Ep. 055: How to Nail Your Next Phone Interview, with Hannah Morgan

Employers may use phone interviews to save time, get a sense of an applicant’s personality and test their skill level. This phone screening saves an employer time allowing them to weed out those who may not have essential skills needed for the open position. Job applicants do not always know when a hiring manager or recruiter will be calling to conduct an interview. If you are caught unprepared or your situation is not ideal to respond to their questions,  it is perfectly acceptable to ask the interviewer to reschedule the call. But, be sure to ask for their number, so the follow-up task belongs to you — not the interviewer. Guest expert, Hannah Morgan says it is a good idea to do your homework and research the company and job posting thoroughly before the phone interview. She says it is best to prepare yourself with stories and examples of times you succeeded in completing similar tasks required for the job and focus on the positive outcomes. Use the company’s website to find out about its mission statement and who its customers are. The more you know the more relaxed you will be during the interview. Background research also helps you to prepare a list of questions to help you gain insights about your possible future employer. Pro Tip: Your questions should be different if you are speaking with a manager in the division you wish to work in than if you are speaking with a person in Human Resources. Non-verbal body language is important during a phone interview. Try these tried and true techniques: Stand up or walk around during the interview. This opens up your diaphragm and projects your voice. Smile while speaking. It enhances your voice. Don’t talk over the interviewer. Take a moment before answering questions to ensure you don’t interrupt. Dress in business attire. Studies show people feel more confident when they are dressed up. Always end the conversation with questions about possible timeframes for filling the opening, when you should expect to hear back from the employer and  anything else you don’t want to be left wondering about. Hannah says some job seekers will even end with a trial close. The question “Can you think of any reason why you wouldn’t move me forward in the process?” allows applicants to clarify any possible misunderstandings and to overcome objections. Show courtesy and always send a thank you note! Hannah Morgan Bio Hannah Morgan is the founder of Career Sherpa.net Her talks, blog posts, and books offer no-nonsense, actionable advice to active and passive job seekers.  Hannah writes a weekly column for U.S. News a World Report and is the author of The Infographic Resume, published by McGraw-Hill Education. For additional career-related information follow Hannah on Twitter @careersherpa. Ben’s Job Search Resources: Ben shares a blog post titled, Can I Turn Down a Skype Interview and Suggest a Phone Call Instead?, from the Ask a Manager blog which is managed by Allison Green. The article suggests it is OK to request a phone call based on the available technology. Jenna’s Find Your Dream Job Listener Question: Ben, Jenna and Mac respond to Nathan Brennan’s question — “Is there a good way to respond to an unsolicited salary rate a recruiter presents to you over the phone?” If you would like the team to answer a job-related question, email it to jenna@macslist.org or call her at 716-JOB-TALK. Or if you’ve found a job resource you think everyone should know about, send it to ben@macslist.org and tell him how it has helped you find your dream job. These segments are sponsored by the 2016 edition of Hack the Hidden Job Market Course. The course launches November 1st — Lock in your early bird pricing now. If you like this show, please help us by rating and reviewing our podcast on iTunes. We appreciate your support! Opening and closing music for Find Your Dream Job provided by Freddy Trujillo, www.freddytrujillo.com.

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