You’re ready to make a career change and you’ve been applying to what seem like an endless list of jobs both in close proximity of your current location, and for those flexible to relocation, quite a distance away.
Today you hear from one of the employers that they would like to schedule a phone interview.
You think GREAT…. I have an interview; someone (finally) recognizes my value.
But then the euphoria dies and you realize you’ve done face-to-face interviews but never a phone interview.
How does this work? What should you expect? How do you prepare?
Most likely a phone interview is scheduled to maximize the interview process and at this stage the employer is probably interviewing a number of candidates. It’s quicker and cheaper to use this medium to interview more candidates, especially those from a distance away.
How does this work?
It’s very simple really, the employer schedules a date and time for your call, you confirm and provide the number for them to call and at that date and time they call you. Phone interviews are usually short anywhere from 15-30 minutes in general.
What should you expect?
This is the interview where they ‘weed out’ the strongest (or weakest depending on how you look at it) candidates to determine which ones best meet the needs of the position and the company. Next they will take this smaller group and schedule face-to-face interviews.
How do you prepare?
Another challenge is the long pause….the interviewer often is taking notes or looking over your resume to ask more questions but you can’t see this so you begin to wonder what is wrong. You also can’t see their facial expression after a response to know how they reacted.
Practice! Ask a friend or family member if they will allow you to practice a phone interview. Give them your resume and the job posting and have them go through the motions of asking questions about your experience, timing your responses and inserting a long pause to see how you react. It won’t be perfect but it will help to put you at ease for the interview that really counts!
It’s over….now what?
The phone interview should be treated no differently than a face-to-face interview. You evaluate how you think you did, send a thank you email reiterating your interest in the position and working for their company and clean up or a particular question where you think your response wasn’t quite what you truly wanted to say. Just make sure you are only clarifying your response to one question not the entire interview.