2019 Interview Tips #1: The Phone Interview – How to Prepare for the Unexpected Call

You’ve spent hours updating your resume and weeks applying to new job opportunities.  Finally, you receive the call regarding one of the positions that you had applied for.  You never know when you will receive that call, and it could be while you’re at work, while you’re driving, or while you’re in a meeting.  Here are a few tips so you do not have to panic when you pick up that call.


1) Treat it as seriously as an in-person interview

This is the first interaction you have with your potential future employer and you want to make sure it gets you through to the next step of their interview process.  Find a quiet room with good reception (if you’re using your cellphone) and free of any distractions.  If you don’t treat this step of the interview seriously, your interviewer will not consider you seriously.


2) Find a time when you can speak freely

When you do receive this call and you’re not prepared or available to be talking about your job search, politely ask if you can schedule another time to have the call.  It’s okay to reschedule especially if you’re at work, in a meeting, outside where its loud and windy, or you may be driving and need to focus on the road.  When rescheduling, provide  several options of your availability to show that you are very interested to discuss further.


3) Do your research and have all the relevant information about the opportunity readily available

Once you have scheduled a time to have the call to discuss about a potential new opportunity, make sure you do a little bit of research and prepare yourself for the call.  Go over some information about the company and the job posting once again so you familiarize yourself about the opportunity.


4) Be prepared to sell yourself, your skills, and your experience

Typically, the phone interview is with a Recruiter or HR Representative.  The objective for this call is to verify your education, experiences, and skills.  Here’s a chance to highlight your relevant experiences and skills so that you catch their attention and make it clear, even to someone who is non-technical, that you are a great match for the opportunity and to put you through for next rounds of consideration.


5) Listen to what they have to say and take notes

It is also very important that you listen carefully to what the Recruiter or HR is saying and asking as there could be hints on what is important for the role and for the company.  If the questions and comments are focused on a particular skill set or experiences of yours, that may be an indication that these are important to the company and you should put more emphasis and explanation on those details.


6) Pause and think

Every now and then, you may be asked a question that stumps you for a second.  It’s okay to ask for a few seconds to collect your thoughts and then you can give a well-thought out response.  Try not to talk your way through unorganized thoughts as it may appear that you are not familiar with the topic and you’re trying to come up with a roundabout answer.


7) Asking the right questions

At this stage of the interview process, you want to ask questions that show your interest and can possibly lead to the next steps.  At this point, the focus should be on whether you and the potential employer are a right match for each other.


8) Be prepared to share what you’re looking for in your next opportunity

Some companies may ask you what you’re looking for in your next opportunity to gauge what your motivating factors are and if the opportunity that they’re offering matches up to your expectations.  This could be anything from salary, growth opportunities, working hours and conditions.


By keeping these few tips in mind, you will be able to better prepare for the unexpected call about your next dream job and raising the chances of getting you a face-to-face meeting with your potential future employer!


Contact us today to speak with one of our Recruitment Specialists and let us help you find new opportunities for the next step in your career!

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