Phone Interview Tips
If your resume did its job and sold you for the position you want, the next step is usually a phone interview with the employer. This phone screen usually takes place with a company recruiter or HR staff to "pre" qualify you for an opening. While this is just a phone interview, remember it is the first step in making it to the face-to-face interview.
Following are some preparation points that will allow you to differentiate yourself from others who are competing for the same position.
- Make sure you know what you are interviewing for.
- Review the job description, research the company, and get to know the company’s industry (challenges, opportunities, competitors, etc.).
- Be prepared to answer questions about your resume, like your work history, salary history, and the reason you are interviewing.
- The initial phone interview may also be a technical qualifier, so you may be asked to answer questions about your technical skills and knowledge.
- You have no visual cues, so be sure to listen carefully to the questions.
- You may get simple questions and compound questions, so be sure you don’t get ‘lost’ in your response. Answer directly without being abrupt or vague.
- If you need to clarify the question, it is okay to ask.
- Don’t rush into an answer to avoid silence. Think about the question, repeat it in your mind then give a thoughtful, deliberate response.
- Know your resume and experience. You may be asked to answer questions about the size and scope of your employer, job duties, department, or even specific experiences with an employee, co-worker, vendor, or other stakeholder.
- At the end of the phone interview if you have decided you are still interested, let the interviewer know you are interested and ask them what should be expected about the next step and their timing for moving forward.
- Ask them if it is okay to contact them and obtain an email address. This allows you to follow up with a thank you note, and also stay informed if progress stalls.