Monday, April 8, 2013

8 Steps to Acing Your Phone Interview

Tricky interview questions to prepare for




     

Most first job interviews are via telephone. A hiring manager sees your resume, thinks you may be a good fit, and calls you. It is very important to be ready for that first call because it is your one chance to move forward in the hiring process. Flub it and you won’t get a second opportunity. Make the sales presentation of your experience count.

Control Contact

Do not list every possible telephone number at which you can be reached. A home number and cell number are typically all an employer needs. If your cell is a company phone, list only your home number or obtain a personal cell phone. A company phone should not be used for job search. Do you spend a great deal of time during the day in situations where it would be difficult to talk spontaneously to a prospective employer such as meetings or in a shared office? Make sure you have a very professional voice mail message and check your messages regularly. Return all calls as soon as possible and if you end up in a “phone tag” situation, be persistent and proactive.

Focus

If you receive that first call while driving or any time you cannot devote 100% of your attention to the conversation, ask the caller if you can return the call. Distracted conversations make for poor interviews. When an employer or recruiter calls, they understand the time might not be good and are generally open to scheduling a call for a later time. Try to schedule the conversation as soon as possible and don’t forget to get a name and number for a contact.

Practice Tough Answers

Many people have some sort of obstacle in their current career search or a past problem that may come up in an interview. Be especially prepared to discuss such issues, not because they are more important but because they cause the most anxiety. Knowing what you are going to say to tough questions makes them much less scary.

Google Yourself

Be aware of information about you in the public realm. Make sure you conduct an Internet search on yourself. Employers will be doing this so you need to be on the same page. Be aware that your social media activities will also be reviewed by many employers or recruiters. If you have a Facebook page or Twitter account, it might be examined by employers. Be careful what you put there and don’t be surprised if a related question arises in the interview.

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