Thursday, October 9, 2014

Phone Interviews

                It is always exciting to have a recruiter or company call you back and say that they are interested in interviewing you. Getting to that point takes a lot of hard effort, both in your schooling and your job search! The next step, however, is just as critical if not more so. And this of course, is the interview.
                During our previous article, we discussed a variety of techniques to prepare for an interview. These included researching types of behavioral questions, understanding the STAR technique, and especially practicing how to answer these questions. If you’ve followed these steps, you should be fairly prepared to answer interview questions. You may be expecting that being invited to interview means that you will be going in to the office, manufacturing plant, or the like to meet with your interviewer. In many cases this will be the standard protocol. However, there are other types of interviews that may take place. One other such type is the phone interview.
                A phone interview naturally has a lot in common with a standard in-person interview, although there can of course be several key differences that you should be prepared to deal with. In many cases, the phone interview will act as “round one” of interviewing for a position. In these situations, you may be speaking with someone besides the hiring manager (the person who would be your supervisor in the job), such as someone from human resources, who is checking to see whether you have the basic skills, education, and/or work experience for the position. If that is the case, the phone interview will most likely be short. If you were invited for a “round two” of interviews, it would most likely indicate that the next interview would then be an in-person meeting.
                Regardless of whether you speak with the hiring manager or another employee of the company, it helps to be prepared for the interview. Expect to answer basic questions about your qualifications for the job, as well as possible behavioral questions. Remember, since you are not there in person to present confident body language, your answers are even more important. Silence on the phone is not a good way to show yourself in the best possible light! Since the interviewer cannot see you, it is perfectly alright to keep a copy of your resume, the job description, information on the company, etc. in front of you for quick reference.
                Another quick tip that may help: although you are not going to interview in person, consider dressing up a bit anyways. You may not need to wear a suit to speak on the phone, but dressing up (if only for yourself) can help to put you in the right frame of mind. Remember, this is still an interview and should be taken seriously! Other things to consider:

·         Make sure that when you are setting up the interview time, you double check whether the interviewer will be calling you, or if you are expected to call in to the company.
·          If you are interviewing for a position out-of-state, double check that you have the correct time zone information. For example, if you live in California, but are interviewing for a position in Minnesota, there is a 2 hour time difference; this would mean that to call in for a 3:00pm interview in Minnesota (CST), it would be 1:00pm in California (PST).
·         If you are using a cell phone, make sure that you are in an area where you have great coverage. A dropped call is not something you want to deal with when you are trying to answer a hard question!
·         It helps if you can take the call in a quiet area. If you are able to be in a quiet room by yourself, so you are able to hear all the questions and not be distracted, this is best. 

                Hopefully these tips will help you to be at your best for your phone interview! Remember, a phone interview is still an interview, and as usual it helps to be prepared! Stay tuned for our next article on 10/23/14 where we will discuss the other half of the interview: what questions YOU should be asking during the interview. Until then, feel free to catch up on our previous articles, and be sure to check out our pages on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ for the latest news and opportunities available through Verum Staffing! If you are interested in speaking with us further regarding positions we have available, future opportunities, or interview/resume help, please send an email to to set up an informational interview.  

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