A phone interview is typically the very first step in an interview process, and a surprising number of candidates do not get through that initial step. When we have a candidate that we know is technically qualified for the role, and yet they do not proceed to the next step in the process, we know that they bombed the phone interview for something that could have been easily correctable if they knew how to properly prepare for the telephone meeting.
ISC’s team of experienced headhunters has put together this list of suggestions to help candidates fully prepare for a telephonic meeting, in order to move forward to the next step, and ultimately land the job of their dreams.
If the hiring manager calls unexpectedly without pre-arranging through your recruiter, it is perfectly acceptable to try to re-schedule so you can be sufficiently prepared. Say that you have a conflict and suggest a time you or they can call back. When you call back, be prepared for the call just as you would for a full-dress interview.
Arrange to be in a place where you can speak openly / freely, with a minimum of background noise. Avoid a cell phone, if at all possible.
Be sure to have the following within reach:
The Techniques of a Pro
Bring it Home!!
Show Your Enthusiasm!!
Even if you are not naturally an ebullient person, practice showing enthusiasm for the role and expressing interest in moving forward in the interview process.
Role playing can be very helpful in this instance. We occasionally get feedback from hiring managers that the individual did not seem engaged during the interview and interpret that to mean that they are not sincerely interested in pursuing the opportunity, only to hear from the candidate that they are extremely interested in the role. This disconnect happens when people that are not naturally effusive fail to show their enthusiasm. Ask to role play with your recruiter or another trusted advisor, to see if you are successfully showing enthusiasm when role playing.