Post # 1
I’m currently unemployed. After weeks of applying to stuff, I finally landed an interview for a position that I’m really excited about.
That said, it’s not a normal interview. It’s a 15-minute “first round” phone interview, and I have no idea how to prepare for it. To make things extra-weird, I sort of know the interviewer (though not super well), and we have a casual, colleague-y vibe to our interactions. She’s a salaried worker in my field, and I’m a freelancer. That’s neither here nor there, but I thought I’d contextualize the situation. Of course, I’ll be professional and friendly–I just don’t want to come across as too casual and chummy over the phone (and it’s so hard to get a feel for tone over the phone).
Bees, do you have any experience with (short) phone interviews? Any suggestions on how I should prepare? Any thoughts on what she might ask me in such a short amount of time? The interview’s on Monday and I’m trying not to freak out too much.
Thanks for your help!
Post # 3
I interview a lot of candidates at my job so I have some background on this. Our phone interviews are usually just a 30-min screen to see if the person is well-spoken, knows about the job details (and has the real experience to fit, aka not lying on their resume to get an interview), and is friendly.
It will most likely be you going through your resume, highlighting your education, and giving more detail on your relevant work experience. If your past work isn’t directly related to this job or is somewhat different, you can prepare by having a list of skills you learned in your last job that would make you a great fit for this job (i.e. working independently day to day but collaborating on group projects, or doing a lot of research to help with client presentations, etc. – whatever applies to the job).
Be friendly, elaborate on any questions you are asked (avoid short responses!), and do NOT get too casual even though you know who the interviewer is. Professionalism comes across on the phone and it’s better to err on the side of more professional than more casual.
Post # 4
@lookingforadvice77: Typically the first phone interview is to weed out anyone who is unqualified but happened to get by HR or has no idea where they applied/applied only in a ‘blanket’ application. You should for sure know:
- Why you want to work there. Do some background research on the company. Even though you’re aquiantences, show her that you’ve done your footwork.
- What specifically makes you qualified to work there AND a good fit for the company. If you know anyone else at the company, you can call and ask what they look for in new employees.
Post # 5
I recently had a phone interview… Be prepared by knowing about the company you have applied for and the role… also dont assume the interviewer knows the company – I talked about how I thought a job would have a lot of processes, procedures, admin etc.. when all I really needed to do was describe the purpose of the role. Be prepared for behavioural questions “what is a scenario you have found challanging? how did you respond?” etc… be prepared for some curve balls and dont be deterred by them. I was asked to list all the uses I could think of for rubber bands and just had to make it work. As for knowing the person knowing you I would be personable but not make small talk the interviews are usually pretty driven by answers and questions (thanks for stating the obvious there) If she knows what you do make sure that the situations and skills you refer to are accurate.
All the best!
Post # 6
@Mrs. Fireworks: Oh, thank you! Is there a portion where you ask people for questions they have about the job? If so, what are some of the best questions you get? TBH, I don’t always know what to ask, beyond basic logistic of the job and/or company.
Post # 7
@beeintraining: Thanks for the input! I know the company pretty well but will definitely do more homework on it.
Post # 8
@EmmaLemma: It’s a little challenging because it’s a new role that they created, but I’ll definitely reread the job description & brainstorm what function I think it will have in the company. Good call on the “challenging scenario” bit. It can be tricky finding a challenging scenario that illustrates why you’d be a good fit for this particular job at the same time. 🙂
And different uses for rubber bands? Seriously? I have no idea what I would say to that…hair tie? Bracelet? Catapult? (Probably not what they were going for…)
Post # 9
@lookingforadvice77: Yes I always save about 7-10 minutes at the end of the call to let the interviewee ask me anything about the company, the team, the role itself, the culture, etc. These are questions I get a lot that are pretty standard:
– What are the personality traits you look for that make someone good at this job? (Similarly – what three words would you use to describe the ideal candidate?)
– What is the team environment like? (I usually talk about the camraderie, everyone eats lunch together, we do a lot of happy hours, etc.)
– What is a normal “day in the life” for a new hire here?
– How many and what types of clients do you have?
– What is the biggest obstacle/hardest thing to learn/most difficult part for new hires?
– How much travel is involved and what is that like?
– What’s your favorite thing about the job/company?
Post # 10
Smile while you talk! You can hear it through the phone and it will give you a friendly vibe. 🙂
Post # 11
Thanks for all your help, ladies! It must’ve been great advice, because I felt really positive about how it went and found out this morning that I got a second interview! I’ll be going into their office in person on Friday. Now here’s hoping that 1) the pay is decent (it’s a part time job in arts admin, so I’m not expecting a ton but REALLY hoping that it will be enough to scrape by for the time being), and 2) they hire me!