We get asked all the time about the best way to prepare for a phone interview. While there are a hundred different ways to approach a phone interview, it is important to remember that the goal of the phone interview is to get invite for a on-site or ZOOM interview.
Below are some basic steps, suggestions, and best practices we are coach our candidates on before they do a phone interview.
Objective of this Call
To arrange an on-site interview during the phone call
- Don’t say anything negative about your current or former employers
- Don’t ask questions about pay or benefits, let them bring that up
- Don’t try to solve their problems on the phone. You should only tell them how you have solved SIMILAR problems for your past employers.
- If you are currently employed and they ask why you are looking for a new position, let them know that you weren’t necessarily looking for a new position, but that you were recruited, and the position sounded interesting.
- If you are unemployed it is best to not bring that up. They will see that you are unemployed on your resume. You should focus on telling them what your career goals are and specifically tell what part of the job interested you and can help you take your career to the nest level.
- Conduct the call in a quiet, private area. If you are on a cell phone, test your phone to make sure you have good reception.
- Research the company prior to the call. Know their industry standing, products, and services.
- Have a copy of your resume printed out and available so you can refer to it during the call.
Write down some questions about the job in advance. Below are some good ones.
- What is the number one challenge you face by having this position open?
- What does success look like for someone in this position?
- What do you hope this person will accomplish in the first 90 days?
- What do the day to day responsibilities look like for this position?
- Who are the key people that this person will work with?
Offer Examples of Your Past Success
- Tell them how you have solved problems *similar* to their problems.
- Give them proof in a systematic, step by step approach. We recommend using the STAR format – Situation, Task, Action, Results
- Get agreement – Ask them, “Would this type of experience help solve your problem?”
Ending the Call
- If you are interested in the position, MAKE SURE, you tell them you are interested and would like to visit their facility and meet the team.
- This is a POWER question that will leave an impression with the interviewer: Mr/Mrs. Interviewer, I appreciate you spending the time with me to discuss this position and your company in more detail. I am very interested in coming to your facility to meet the team. Let me ask you, is there anything about my background that you feel is not a good fit for this position?
- Listen carefully to the answer and address any concerns they may have brought up.
Close for Next Steps
- Offer 2 days that you are available to come in and meet with them in person.
- Thank them again for their time.