Monday, August 19, 2013

How College Grads Can Thrive in Phone Interviews

How job seekers can overcome phone interviews easily




     

Phone interviews are becoming a common way for employers to screen potential employees during the hiring process. Unlike traditional, in-person job interviews, phone interviews are usually fairly short, require less preparation, and can even be outsourced by the employer if necessary. These features make phone interviewing an effective way to narrow down the list of candidates before scheduling in-person interviews. Unfortunately, many people are not comfortable conducting a conversation of that importance over the phone. If the prospect of a phone interview makes you nervous, these tips can help turn an awkward interview into a confidence-inspiring success.

Preparation is the Name of the Game

When preparing for a phone interview, don’t forget that not all recruiters and employers schedule them ahead of time. At any moment, a recruiter could stumble across your resume or an employer could decide to call you in regards to a recent application. Your chances for success in your job search will be greatly improved if you try to always expect the unexpected (especially during a job interview).

Keep Your Resume Near the Phone

Knowing that you could get a call from a recruiter or an employer at any moment, you should always keep a recent copy of your resume near the phone. That way, whether or not your phone interview is anticipated, you will have all the information you need right at your fingertips. Of course for a job interview, your resume is not the only resource you should keep handy.

Create a log for keeping track of the resumes you send out, recording each company, position title, contact name, date the position was applied for, and qualifications for the job. If you have a chance to research the company, make a file with that information, and keep it near the phone as well. Finally, you should always have access to a notepad and pen during a phone interview, so that you can write down the interviewer’s name, key questions he or she asked, and your responses.

Practice (and a Cheat Sheet) Makes Perfect

Just like with a traditional job interview, you should try to anticipate questions the interviewer might ask. If you have come up with examples and practiced your answers ahead of time, you will sound much more intelligent and confident in the interview. Moreover, since the interviewer cannot see you, there is nothing to stop you from referring to a “cheat sheet” – notes to help you remember your practiced answers, so that you never sound like you have been taken off guard.

When you practice your answers and put together your cheat sheet, you should think about job interview questions that are traditionally asked, such as:

• Tell me about yourself.
• What are your strengths and weaknesses?
• Where do you see yourself in 1/5/10 years?
• What is your leadership style? Please give an example of a real situation.

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