How to Divide & Conquer a Phone interview

phone interviewIf you are in the middle of your job search, then you know what comes after you pass the application process- a phone interview. Instead of having an in-person interview, now it is an initial phone screening with a recruiter, before you get the face-to-face sit-down with the hiring manager. The recruiter’s job is to find out about you, your experience, and whether or not you will fit the company culture. Let me let you in on a little secret, this is a recruitment strategy! Recruiters can filter through candidates quickly without the added expense and time required for on-site interviews. Read the following tips and tricks to better prepare yourself and land that face-to-face interview:

  • Preparation– Time is your friend, so go ahead and give yourself extra time and do as much research on the company and position as you can. Thoroughly review the job description and start thinking about how your previous experience would contribute to the open position.  If you know who you will be speaking with for the phone interview, look him or her up on LinkedIn so you better understand their role in the process.
  • Confidence- When speaking with the recruiter, demonstrate confidence and enthusiasm as you review your qualifications. It is not always what you say, but how you say things that matters. Recruiters and employers will be evaluating your communication skills, regardless of the position you are applying for.
  • Setting– Location and outside factors will play a key role in your phone interview. More specifically, nix any distractions such as outside traffic, barking dogs, or noises in the background. If possible, use a landline rather than a cell phone in order to avoid bad reception or a call being dropped. If you do have to use your cell phone, politely ask for the best number to reach him or her at in case the call drops. Also, do not be afraid to reschedule the phone call. If you are sending out multiple resumes, more often than not, you will receive a call when least expected.
  • Resources– Treat a phone interview like a take-home test: have your resume, useful information on the company, and the job description in front of you to use a resource when asked about your previous positions. If you really want to impress a recruiter, take a useful fact about the company and work that into the conversation. For instance, you could say “I read that the company achieved a significant accomplishment in 2012, how do you foresee this role contributing to the success of the company?”
  • Next Steps– Most likely near the end of your conversation, you will hear, “do you have any questions?” The answer is yes- go ahead and ask questions such as “what qualities do you look for in this role or how would you describe the company culture at your organization?” Remember, you are trying to decide if this position is a right fit for you as well. Once you’re questions have been answered, thank them for their time and ask what the next steps are. Twenty-four to forty-eight hours afterwards, send an email thanking the interviewer for their time in discussing the upcoming opportunity.

Now that we have laid down the groundwork, you are ready to make a lasting impression and one step closer to landing your dream job. Most importantly, be prepared and speak confidently and professionally. Do you have any suggestions of how to “divide and conquer” a phone interview? We would love to hear from you!

About TRC Staffing Services, Inc.

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