Right next to an effective resume, the phone interview is the most important step to securing momentum for the all-important invitation to a face-to-face interview.
You would be very surprised how often we encounter clients who determine a candidate did not prepare properly for the phone interview. And likewise, the candidate complains he/she didn’t get a “green light” to be invited to the next step.
Being prepared for your all important phone interview requires these simple, yet effective points:
1. Know the company, their key brands – even pipeline activity – and the therapeutic category you are looking into. Company websites are full of informative facts.
2. Study your resume. Know what’s on it. Recognize relative skill sets/core competencies related to the job description and ask your recruiter to forward a copy of the job description to you for prior review.
3. Be prepared to briefly describe or “walk-thru” a project, strategic plan, or research study that you feel comfortable with and can be discussed without disclosing proprietary information. Hiring managers especially are looking for a thought process – how do you think, approach challenges, etc. Do well here and you are “rounding the bases”!
4. Ask your recruiter for help. Review, rehearse, rethink. Pick his/her brain about any issues, hot buttons, background on the company, interviewer(s), etc.
5. Smile, yes smile while you are on the phone (practice in the mirror!) and be a regular person. Companies want a fit in personality as well as skills and knowledge. Don’t be bashful in brandishing your “human side”. You can be professional and serious and still score points with a fresh, interpersonal, and relational side of yourself.
We have seen these 5 key phone interview steps be valuable assets to the advancement of candidates in the interview process. We trust it will help you as well.