There’s nothing more exciting than getting an email from an executive recruiter telling you you’re scheduled for a phone interview. It means that you’re one step closer to getting that job. But then reality hits.
First impressions last, and you’ll never get a second chance at it. So instead of biting your fingernails and worrying yourself out silly until the day of your phone interview, take advantage of this time to prepare for it.
Here are some ways how you can prepare and ace that all-important phone interview.
Know your CV
It’s vital that you know the contents of your CV very well, especially if it’s been some time since you’ve updated it. Take note of your different responsibilities throughout your work experience. Look at which ones you think would appeal to an executive recruiter and use these as your selling points.
Review the job description
Take some time to review details about the job you’re applying for prior to your phone interview. This will help you pinpoint specific examples in your background that are relevant to the position you’re seeking. That way, you’re able to show your ability to do the job.
Pay attention to the company
Get to know more about your potential employer and the organisation you’re hoping to join. Visit their website and try to understand as much as you can about their line of business and growth potential. More important, find out what are the qualities that the organisation is looking for in potential candidates. You can then prepare your responses so that you can highlight your traits so that you match the corporate culture observed in that organisation.
Review your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile plays an important role in your phone interview because it gives executive recruiters more details about you. Many executive recruiters peek into a potential candidate’s LinkedIn profile to also check for accuracy in the information listed in their CV. They’ll also check the people and groups you’re connected with as well as any feedback people have about you.
That said, it’s important to review your LinkedIn profile and update your most recent work experience, professional accomplishments, and advancements. If you can, try to get some notable people in your network to leave recommendations and feedback about working with you.
Get ready for questions
Lots of potential candidates don’t make it pass the phone interview is they end up getting rattled when the interviewer begins asking questions.
The key to acing a phone interview is to answer the questions thrown to you in a calm, confident, and professional manner. One way to do this is to have your notes about your work experience handy so that you can quickly scan through them during the interview.
Another way is to get help from an interview coach. An interview coach will recreate a realistic interview session based on the job you are applying for, including the different questions that recruiters will ask. He or she can also give you suggestions and tips on how to improve your answers so that you leave a really good impression on the recruiter.
Prepare your questions
Remember that an interview is a two-way street. If you want to ace your phone interview, you need to also show you’re able to strike up an intelligent conversation. The way to do this is by preparing relevant questions for your upcoming interview.
Here are some suggestions:
- What benchmarks does the organisation use to evaluate the performance of employees in the department you’ll be joining?
- What are the main business goals of the company?
- What professional development opportunities do you make available for employees?
- What does the interviewer like most about working in the company?
Asking these questions does two things. First, it helps you figure out what the recruiter is looking for in a potential candidate. This will help you focus on which examples in your background to highlight.
Second, it gives you an insider’s view into the organisation and the culture there. This will help you decide if you’ll enjoy working here or not.
Give your expected compensation package
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make during a phone interview is not telling the interview your expected compensation package.
Job seekers presume that if they lay this down, they’ll come across as arrogant. On the contrary, recruiters prefer that you let them know how what you’re expecting to get the moment they hire you. It shows them that you’re confident that you can deliver. At the same time, it prevents you from becoming dissatisfied at work because you feel you’re underpaid.
Be calm during the phone interview
Don’t let the jitters get the best of you during your interview. When you’re nervous, you won’t be able to think clearly. Your voice will sound shaky on the phone, and you won’t come across as a confident and professional candidate.
A good trick is to keep a stress ball nearby as you’re doing your phone interview. Whenever you start feeling nervous, grab it and release your nervousness on it. Have notes ready so that you can go through them quickly.
Walking around during the interview is fine. This not only helps you get rid of your nervousness, but it also makes you sound enthusiastic throughout the interview.
Also, don’t forget to smile, even if the recruiter can’t see you. Smiling while talking affects your voice tone over the phone. It makes you come across as someone pleasant and friendly.
When you take the time to prepare for your phone interview, you’ll be more able to sell yourself better. It only requires a few minutes a day, but it will be worth every second.