So you’ve finally heard back from one of the job postings you’ve applied to, and you were able to schedule an introductory phone interview. Well, congrats! But there is more work to be done. A phone interview is often the first step for companies to gauge your interest in the job and your ability to understand what you’re applying for.
Shockingly, a high percentage of job applicants do not take the time to carefully read the job descriptions on the application, or do background research on the company they are applying to. The candidates who fail to perform these simple tasks are easily identified by recruiters, and subsequently removed from the applicant pool.
Preparing for a phone screen or an interview is essential to interview success. It is very clear to the interviewer if you bring a thoughtful understanding of the role and company and are looking to learn more, or if you are asking simple questions you could have learned from the job posting or google.
There are a few things you should know prior to an interview that will ensure you are well-prepared:
- First, carefully read and analyze the job description. Make sure you can describe the role in your own words and you understand what you would be responsible for if given this role.
- Next, think critically about what skills and traits are necessary for one to be successful in this role; and be prepared to articulate how you possess these skills and traits with examples.
- Now research the company as a whole, learn about their structure, their target market, their mission. Read articles and press releases. If they have a blog, read a few posts.
- Finally, prepare some questions about the company’s products, services, or challenges of the position. Asking questions shows that you’ve done your research and are truly interested in the role.
Remember to be confident and respectful on the call or at the interview, and be yourself. If you’ve done your research and prepared your questions ahead of time, the interview will feel more like a conversation, not an interrogation.