Author Topic: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT  (Read 2812 times)

PoutineLover

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Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« on: August 17, 2017, 01:42:21 PM »
I just got contacted for a phone interview, tomorrow!! Not much time to prepare. I am going to read everything I can on the company's website, review the posting, think of my skills and experience that are relevant to the tasks mentioned there, and what else should I do? I would love to get this job, it's a great match for my background and I think I'm very well suited for it. I need to make a good impression. Any tips and tricks/dos and don'ts/encouragement would be much appreciated.

Sibley

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2017, 01:43:56 PM »
Askamanager.org is your friend

Good luck!

haflander

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2017, 01:59:31 PM »
I've done several phone and video interviews over the past five years, most recently about five in the past three months on the way to a new job I'm starting next week! I haven't even met in person with anyone from the new company because everyone works remotely and I'll be working from home. Today is actually my last day at the old place!

Do everything that you mentioned. Other than that, it's all about being confident and making sure that your voice and statements reflect that confidence. If you are a social person and have good self esteem, then you already are good with this. If not, all you need to do is practice with a close friend or family member. Physically say the words out loud that you want to say in your real phone interview. Give your friend the basic interview questions and answer them. Again, just focus on speaking clearly and confidently and write down and say a few go-to lines that you believe will get you the job. Obviously, avoid awkward pauses, stuttering, and "um" and "like" as much as possible.

Good luck!

secondcor521

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2017, 02:00:26 PM »
You're doing all the right things.

A couple of minor suggestions, from someone who has conducted many telephone interviews over the years:

1.  Be positive, pleasant, and responsive, but not overly so.  When they ask questions, answer them completely but concisely - do not ramble on.  Answers should be like a miniskirt - long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting.

2.  Have at least one question, preferably two or three, ready to ask at the end of the interview.  These should be questions that help you figure out if the job is right for you and shouldn't be those that you can just google or search the company website for the answer.  Bad example:  "How many employees does company X have?"  Good example:  "So do you use technology X in developing the products in your division?"

3.  Some have recommended dressing up professionally even if it's a phone interview and they won't see you.  They think it might confer professionalism to your voice presence.  It's a little tenuous of an argument, but I think it can't hurt and could help.

4.  In the same vein as #3, make sure you get to a quiet room where there aren't pets or children or TV or flushing toilets or other things that could (a) convey a lack of professionalism via weird background noises, and/or (b) distract you from focusing on the interview itself.

Good luck!!

KisLivingAbroad

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 02:14:38 PM »
Congrats on passing the first screening. the most important things is to make sure you have a quiet distraction free area to take the call. I would have a concise well rehearsed response to why you are looking to leave your current employer.

One thing I like to do is have a brief story about a past project or job that relates to each of the main responsibilities in the job description. The great thing about a phone interview is you can have flashcards nearby with the highlights of each story to quickly refresh your memory.

Speak slowly and clearly and you'll do great. Good luck!

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acroy

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2017, 02:22:42 PM »
I think you've done what you can. Be well educated on the company, ask a few questions. Be calm and positive & professional.

Good luck!!!

FIRE 20/20

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2017, 10:00:31 PM »
4.  In the same vein as #3, make sure you get to a quiet room where there aren't pets or children or TV or flushing toilets or other things that could (a) convey a lack of professionalism via weird background noises, and/or (b) distract you from focusing on the interview itself.

^ This!

I have interviewed dozens of people over the phone, and it's shocking how many people try to interview from outside (wind and traffic noise) or are distracted.  I'd say lack of focus is easily the #1 cause for someone who sits through a phone screen with me to not get an in-person interview.



LeRainDrop

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desk_jockey

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2017, 10:18:26 PM »
Prepare 3 or 4 short stories about previous work experience where you had a significant accomplishment that proved of benefit to your team or employer.  Each story should take you 20 seconds to 1 minute to tell.   Edit them carefully then practice the stories in front of a mirror.   In the interview, you’ll probably get a few “tell me about a time when …” questions, and you should be able to work in one or two of your prepared stories in as a response.    Interviewers may not retain lots of details from an interview but they will often connect with a memorable story.

IF you are at all inexperienced at interviewing or prone to being nervous, I agree with secondcor521’s thought to dress up for the phone interview and sit up straight as if you were in person.   For many this will boost their confidence.

PoutineLover

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2017, 11:36:15 AM »
Thank you everyone for all the tips. I think it went pretty well, she said she would contact me in the next two weeks for an interview in person, after she finishes the round of phone interviews. Hoping I pass to the next stage! Any other tips? Should I follow up and when?

secondcor521

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2017, 11:57:38 AM »
If you have her email address (hopefully you do), you should send her a very quick email saying thanks for the interview and you look forward to hearing from them soon.

After that email, you should wait the prescribed time she gave you (two weeks you said) plus a few days.  If you haven't heard from her by then, a quick followup email or phone call is in order to let her know you're still interested in the position and inquiring as to the status of the opening.  Fair warning:  When we were hiring at my last company, it always took us longer than we expected because we were busy doing the actual work and hiring was often very low on the priority list.  So if you do ask, make sure to do so in an gently curious way, not in a "I can't believe you incompetent maroons can't keep to a schedule" sort of way.  Any good manager should respond to your inquiry in the way it was intended and you should get a clear response back that (a) the process is taking a little longer but they're still interested in you and they appreciate your patience, (b) they filled the position and just failed to get back to you, sorry on both counts, or (c) they decided not to fill the position or something else happened.

Goldielocks

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2017, 12:24:37 PM »
Put a mirror up across from the chair that you will be sitting at to take the call, and preferably sit in a hard-backed chair and desk combo.

Why?  Reminds you to sit up tall and speak professionally.   (sort of like the dressing up comment, but as long as you are not in PJ's, I think this is better).  You voice tone is brighter when you sit tall.   Do NOT walk around or roll around and slouch on a typical office chair.   The interviewer can hear all that.   Do NOT nervously click a pen or play with coins, type, etc.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2017, 04:27:08 PM »
Thank you everyone for all the tips. I think it went pretty well, she said she would contact me in the next two weeks for an interview in person, after she finishes the round of phone interviews. Hoping I pass to the next stage! Any other tips? Should I follow up and when?

Excellent!  Keep poking around the Ask A Manager website.  She has tons of great information.  Here are some good starting points:

http://www.askamanager.org/how-to-guide
http://www.askamanager.org/2012/06/thank-you-notes-theyre-not-about-thanking-anyone.html
http://www.askamanager.org/2017/07/when-should-i-follow-up-after-a-job-interview.html

krisvolley27

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2017, 09:18:54 PM »
Be ready to talk specifics about situations you've been in.  What was the problem? how did you go about solving it?  What was the outcome?
Also be ready to talk about an opportunity or weakness that you are working on.  I ask this question in all my interviews.  You would be surprised at how many people say "I can't think of a weakness".  We all have them so that is not an acceptable answer.  You need to think of something that is both a weakness and a strength but not obviously so.  For example being a perfectionist.  Sometimes you focus too hard on the details and miss other things.  Or...leading people is a constant learning experience.  I learn from every interaction I have and constantly reflect on those situations and how I can improve them next time.

Good luck!

GoConfidently

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Re: Preparing for a phone interview - URGENT
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2017, 10:30:44 AM »
Smile. Even though they can't see you, when you smile it tricks you into sounding more pleasant. Basically, pretend like they're watching you so you'll have your "interview" attitude on.