The First Formal Phone Interview

For most job seekers, this will be their first real interview. All types of questions are possible and you will be interviewed by members of the hiring team. You will receive follow-up questions based on your resume and possible job qualification questions and, you will most likely receive behavioral questions for the first time in the interview process. To help prepare for this interview, we have some additional tips:

1. Began preparing for Behavioral Interview Questions. Since behavioral questions will begin to take on a larger aspect with this interview, it is important to allocate a good part of your preparation time to answer those questions. To do this to the fullest:
a. Make a list of possible job skills from your job description.
b. Make two positive examples from your work or education experience that show how you have a certain job skill.
c. Make two negative examples from your work or education experience that show how you have used certain job skill.
d. Go back over the examples and fill them in with as much content detail you can find and remember. It is best to find actual numbers and know dates and timelines.
e. Practice your answers to these behavioral questions for each job skill by stating these examples. As you practice these examples, adjust your answers to make them sound more professional and clear-cut. Ultimately, you want to make it so someone who knows nothing about your field would be able to follow it and you also want to have enough facts available that you can satisfactorily answer follow-up questions.
f. For the negative examples, choose ones that are minor issues. In addition, make sure you take responsibility for what happened. Do not blame others for the problem. Merely state this is what happened and how you addressed the issue or what you would do differently now. Bottom line is that by preparing for these negative behavioral questions, you will help ensure to put your best face forward.

2. Be ready for follow-up questions on resume- related and job qualification questions. Be prepared to answer more fully questions about your resume and how your skills fit the job description. When answering each question, be sure to drive home your strengths and if appropriate, provide them with some of the company information you have learned.

3. Make the interview a conversation. Try to turn the interview into a conversation. Recognize the interviewer(s) will have ask some questions, but there is no reason why it can’t take on a warm and conversational tone. Be warm and cheerful throughout the interview and you will more likely win over the interviewer. Remember this is not an interrogation, it is a conversation.

4. Get interviewer contact information for thank you letters. As always, get their contact information during the interview so you can send them a thank you letter and also ask them when you can expect to hear from them regarding the next round of the interview process.

5. Tell them you want the position. If nothing else, tell them you want the position. Even if you are not that interested in the position, make it clear to them you want the job by specifically stating it. Do not assume they will figure it out. If they know you want the job, they are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when deciding whether to advance you to the next round.

With these phone interview tips, you should have the knowledge to help get you to the on-site interviews.

A job interview can be a challenging experience where you are asked all types of different questions that at first can seem like a personal interrogation. To help you fight back, we have put together a list of the different types of job interview questions. Armed with this information, you should be well on your way to taking back control over the interview.

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