Applying for a new career opportunity is a job in and of itself. After submitting countless applications, you finally receive an email or phone call from a recruiter at one of the companies you applied to (maybe even your dream job!) asking to schedule a brief phone interview. You’ve done it! You’ve finally been picked out of a pool of applicants to take the first step toward landing a job. Now what?
Nextiva’s corporate recruiting team shares their top five tips to prepare for, and nail, your all important phone interview.
Treat the phone interview like an in-person interview.
Often times, this is the first human interaction you’ve had with the company and you want to make a good impression. You don’t get a second chance to sell the recruiter on why you’re the right fit for the job and the company. It is just as important to be well spoken and prepared during the phone interview as it is for the in-person interview.
Nailing the phone interview is extremely important in moving along in the hiring process, and generally the recruiter or HR representative you are speaking with has significant influence in the decision-making process of who continues on, and whose resume gets tossed out.
Research the company and what they do.
Do your research. There is nothing worse than being asked a question during the phone interview about the company you are apply to and not knowing the answer. Review the company’s website, social media channels, Glassdoor profile, recent news, etc.
At the very least, you should know what they do, their history, their mission, the market they serve, any distinguishing market characteristics, etc. You will want to tie these details in to the answers you provide about why you want to work at the company and how your beliefs with the company’s mission and goal. This will show the recruiter that you are serious about the position and differentiate you from other candidates.
When asked questions, provide concise and direct answers.
Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. No one likes to listen to long-winded answers where the point isn’t made until the end, if at all. As the one being interviewed, you want to keep the recruiter engaged in what you have to say and make your answers memorable. With that said, it doesn’t mean you need to answer questions like a robot. Provide genuine answers and let your personality shine through.
Understand the role you applied for as much as you can. If anything is unclear, ask for clarification.
Recruiters and hiring managers spend a lot of time on those job descriptions so take the time to read through it before your phone interview. Jot down notes of experience you have that relates to each responsibility and job function—providing specifics in your phone interview will help you stand out. This will solidify that you are qualified and a good fit for the position.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Since you’re in the early stages of the hiring process, now is the time to clarify any responsibilities or job functions you’re unclear on. This will give you more insight in to the role and the company that isn’t written in the job description. The recruiter should be selling you on the position and the company just as much as you are selling your experience and personality.
Follow up with an e-mail thanking them for their time and consideration.
The power of the thank you email (or better yet, card) is not dead. The little details really matter when it comes to differentiating candidates. As with an in-person interview, you should show your thanks and appreciation for the time they gave you. The number of candidates that don’t send a thank you email would surprise you. Even if you do not receive a response, the gesture does not go unnoticed and makes you stand out.
We hope these tips help you as you prepare for your next phone interview. The job hunt can be daunting, but with a little planning, research and preparation, you can land your dream job.