Tips for Phone Screens

Tips for Phone Screens

Russ Mountain, CPC

The most important thing to remember is that you are working towards obtaining a personal, face-to-face meeting with a prospective employer. If you can create the proper first impression on the telephone, your chances of being invited for a personal visit are greatly enhanced. Here are some tips you should keep in mind:

Be enthusiastic and assertive.

Remember that you don’t have the benefits of expression and eye contact to show your excitement and interest. Be ready to provide specific examples of projects and accomplishments which showcase your skills. Avoid speaking too fast, having music or other noises in the background, chewing or smoking, speaking too close to the receiver, or anything that can create an unpleasant first impression image of yourself.

Look at the interview from the interviewer’s perspective. Do not ask questions that appear to be selfishly motivated. This is the most common mistake people make on phone interviews. You should not even bring up the subjects of money or benefits. Your only goal at this point should be selling the company on your skills and experience; talking about money prematurely can only have negative effects.

    Prepare your answers to the obvious questions such as:

  • Why are you leaving your present position? (Have a positive reason for this move).
  • What are your strong/weak points?
  • What were your most significant biggest accomplishments in your last position?
  • What specific projects have you worked on?
  • What contributions can you make to our company?

The best way of answering this last question is to do research on the company you will be interviewing with: check out the company’s web site; do your homework; find out what they are doing, and be prepared to point out how you can help them achieve their goals. As a parting comment, let the potential employer know that you are very interested in the position and why. The enthusiasm you display could be the deciding factor between you and another candidate.

Please call your Rowland & Mountain Account Executive immediately after the phone interview to discuss a follow-up strategy.