How to Ace a Phone Interview

Often the first step in the interview process, is a phone interview, which could be between you and a recruiter, hiring manager or a team lead. The purpose of this initial call, is to do several things.

  1. Ask you some basic qualifying questions
  2. Check out your interest level
  3. Check out your communication style

This may be your only opportunity to get your foot in the door for a full interview, so you’ll want to impress your caller. Here are some tips:

Prepare for Your Phone Interview

Just like an in-person interview, you should do your homework before the call. Take 30 minutes to organize your thoughts and information before you speak with the interviewer.

1. Research your caller by looking at their LinkedIn profile and look for something you have in common. Perhaps you attended the same school or have a common connection. If the opportunity presents itself, make a comment about this commonality – it will warm them up to you.
2. Research the company and the position. Look at the company website and at the very least, know what market they serve and what their key products are. Read recent press releases and be aware of what they bring to their market. Also look for a detailed job description and have it handy during your phone interview.
3. Compile a few questions for your caller. It’s always good to have two or three questions ready for when your interviewer is done with their questions and they ask you “do you have any questions?” If they don’t, they could be pressed for time and it is perfectly ok to allow them to end the call. You can save your questions for the next step or the next interview. Check out our post on Interview Questions here.

During Your Phone Interview

See what to do during the phone interview and read the complete article

The Six Real Responsibilities of a Job Seeker

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People with a background in sales understand basic sales principles and know how to build a sales funnel. They understand lead generation and aren’t afraid of rejection because they know it’s part of the process. Job seekers are sales professionals and should understand what the job duties are in their new role. The responsibilities of a sales professional closely mirror those of a job seeker, as a matter of fact, these ARE actual responsibilities taken from a sales job posting:

 

  • Develop new and manage existing relationships by systematic outreach and follow up
  • Perform prospecting on the phone and in person to build a pipeline of opportunities
  • Strategically manage online and offline brand promotion
  • Increase contact volume and enhance image in the community
  • Plan and implement a marketing strategy/campaign
  • Write strong technical and marketing materials
  • Monitor activities and performance to ensure activities meet or exceed established plan. Just as sales professionals must identify the companies who need their product or service; who could use your services. Sales professionals develop a large pipeline of potential customers, not just those who have an immediate need. Their prospective customer includes anyone who could potentially use their product. The million dollar question is: How? Sales professionals target customers in different ways. One way is by identifying similar products they may use. In your case, look at companies who already employ people who do what you do. Search LinkedIn for job titles and see which companies have your job. Or you could look at what companies are doing. Are they growing? Did they win a new contract? You can identify companies that will have a future need for the problem your services solve. Once you have identified these targets, you would create a sales pitch for each individual company based on what they would gain by using your service.

 

1) Develop relationships and build a pipeline. Just as sales professionals must identify the companies who need their product or service; you must identify companies who could use your services. Sales professionals develop a large pipeline of potential customers, not just those who have an immediate need. Their prospective customer includes anyone who could potentially use their product. The million dollar question is: How? Sales professionals target customers in different ways. One way is by identifying similar products they may use. In your case, look at companies who already employ people who do what you do. Search LinkedIn for job titles and see which companies have your job. Or you could look at what companies are doing. Are they growing? Did they win a new contract? You can identify companies that will have a future need for the problem your services solve. Once you have identified these targets, you would create a sales pitch for each individual company based on what they would gain by using your service.

4) Have a strategy and measure it. Having a strategy means more than applying to every job that looks interesting. Purposely focus on companies and people who you know could use your services. We call this target marketing and it happens in advance of a job posting. Don’t overlook the power of connecting with recruiters, which means more than just sending them your resume. Now measure it.

How many people did you reach out to this week? How many new leads or contacts did you get? How many jobs did you apply to? How many interviews did you have? How many hours did it take you to do all this?

Have you ever seen a sales professional’s weekly progress report? These are the kinds of metrics they are asked to track. You should too.

See all 6 responsibilities and the complete USNews article

10 Tips For Job Seekers Over 50

Cheryl Simpson

Although the US economy is heating up, competition for open jobs remains fierce as the long-term unemployed and long-time employed return to or enter the market.

What does this mean for you if you are over 50 and seeking a new role? It means it’s time to get your game on:

1. Restrict the work history reported at length on your resume and LinkedIn profile to the last 15 years.

Recruiters know your experience and skills can expire like an old loaf of bread (without the mold), which is why the majority of them prefer to see only your more recent experience on your resume and profile. List the last 15 years of your experience in both locations and include your employment dates so they can see you have nothing to hide.

2. Eliminate the education dates on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Likewise, dates included on resumes and LinkedIn profiles for education, coursework, affiliations, awards, or any other details will also cause your candidacy to be overlooked in cases where less than 15 years of experience is requested. I would strongly suggest “whitewashing” these documents of all such pre-2000 dates.

