How to prepare for a phone screening interview

Phone screening interviews are usually a necessary first step to graduate to an in-person interview with a hiring manager. How can you make sure you are selected to move on?

Be Prepared!

1. Have all information about the contact and position in front of you, water in case you have a dry throat, your calendar, questions you’d like to ask the company, and answers to questions you may be asked.

2. Pause when necessary between questions to give yourself time to prepare an answer. Rephrase the question if you need to.

3. Walk around, smile, use hand gestures, or whatever you can do to make you feel you are in the same room with the interviewer.

4. Study the position description carefully and have answers to all the requirements listed and prepare answers to potential questions related to your qualifications.

5. Ask for the interviewer’s name (ask for the correct spelling) and contact information so you can send a thank you note.

If you are unprepared when they call:

Let them know how glad you are they called, but let them know you are (in the middle of an appointment, driving in a car, at work, or otherwise unavailable at the moment). Ask for a specific time/day when you can call them back.

What they are looking for:

1. Do you meet the basic qualifications for the job?
2. Are you answers consistent with the information on your resume?
3. Do you thoroughly understand the position?
4. Are you excited, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about the position and the company?
5. Do you ask relevant questions?

Immediately after the call:

Write a thank you letter to the person with whom you spoke and mention high points of the interview, as well as supplemental information you thought of after the conclusion of the interview.

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