Once your resume or linkedin profile has gauged the attention of a recruiter, normally what follows is an initial phone interview or “phone screen”.
This is typically goods news as it shows that the professional profiling (resume, cover letter, Linkedin, etc) you’re presenting is getting through and gauging the attention of the right people.
First impressions are critical in the hiring process so it’s very important that you impress from the start - even if it’s just with the HR Assistant.
Listed below are 3 Pathways To Phone Interview Mastery.
Immediately Convey That You Cover the Criteria
In the first call, normally the recruiter or hr advisor isn’t going to be drilling you with heavy interview questions.
The basis of the first call is normally to define relevance between yourself and the role.
Hence, you need to find a way to convey as quickly as possible that you cover all the criteria they need for the position.
The best way to do this is to closely study the job description for the role and then before the interview, list out all the things you believe to be key deliverables for the position.
Once you get on the phone, without dragging on too far, touch upon your strengths in these areas or mention an example of when you have succeeded or achieved in a similar capacity in the past.
Show That You Are Truly Interested in the Role
During the first call, the recruiter is looking for relevance between yourself and the role, but they are also looking to see how interested you are in the business and the position.
If you have a scheduled phone interview set with a recruiter, don’t be walking your dog in the wind at the beach or doing your grocery shopping in a crowded supermarket.
Part of showing interest is giving your full and undivided attention to the process, so show that you give a damn and be awaiting the call in a quiet room where you have full phone reception.
If you’re an expat worker and out on site or somewhere with poor phone coverage, recommend to the recruiter that whatsapp or skype is the best communication method.
It’s always good to do some research on the project, business and if you know a thing or two about the team you’ll be working in, drop some info you're aware of.
Remember the recruiter has a responsibility to ensure that the candidates they are passing through to the line manager are 100% on board and interested.
Solidify That You Are a Strong Culture Fit
Detailing your skills relevance and interest in the position are just two of things you need to conquer in the phone interview.
You also need to show very early on that you are a strong cultural fit for the role.
If you can’t work well with the team around you, you’ll most likely be shown the door very early on and your skillset and experience won’t be much use to anyone.
Showing cultural fit can sometimes be a hard one to execute in a preliminary phone interview if you don’t know much about the company.
A few things you can do is study the businesses online presence via their website, Linkedin, Facebook, etc.
Even a quick google search to see if there has been any articles published on work done in the community or similar.
You can also privately ask your peers or professional network what they know of the company culture.
Following abit of research, assuming you parallel with the company culture, make it clear that your values align during the call.
Interviews are always going to be tricky to navigate as there is no set blueprint and all businesses are different.
However, using the points above, you can be sure that you’ll be well positioned to successfully execute the phone interview and on track to the “real” or face to face interview.
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