PHONE INTERVIEWSKILLS Evelyn P. Hronec CPA, MSA Certified Personnel Consultant Managing Director
Phone Interview SkillsIncreasingly being Very hard toused as the prepare for1st step in theinterview process Your goal during the phone interview is to get a face-to-face interview!
Steps to Acing The Phone Interview Close Ask Questions Set Yourself Apart Highlight Qualifications Build Rapport Prepare Setting upthe Interview
You get the call toschedule a phoneinterview…What do you do?
As happy as you are to get that call, you need to think clearly so you can set yourself up for success.
Setting up for the Phone InterviewThe key is to get as Know with whom youmuch information as will be interviewing.you can about the An interview with HR will beinterview up front so different than an interviewcan prepare. with the Hiring Manager.Clarify that you will be Ask if they have a jobphone screening for the description for thesame position you applied position that they canfor. send you before the phone interview.
Why… So you can determine what skills you possess that make you a fit for the job
Do your homework on the company.Research them. Look at their career pages to see how actively they’re hiring, etc.
Prepare for the Interview Try to find your interviewer and/or hiring manager on Linked In. Maybe you two share some commonalities. Review the job description and list examples of how you’ve performed each required skill set Have specific examples of results and accomplishments handy
Before the Interview Make sure you are somewhere where you are undisturbed Dress for the interview Have in front of you: Your resume The job description Your list of accomplishments A list of references Have handy: A glass of water Pen and paper A calendar to schedule the face to face
Make a Good VerbalImpression The biggest disadvantage with phone interviews is that the only communication is verbal. You will need to show your enthusiasm and sell yourself through the tone and inflection in your voice
Make a Good VerbalImpression Be enthusiastic Try to have fun
Make a GoodImpression How do you do that? Sit up or stand up so your voice projects Put a smile on your face Speak confidently Don’t interrupt Listening skills are especially important here Say “Yes” or “ I see” periodically so they know you are following their conversation. Avoid using “um” or “uhs”
Build Rapport As in the face to face interview, the first five minutes of the phone interview are the most important. They will dictate the subsequent line of questioning. So….try to build rapport!
Build Rapport If you found the interviewer on LinkedIn and have some commonalities, make a comment about it. If you found something interesting or a good article on the company through your research, make a comment. Try using Tonal Parity… A technique where you match the interviewer’s rate of speech, volume and tone.
HighlightQualifications Most phone interviews will consist of a run down of your resume. As with any interview, make sure you can explain gaps, reasons for leaving, why you liked or didn’t like a job, what you learned, etc.
HighlightQualifications Your skills list will help you here to highlight things you did in previous positions that directly relate to requirements of the position you’re interviewing for. Remember, this is a phone interview, so don’t ramble on. Make your answers succinct and interesting enough so the interviewer wants to ask you additional questions (or bring you in for a face to face to hear more!) Listen for signs that they want you to stop talking.
Set YourselfApartThis is your chance to begin the close process. Let the interviewerknow that, based on your discussion, you feel qualified to step into the role and highlight your reasons for thinking so.
Ask Questions Hopefully, you’ve been doing this throughout the phone interview and there are no real urgent questions that need to be asked here. This is a good time to ask: Clarifying questions Chain of command type questions Company culture questions
The Close The CloseThe worst thing you can do is hang up thephone and have no idea what your status is.
Steps to CloseReiterate your interest and excitement about the position Indicate that, based on what you’ve learned about the position, you would be anxious to meet face to face to discuss the position in further detail Ask when they will be scheduling in person interviews
Steps to CloseReiterate your interest and excitement about the position Look at your calendar and indicate when you would be able to meet during that time period and can you set something up now? If they stall on setting up an interview, ask when you can expect to hear from them again
Interviewing Styles A Human Resource Interview: Most likely a rundown of your resume to confirm facts and explain reasons for leaving Will be evaluating communication skills Will be evaluating cultural fit (sometimes based on reasons for leaving) DO NOT treat them as if they are unimportant. They will not pass you on.
Interviewing Styles The Hiring Manager Interview Will be more skills based Will be most interested in hearing about your past positions that most closely resemble the open position Will be evaluating communication skills Will be evaluating likeability and ability to get along with other in their department
Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Being distracted (dogs barking, kids screaming, other calls coming in…)
Avoid The Most Common Mistakes •Not getting the facts beforehand •Not knowing what the position is •Not knowing who is calling •Not doing your homework •Having to admit you didn’t do your research on the company •Not able to highlight qualifications for the position
…Most Common Mistakes •Not being prepared when asurprise (qualifying) call comes in Watch out for this one. Sometimes you’ll get a call out of the blue. If you’re busy and can’t focus on the qualifying phone call, ask if you can call back.
…Most Common Mistakes Poor communication skills Using slang Interrupting Not coming across enthusiastically Not expressing interest in the position and selling yourself
Regardless of your interest inor suitability for the position, send a Thank-You email.
SPECIAL SITUATIONS:Multiple Interviewers: Don’t get nervous, have fun with it. Whoever asks the question, face them to initially answer and then turn to the others to complete the answer. Move your attention from one to the other. Understand what each person’s position is in the company and address them when speaking in their area of expertise.
Canton Akron Independence(330) 490-2175 (330) 237-0100 (216) 674-4200 www.CFStaffing.com
Creative Financial StaffingEvelyn Hronec opened the CFS of Northeastern Ohio, Ltd. office in 1996after working as a CPA for Bruner-Cox LLP. She has more than 16 yearsof internal auditing experience in the financial services industry, holdingvarious managerial positions including Director of Internal Audit. Evelynholds a BSBA degree in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University,and a Masters of Accountancy from The University of Houston. She alsoholds the Certified Personnel Consultant designation.She is a member of The Ohio Society of Public Accountants, The Instituteof Internal Auditors, the Institute of Management Accountants and theSociety for Human Resource Management.Evelyn is a Treasurer for the Ohio Association of Executive SearchProfessionals, and co-chair of the Cleveland Chapter. She is an At-LargeBoard Member of Akron Chapter of The Society for Human ResourcesManagement and also serves on the Advisory Board for Stark State’sCollege of Business. Evelyn is a Founding Member of the Stark CountyWomen’s Impact Initiative and also speaks to various audiences on hiring,employee relations and career issues.