One of the first steps in almost any interview process is to complete a phone screen with the internal recruiter at a company. Typically the purpose of these calls is to get to know a little bit about you as both a person and a candidate. Who are you? What is your experience? Why are you interested in this specific role? Often times candidates overlook and underestimate the importance of this phone interview. It may seem like just another step in what feels like an endless interview process, but I assure you it’s so much more than that.
This is the company’s first impression of you beyond your resume. This is their chance to evaluate you as more than just a piece of paper. Make sure you are energized and excited to be on the phone. They are taking time out of their day to talk to you because they feel like you have something special. Prove them right!
Okay, so how do you do that? Here are a few of the basics.
Show up to your interview!
This may sound a little like “duh”, but you’d be surprised at how many people miss their first phone screen for one reason or another. It’s a small world and typically, people in tech are well connected. DO NOT miss an interview without communicating with the interviewer at least 24 hours in advance. It will not end well for you and could hurt your career moving forward. Additionally, even if you don’t feel super psyched about a company right away, take the phone interview. It’s important to get all the facts before making a quick decision and you could end up having a great conversation that you’re really excited about.
Do your homework!
Initial phone screens may seem like no big deal, but this is where you need to prove that you’re capable of the job and are worth the time it will take to interview and train you. You can do this by researching the company before your interview. Find out what they do and see if you can explain it to a family member or friend. Find out who you will be speaking to and look them up on LinkedIn. Look for anything interesting on their profile that you share in common or that catches your attention and don’t be afraid to work that into your conversation. And of course, make sure you know what job you actually applied to! Don’t spend the conversation talking about marketing or how you’re not really sure what you’re looking for if you applied for a sales position!
An important part of any interview is asking questions. Remember, you are interviewing a company just as much as the company is interviewing you. It’s important to make sure that it is a good fit for all parties. Now, I’m not talking about asking about salary or work hours in the very first conversation you have with a company, but ask about the role specifically, or about the specific person you are speaking to. Try to avoid the same questions everyone asks like “what is the company culture like?” and really think about it. If you need help formulating questions, check out this article.
But wait, there's more!
Something really unique about LaunchSource is that we don’t just offer the occasional (yet extremely helpful) blog post about how to interview. We offer live one on one coaching sessions from our expert team! Before every interview you are given the opportunity to speak with a LaunchSource coach in order to help you prepare your story, get your thoughts organized and practice answering and asking questions. We have personal relationships with hiring managers at each and every company we work with so we are able to provide you with helpful insider tips and tricks in order to help you feel more confident and prepared going into your interview. Trust me, it’s well worth it.
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