Phone Interviews Are you ready? Kelli Greene University Recruiting

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1 Phone Interviews Are you ready? Kelli Greene University Recruiting

2 Why telephone interviews? It has become more common for employers to use telephone interviews (also known as phone screens) as a way of conducting first round interviews with candidates. Phone interviews are often used to give the recruiter a better understanding of a candidate s qualifications and interest. A phone interview could be conducted by a recruiter, but are also widely used when a hiring manager requests multiple team members to speak with a candidate. This gives the hiring manager a more complete perspective and greatly assists with the hiring decision. 2

3 The problem with the phone Although gathering information is the primary focus in a phone interview, it is sometimes different to get a good feel for all of the candidates skills and personality Voice projection and language difficulties can lead to unclear answers to questions and slow down the phone interview leaving both the interviewer, and the candidate frustrated. Eye to eye contact is completely eliminated and both parties don t have the ability to visually assess each other s reactions to questions and answers. The traditional greeting, and exit, with a firm handshake is not possible. 3

4 Make your mark You ve worked hard for this chance. You ve taken all the right courses, studied until you re so tired your head is bobbing up and down. But now, you re ready to take that next step. The corporate world. Your phone interview should be recognized as the shining moment of all your hard work. Make it work for you. your mark. Make Your phone interview if your first chance to make a lasting, professional impression!

5 Be prepared While you are active in your job search, you should always be prepared for a phone interview. A recruiter or hiring manager could call at a moment s notice and want to spend a few minutes gathering preliminary information. The following are a few tips to help you feel prepared for your phone interview 5

6 Do your homework! It is critical to visit the company website and review recent press releases, new product announcements, and key leaders. What is the company working on key initiatives? What are the employees interested in? What products do you use? How do they impact your life? Should you be asked about a product or service that you don t know about, be honest and say I am not familiar with that product/service/event. I have made a note and will be researching that information for our next discussion. 6

7 What are you interviewing for? Have you read the job description / posting? Do you understand it? 1. Job Summary 2. Education Requirements 3. Professional Experience 4. Technical / Business Skills Do you qualify? Print out a copy of the job description / posting, or have it in front of you on your laptop. Be prepared to review the position and provide information on your qualifications. 7

8 Practice, Practice, Practice! Consider sitting in front of a mirror while you prepare for your interview. Your facial expressions come through your voice and practicing your opening statement with enthusiasm and a smile on your face will make a huge difference in how you are heard over the telephone! Smile! Practice your interview techniques with a friend. Together, you can help each other with feedback and boost your confidence! If you re feeling a little silly in front of the mirror practicing for your interview, don t worry! Your dress rehearsal will truly boost your confidence during your real performance! 8

9 Your opening statement Be sure to develop a list of your strengths and an opening statement (also known as your elevator pitch) which should be brief yet convey your areas of interest and general qualifications. Practice your opening statement -- also known as your elevator pitch. Keep your statement to a maximum of two sentences. Don t over-sell yourself. Your delivery should be genuine. My name is Kelli Greene and my interests lie in University Recruiting, with a focus on professional development and personal branding. I hope to work with both technical and business operations students to help them realize their professional goals. 9

10 Preparing for your interview Place your resume in front of you highlight areas that you want to be sure to focus on such as: Education Professional Experience Key Achievements Challenging Projects Have a pen and paper handy for note taking and turn call-waiting off to avoid any interruptions. If the recruiter calls at a time where you cannot give your full attention, it is ok to request an alternate time to speak. 10

11 Location Location Location! Do not conduct your call in a coffee shop, library, or other public place where there will be background noise. Also, you may need to provide some personal information that you don t want others to hear. Unless you re confident that your cell phone service will not be interrupted or unsuitable for a clear conversation, you should consider using a land line. Do not answer any text messages, incoming calls, or use your computer while speaking with your interviewer. 11

12 Mind your manners! If your interview is pre-scheduled, do not be late to either place, or receive the call. Do not chew gum, eat, or smoke during your interview. Ask the interviewer for their full name and correct spelling. Use the person s title (Mr. or Ms.) unless they direct you to use their first name. Ask the interviewer for their address so you can send a thank you . 12

13 During your interview Keep a glass of water or hot tea handy in case your mouth becomes dry. Speak slowly and clearly. If English is not your first language, this tip is critical as your interviewer may have difficulty understanding each word. If you are asked to repeat something, do so slowly and ask your interviewer if they need additional information. Don t interrupt the interviewer. Take your time it s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts. Give short, complete answers. 13

14 Wrapping up your interview Thank the interviewer for his/her time and be sure to take the time to hear their response. If there were any areas of the interview that you, or the interviewer, needed follow up, repeat those action items to the interviewer. After you thank the interviewer ask if it would be possible to meet in person or what next steps are. Wish the interviewer a good rest of the day! 14

15 After the interview Take notes about what you were asked and how you answered. Take action on additional information they suggest you acquire, and learn, prior to those next steps. Write a thank you note to the interviewer. This can be in the form of an , or a hand-written note. Send your thank you within 24 hours of your interview. If your interviewer did not provide you with their address, send the message to the recruiting coordinator who scheduled your interview. They will be most happy to forward along your message to the interviewer. 15

16 After the interview (continued) Note any questions or comments for your next conversation. If a suggestion to make changes to your resume was discussed, make the appropriate changes and forward updated version to the interviewer with a note thanking them for their input and reference the updated version attached. 16

17 Questions? 17

18 Good luck on your phone interviews! Kelli Greene University Recruiting

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