With 2018 being a strong candidate-driven market, you are getting more looks from the companies you are interested in. In our first edition of our “You Landed the Interview, Now What?” blog series, we highlighted the different types of job interviews.
The phone interview is an essential part of any recruiting process and is often overlooked. Let’s break down the phone interview to ensure you’re prepared.
Phone Interview with HR or Recruiter
If the call is with HR or a recruiter, this is where you need to know and understand the job description and your resume. You should pull up both on your tablet or laptop, so you can reference them during the conversation. HR is looking for two essential things.
First of all, they want to ensure you’re able to talk the talk and that your experience lives up to your resume and/or cover letter. Let me be clear: Don’t stretch the truth on your job application. This will come back to haunt you in the long run. Again, if you don’t have the exact experience they’re looking for, you need to have clear talking points as to why your skills and background have brought you to this point, as well as why your experience satisfies the hiring manager’s desired qualifications.
To address this, we recommend the three Ps of interviewing, especially if it is a stretch role. Those are practice, prepare and practice again!
Additionally, HR is looking to see if you are a good “cultural fit” with the company.
Generally, here are the questions HR wants to be answered during a phone interview to determine culture fit:
- Does this person add value to the discussion?
- Do they “smile” on the phone?
- Are they enthusiastic?
- Do they seem like a good fit for the organization?
- Do they have awards or other skills that aren’t on the resume/CV that could add value to the organization?
Some companies look for candidates that vibe with their current employees and hold the same values and vision. Others are eager to embrace different skill sets and diversify their team. There are good arguments for both, and it really just depends on where the company and culture are at any given time.
Regardless, HR and recruiters are screening you to make sure you’re a good fit for the position and the company.
Phone Interview with Hiring Manager
If the call is with the hiring manager, you need to embrace the 3 P’s (which we discussed above) and do extensive research on the company, hiring manager, and even the team. Do your research on LinkedIn, (and no, it’s not “unprofessional” to look at their profiles) and search for common ground that can ultimately become talking points during your phone call.
Also, make sure to check out the company’s social media accounts. Corporate social media is a wonderful place to get a better feel for the company, check out any recent press releases, or even product launches. (This can also often give you a sneak peek into their company culture!) Remember, they will be doing the same with your social accounts. Do an online audit of yourself and make sure everything is professional.
Again, like with a phone call with HR or a recruiter, have any necessary documents you need in front of you to reference during the interview.
Above all else, be yourself and be confident in your skills. You got this!