Coaching Up: Phone Interviews

Well done! They’ve reviewed your resume, and they are interested in speaking to you on the phone! But how should you prepare? What can you do to stand out and make it to the next round? There are some tried and true ways to prepare for a phone interview, such as researching the company, but if you had a personal recruiter, what would they tell you?

The following is a list of ways our seasoned Executive Search Consultants at Pinnacle Search Partners coach their candidates as they prepare for phone interviews! Let’s listen in…

  • Ask who will be interviewing you,” says Vince Cimino. Research their backgrounds and find ways to make connections with them. Look for a hook – their Alma matter, a hobby, a previous job or home town – that could help you stand out if there is a lull in the conversation.
  • Be professional, but concise,” agree both Richard Petitti and Vince Cimino. Make sure that you are listening during the conversation and that you keep your answers focused on what the hiring manager is seeking in the ideal candidate (e.g., read the job description and prepare relevant examples prior to the call).
  • Smile through the phone,” encourages Lindsay Fluke. Companies can hear whether you are excited about the role or not. Having a positive outlook can be conveyed through your choice of words, as well as nonverbally –  like that smile in your voice!
  • Don’t lean back in your chair.” While this piece of advice might be more psychological, Richard Petitti knows that leaning forward means that you are engaged in the conversation and the interview.
  • Send a personalized follow-up note.” Companies appreciate a thoughtful note of gratitude for their time and the opportunity to interview (handwritten is best), says Vince Cimino. However, do not send a poorly written letter. Run the text by your recruiter before sending it out, and don’t forget to do a grammar and spell-check.
  • Let them know, you want the job!” All of our recruiters emphasized that candidates shouldn’t leave the interview without conveying that they want the job. Many candidates forget this vital, and seemingly logical, step as they wrap up an interview. There have been many follow up conversations with our consultants where companies question whether the candidate is interested. Don’t play it too cool; it’s ok to be excited about the future!

Looking for more advice from our Executive Search Consultants? Follow us on LinkedIn.

Happy interviewing!