” Furthermore, restate your interest in the position, citing some of the points discussed on the call. This will show the interviewer you are interested and eager to move on in the process.
We hope this article has given you a few ideas in preparation for your next phone interview! Follow us for future interview tips and job-related posts.