Now that you’ve polished your resume and applied for the job, the next step is to wait for an employer call you in for an official job interview.
But if you think you can get away with conducting extensive research on a company ONLY AFTER receiving the interview invitation, you might be surprised.
Did you know that recruiters usually conduct phone interviews to screen candidates before inviting them to in-person job interviews? So don’t let them catch you unprepared!
Why do some employers insist on conducting phone interviews before in-person ones?
- Employers receive hundreds of applications, and it is simply not possible to invite every shortlisted candidate for a formal job interview.
- This could be a deliberate strategy to catch candidates off guard and see how well they know about the company they applied to. It’s also a quick way to gauge candidates’ personalities and values before committing time and resources to call them in for an official interview.
- With a phone interview, they will only need 5 to 10 minutes to see if they should proceed with the candidate.
So, what can you anticipate from a phone interview? Before you pick up the phone, here are a few things you should do to prepare yourself:
1. Do your research
Unfortunately, there’s really no way of knowing when the phone call will come. To ensure you don’t end up Googling the company information during the phone interview, do proper research on the company even before you send in your application.
You can do this by visiting their company profile on Hiredly, their website, or social media like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to see what they’ve been up to. Find out as much as you can about the company’s operations. You should learn about who they are, what they do, their recent achievements as well as their mission and values.
Regardless of the situation, it is wise to find out about the company and what the role entails before applying at all. We advise only applying for jobs you’ve done thorough preparation and research on.
2. Go somewhere private and quiet
This keeps you from getting distracted and lets you concentrate on the conversation better.
If you’re in a public setting, simply inform the recruiter that you need a moment to find a quiet space where you may speak without any distractions. They’ll definitely appreciate the undivided attention!
3. Take notes
Even if you’ve done your homework on the company, it’s easy to forget what you learned when you’re actually in the conversation (for some of us this is especially true when we get nervous!)
Take advantage of the fact you won’t be seen; the perk of a phone interview is that you can take notes! Organise your thoughts and note important topics you expect to be asked about as well as their potential answers.
Think of your phone interview as an open-book test!
For easy reference, write down a list of interesting facts you learned about the employer in bullet points. Maybe they recently reached 100,000 followers on LinkedIn or had a recent company celebration that looked really exciting to you! Whatever piques your interest, find a way to show them that you’re in the know about the company’s development.
Besides preparing you for the interview, taking notes will also help you remember what was discussed during the conversation – especially handy for important details to follow up with in the future.
4. Don’t just answer questions, ask some yourself
Despite prior research, there might still be things about the company or role you’re curious about. The end of the phone call is the perfect time for this. Use this time to ask about the job scope or dig into the company culture a little more.
Asking questions will show your genuine interest in the company, so it’s always a good step.
On the contrary, if you don’t have any questions to ask, you might risk seeming uninterested in the role or company (even if you actually are!).
If you’re stumped for ideas, here are some good questions to ask:
- “Could you tell me a little bit more about the team?”
- “Can you give me an idea of what this role will entail on a daily basis?”
- “What’s the career path like for a person in this role?”
- “What will the next steps be after this interview?” (Asking this will give you a better idea when you may expect a response).
For more great questions to ask and what it can do for you, check out this article.
5. Send them a thank you note!
Thank them for the phone interview via email, preferably within the same day of the call, and mention how it helped you learn more about the position and the company.
You can also take this opportunity to recap any important points from the conversation, especially if they mentioned what the next steps will be.
Phone calls aren’t always the clearest so by recapping the conversation, you’ll have a proper record of what was discussed and if you misunderstood anything, it will give the employer the chance to clear it up!