The Phone Screen
Most of our clients conduct phone screen interviews before inviting candidates in house for a face-to-face. The phone screen should:
- Allow you to obtain enough information to decide if you would like to proceed with the interview process.
- Give enough information to the hiring manager about your qualifications and to persuade them that a face-to-face interview should be scheduled.
Studio Search arranges most phone screens. We will work with you and the client to schedule the call. We will confirm the date, the person you will be talking with including their role in the company (i.e. hiring manager, in house recruiter or HR representative) and whether the client will call you or you call them.
Preparing for the phone interview is important. The impression you create from the start can determine whether next steps will be scheduled.
When available, Studio Search will provide a job description and information about the company. It is very important you do your own research. Company websites are one of the best sources of information. Find out about the size and structure of the company, its products and markets.
Make a note of any questions you would like to ask. Studio Search should be able to answer basic questions about the company, position and hiring manager. Ask questions that are important to you, especially if your decision to proceed depends upon the answers. Have your questions prepared and written down. It is considered unprofessional to ask about pay or benefits on the first interview. You want to let the company know what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.
Have a notepad and pen ready along with your resume. The hiring manager will have a copy of it, so be prepared to answer questions about your work history and experience.
Prepare mentally, or better still in writing. Studio Search recommends you prepare written answers to basic interview questions. In phone interviews the absence of clues such as body-language and the attitude of the interviewer can have you guessing if you are doing well or boring the interviewer to tears. Prepared answers can help you avoid rambling, telling stories and giving too much detail without actually answering questions. Keep answers brief, detailed and to the point.
The Call - If you have been asked to call at a specific time, call at precisely the correct time. If you can't get through, notify us immediately. Be sure to leave a message to show that you called at the right time. If the hiring manager is calling and you don't receive the call, notify us immediately.
Tone of voice is the most important aspect of this form of interview. Think about how you normally answer the phone at home. When you answer the phone, do so by announcing your name. Sound interesting/interested, energetic and enthusiastic.
Prepare to answer these questions - You can't prepare for every possible question, but there are a few which frequently come up:
- Tell me about yourself!
- What do you know about our company?
- What are you looking for?
- What would you like to know about us? (A good opportunity to ask your prepared questions.)Don't be afraid to ask the tough questions.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses? This may be disguised - 'What areas will you need support and training in?' (Obviously, don't shoot yourself in the foot -'I'm lazy!')
- What else would you like to know?
If you are invited for a face-to-face interview, thank the manager and give us a call. We will work with the client to set up your next interview. We can also get answers to any questions you may have.