See all 10 tips and the complete Careerealism article

9 Important Questions You Should Ask In Your Next Job Interview

An interview is not just a chance to get grilled by another hiring manager or executive recruiter, it’s a chance for you to gain a better understanding of whether the job is a good fit for you.

Also, because this will be the first impression the company has of you, it’s imperative that you ask good, smart questions that will impress the interviewer. That means, you’re going to need to prepare some questions ahead of time to help you learn more about the position you’re interviewing for.

Every interview will be different, and you’ll need to tweak your questions based on the job you’re applying for. But to get you going in the right direction, we’ve compiled a list of 9 key questions to ask in your next interview. Remember not to let your nerves get the best of you and start shooting off questions one after the other. You’ll want to ask your questions in the appropriate context and weave them into the interview as you go.

3. Do you have any concerns about my success in this position?

This is one of the best questions you can pose during an interview. By asking about an interviewers concerns you gain the opportunity to better explain and reassure them that you are the right fit. Maybe you forgot to mention volunteer work you’ve done or perhaps you didn’t include your high school German class in your , résumé, whatever their concerns, when you ask– you get the rare chance to address their hesitations before it effects their final decision.

 4. How does the company measure success?

Knowing how a company measures success goes a long way in revealing the values of the company. It’s also an indicator of what will be expected of you. Does the company measure success in profits, customer satisfaction, or efficiency? It is impossible to succeed if you don’t know how your success will be measured.

6. What are the most crucial achievements you’d like to see a new hire accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?

Again, accountability in a company is a good thing. It keeps employees on track with achieving the goals that the company has set for them. Understanding where you need to be and what markers you need to hit at a given point gives you something to work towards and celebrate once it’s achieved.

See all 9 questions and the complete SuccessFastLane article

9 Surprising Interview Tips to Help You Clinch Your Dream Job

Your dream job is within your grasp. You have swotted up on the company – you can name its Chief Executive Officers all the way back to the day it started. This is an important job; the job you have been aiming for all your career. You have had the tour, you know the premises inside out. You know the product. You KNOW the company. Now all you need to do is clinch it. Your time is NOW.

And then, it could all go pear-shaped, as they say. An epic fail of gargantuan proportions. You dry up. Your mouth is not connected with your brain, or even worse in some cases, there is no off button. Everything in your brain comes tumbling out, in a completely random order.

You are making a mess of it. It is a nightmare. But you can wake up from it with these 9 rather surprising interview tips, amassed over the years from thousands of interviews across all sectors.

A word of caution:

You need to gauge the panel sat in front of you and you need to measure the risk of how some of these tips will go down with them. In some interview situations, they can work a treat but in others they can fall completely flat.

You only have seconds to create a favourable impression and faffing about telling jokes may not be the way you want to start the conversation. However, during the interview, as you feel more comfortable, you may feel you need to add some zest and zing so that they see a different side to you.

Hence, proceed with caution – it is your responsibility how well you come across.

Let’s begin.

Tip 4- Be nice to EVERYBODY:

You will be amazed at how much sway the receptionist can have in telling a panel member how rude/ignorant/uncommunicative x candidate was when they arrived, etc.

Wherever you go in the building, whoever you talk to, assume they have the authority to hire or fire you – and treat them as such. It pays to be nice.

Tip 5- Honesty works:

Many interviewees are nervous and anxious, which is understandable. In some cases, it can help to ‘admit’ to these nerves. But, before you think this will make you look like a dribbling wreck, turn it on its head; by acknowledging some of these anxious behaviours, you will make yourself more comfortable…and people hire people they are comfortable with!

Tip 9- Follow up:

95% of candidates, if they are unsuccessful, leave it at that, but rather than phoning and asking why you didn’t get the job, write to them thanking them for interviewing you and outlining what you gained from the experience. You never know, if a job arises in the near future, they may just contact you.

See all 9 interview tips and the complete UnderCoverRecruiter article

7 Questions That Will Knock the Socks Off Your Interviewer

“Do you have any questions for me?” is the inevitable question you’ll hear at the end of any interview. You should always ask the interviewer questions at that point to show that you’re truly interested in the job. Asking the right questions can impress the interviewer—it can make you look thoughtful and enthusiastic. And don’t forget that interviewing is also a two-way street: It’s your chance to find out if the company is the right fit for you.

3. What are some challenges the team is facing, and how do you hope the new hire will help in those obstacles?

This question shows that you’re serious about doing what it takes to succeed if you get hired, and the interviewer’s answer will help you get a better idea of what to expect at this role. This will also help give you a sense of current situation of the team and the company to see if your skills and experience match what they are looking for.

5. How would you describe the company culture?

This is a good question because it not only shows your interest in fitting in, but you can also figure out if you’ll be happy in the working environment.

See all 7 questions and the complete article