After speaking with clients, recruiters, and candidates, the IR team has gained some valuable insights and tips for phone interviews that we would like to share with you. Before a conversation even begins, there are a few crucial things that need to happen. Be prepared!
Do research on these 3 things:
- You need to research the job.
- You need to research the company.
- Timing: be aware of the time zone.
Just to give an example, if you are interviewing to work on the FIRE initiative, we help those candidates out by sending them a FIRE “cheat sheet”. If that’s where you’re headed, we recommend that you study up on FIRE. Are you going to be Interview by PwC? Be knowledgeable about what they’re about. It would also be a good idea to read up on us- on IR.
Some people go into an interview not knowing much about the desired role beyond the listed requirements. Now, that’s understandable if you can’t find a description anywhere, but if that’s not the case, you need to pay attention.
Check if you are calling from a different time zone. Being late for a phone interview is a simple and preventable mistake that could cost you big. Next you need to:
- Understand what the role is.
- Be able to speak about what you do and how it’s relevant. How does your experience relate to what you’re talking about?
Understanding the role ahead of time, you can assess how your strengths make you a great candidate for this specific role. Find out what makes you relevant that will engage the interviewer and make them want to hire you on the spot.
"Relevant" answers the question, "What part of your experience and skill set matches the requirements and description for this position?" Paying attention to these details will make you stand out from the crowd.
Now that you’ve prepped and done your research, here are some tips for when you’re actually engaged in conversation:
Don’t talk too much. There is a time and place for everything. Be strategic about what information you discuss. This is valuable time both for you an the person who took time out of their day to interview you. Don’t take it for granted. And as great as it is to show enthusiasm, control the urge to just throw up your whole life story on the interviewer. This isn't a therapy session. In addition:
- Don’t interrupt the person you are talking to.
- Be a good listener
- Be articulate
- Speak up
Be careful of your tone of voice. You should sound confident but not cocky. Sometimes, without realizing it, candidates come across as uninterested in the role. You definitely don’t want that! Communicate your enthusiasm by amping up your energy in interviews even if it's a little out of your confort zone. Remember, in a phone interview, you are not able to communicate through body language, so the vocal cues you give are more crucial and carry more weight in this style of interview.
There’s not much that can be changed about a person’s personality; however, the inside scoop is that the type of people that interviewers look for are:
- people who take initiative
- people who aren’t afraid to make decisions
Now for a last little piece of advice: Know your own resume front and back. Be able to speak on it and give examples to the interviewer when they ask you questions.
These aren't insanely difficult things to do.
"Tiny tweaks lead to big changes." - Amy Cuddy
Get out there, make some adjustments, and go after your own success.
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