Phone Interview Best Practices for 2020
You’re probably wondering, do employers still utilize phone interviews? And who is usually conducting the phone interview? In my previous role as a recruiter, a phone interview was a mandated piece of the hiring process. You always need a recruiter or junior manager to vet the candidacy pipeline prior to sending any prospective candidates to the hiring decision-maker. This will save a lot of time for the hiring committee while streamlining the process a bit for all stakeholders involved.
What needs to be discussed?
Typically it’s the basic mandatory items from the job description that need to be discussed. The real deep digs typically are saved for the 2nd to last or final interviews. This initial vetting process should just cover the questions like “Why did you leave these different companies/roles?” or “Did you receive the mandated credentials, certifications or degrees the company mandates?” or “What type of work at these companies did you perform that directly relate to the job opening’s functions?” or “What type of salary are you looking for?”
What about your responses?
Responses that relate to honesty, pragmatism, pain point resolutions, transferable skills, self-reliance, possibly leadership, and your technical aptitude relating to the job.
How can you prepare? Should you have anything ready?
• Have these items ready and in front of you: your résumé, job description, questions to ask the employer, notes about the company, and your calendar/schedule.
• Ask a career counselor, HR professional, or even a reliable friend to practice a telephone interview with you. Get feedback on your answers, voice inflections and any recurring flaws in your speech, (“like”, “um”, “er”, and “uh”).
• Be ready to give examples of your accomplishments and previous work experiences.
• Sell yourself in every response.
• Write down the name(s) of your interviewer(s) so you can refer to them by name, and write them a Thank You note afterwards.
Any common mistakes phone interviewees make?
• Never conduct a phone interview while driving in your car!
• Conduct your telephone interview in a quiet place. Do not let children or pets in the room. Do not answer another phone or the door bell, or have any other distractions during this time. Turn off any electronic devices that might make noise.
• Stand up to project your voice better.
• Be enthusiastic and smile. It comes through in your voice.
• Speak directly into the telephone, slowly and clearly. Remember, your voice is all the interviewer has to distinguish you from other candidates.
• Use a land-line telephone instead of a cell phone. You have a better connection and less chance of being disconnected.
• Ask for clarification when needed, especially if you are unsure of the question and need time to process your answer.
Why phone interviews, let’s just meet onsite already, right?!
Well, phone interviews save time and energy if you vet the candidates first prior to having an onsite interview. Phone interviews can last sometimes for only 5 minutes. In-person interviews tend to last at least 20-30 minutes minimum. You need to remember to act as if it’s the final interview. Do not get cute, casual or coy. Approach this interview like it impacts your livelihood because it most likely will.
How can I stand-out from the competition?
• Start off with, “I hope all is well.”
• Use salutations such as, “Best regards” or “Warm regards”.
• Always include your contact information.
• Be kind, positive and thankful.
• Show your relevant interest in the job.
• Show your appreciation of the correspondence and interview they provided.
• Reiterate your skills or any important information you might have not provided while interviewing.
• Remind them about some key highlights that occurred during the interview.
• Update them with important information they might have requested.
• Convince them as to why you are the solution to their human capital needs.
• You did you best, now remember to let it go.
• Write down the key points from the interview. This must be done immediately after the interview while it’s still fresh in your mind. Write down any key points that were covered or big questions that were asked, as well as your answers. This is especially important in the first interview, as you may be asked similar questions again in subsequent interviews. Rather than giving the same answer again, you can add on to your previous answer and tell you interview that it’s something you’ve been thinking about since the first interview. Also make a note of anything you wanted to say in the interview but didn’t get a chance to mention. You can make sure to bring up these points in the next interview, or if it’s your final interview, you might be able to mention them in a thank you note .In addition to writing down the material that was covered, you should look at it with a critical eye to identify what went well and what didn’t. Take this information and use it to practice and improve for your next interview. Analyzing your interview will help you identify any areas that you need to improve on, and will make sure you don’t forget any important details from the interview.
• Always follow-up an interview with a “Thank You” letter within 24-48 hours. You want your interviewer to remember you, so sending a follow up message will help you stay at the top of their mind. Keep it short and succinct. Sending an incredibly long and wordy email could come across as if you’re desperate for the job. It’s also far less likely to actually get read by the interviewer. The shorter it is, the less time it takes them to read it. You want them to read every word, so keeping it succinct ensures they’ll read through it rather than just skimming it. If they’ve given you a timeframe in which they’ll be making their decision, be sure to follow up if that time has passed. The intention of this follow up is to check in with the interviewer and to put your name at the top of their inbox. Include the fact that you’re still interested in the position and offer to provide them with any more information they might need, such as a sample of your work or answering further questions. Signing off with ‘I look forward to hearing from you soon’ is a good way to express your desire for a quick answer without directly asking ‘When are you actually going to make the decision?’.
• Understand that the interview is just part of the job search process and there may be many subsequent meetings. Be patient.
• Never accept or reject a job until it is offered to you and you have weighed out your options, including their offer package.
• Maintain relations with the company via email or mail every other month. They may need you six months or even a year from now.
• Do not get upset if you do not get the job. Interviewing always gives you good practice and new contacts in the process.
• Do not badger them with phone calls if they have decided to hire another candidate. They get plenty of phone calls from candidates and it can become irritating to get calls all the time from someone they cannot place into a job at the moment.
Thank you for reading! Please visit www.jobstickers.com to keep up with all of MJW Careers’ content, and visit www.mjwcareers.com or email email@example.com (or call 855-YES-EMPLOYEES) to learn more about our resume writing, interview training, career coaching or outplacement services and solutions.
#jobhunting #career #careercoach #careercoaching #job #jobopening #careeradvice #outplacement #transition #transitionspecialist #downsizing #resume #resumewriting #resumewriter #resumewritingservice #writer #writing #interview #interviewadvice #unemployed #employed