Moving on to the next stage in the interview process solely depends on how you’ve handled the phone portion of the interview. This can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re new to job search. You can forget the company name, or the job title you’ve applied for, especially if you’ve sent in a large number of resumes.
Here are some common phone interview scenarios to help you prepare:
1. “What job is this again?” Be sure to track and reference each job you’ve applied for to make the search process easier (and avoid having to ask this question). Remember that from the recruiter’s point of view, their job posting is the only one you’ve applied for. Still, we can all become busy or tired and forget in the moment.
If this happens to you, feel free to ask and clarify the job he or she is calling about.
2. Taking a call in public. You may get a call from a company when you’re not at home or unable to answer the phone. If this happens, don’t hesitate to ask for a reschedule so that you can be more prepared and comfortable. This will also help you make the right impression. If you’re taking a call from your smartphone (regardless of the timing), make sure you have quick access to files, including the resume you used when you applied for the job.
3. Clueless about the interview format. Today, there are no specific guidelines for interviews. Since companies have their own take on interviews, you might want to brace yourself for the unexpected. No matter what the setup is, make sure you’re fully prepared.
4. No introduction. If you’re asked to say something about yourself, you may miss out due to anxiety. If the recruiter asks you to tell him or her about yourself, explain why you are the perfect fit for the job. Use your top four qualifications and match them with the job description. Keep your response at around a minute, and include the reason why you are interested in working for the company.
5. Talking about salary range. Always do your research before handing in your resume. This includes knowing the salary range for the job you’ve applied for, and what the typical salary is for the job in your local area.
You can use salary calculators and industry contacts to gauge the salary you’re expecting. Don’t present a range that’s too low or too high — it can take you off the list of prospective candidates.
6. Lacking qualifications. Know how to convince the company that you can make up for any key areas where you fall short. Figure out how to bridge the gap by talking to people in your field. You shouldn’t feel you’re at a significant disadvantage if you think you don’t have everything they’re looking for. Instead, do what you can to find out more about the position and learn about the job’s responsibilities.