Key Points to Consider while preparing for Your INTERVIEW:
You could receive an Unscheduled Phone Call
At some point, a company will reach out to you over the telephone, and you may not be expecting the call. They may intend to use this conversation to set up a scheduled call, or they may intend to pre-screen you for the position during this first call. Always answer the phone in a professional, business manor when you do not know who may be calling you. The first impression you make starts right on this call. But that does not mean that you have to take the call, or continue on the call –if the company wants to move right into pre-screen questions. After all, you did not have a scheduled meeting set up with them. Thank them for reaching out to you and express your interest in the company and the position. Let them know that you have another scheduled meeting, but that you would like set a time/day for the call. That way you can be fully prepared and increase your odds of success.
The Scheduled Phone Interview
Congrats! You have a scheduled phone interview! Now be prepared by fully reviewing the Self-Recruiter® INTERVIEW CHECKLIST. But, keep in mind that the largest mistake that individuals make during a phone interview… is forgetting that it’s over-the-telephone! Sound strange? What I mean is that most individuals simply ‘do’ this interview ‘cold’, rather than strategically and properly preparing all of their support materials that can help them be seen as a stand-out on the call. Be sure to be in a place where you control the environment, not the other way around. Watch out for distractions like small children at home, etc. Be somewhere that you can fully focus. If you do not have a home office with a large desk, I recommend your kitchen or the kitchen table.
Gather all of the important support documents that can help you: your Resume; your Cover Letter; your Company Research, including their Press Releases that you may want to reference during the conversation; the Job Description; the Notes that you have made during your research; and a Bullet-Point List of what you want to communicate during the call that answers the question as to why you are the Very Best Choice for the role. Now spread all of that out so that you can look over all of it at once and have easy access to any piece of that information at any time during the call. My recommendation is always to do your phone interview STANDING up, and that is also why the kitchen would be my first choice as it typically has taller counters. By standing, we release and have better control over our diaphragm, and that gives us more power and presence on the call. Do not use a speakerphone (even if they do), as you will seem ‘disconnected’ and it will be much more difficult to build chemistry. By all means, if you have a headset available, do use it, as that will free your hands to take notes and handle your support materials that you have prepared.
The In-Person Interview
Here’s your real chance to shine. No one really ever gets hired over the telephone, so when you get your in-person interview scheduled, be sure to do all of the work necessary to increase your chances of success.
The Self-Recruiter® INTERVIEW CHECKLIST
Be sure to do the self-assessments recommended, as a new Self-Recruiter®, when preparing your resume and other promotional materials in order to improve your odds of getting seen –over the other candidates that you are competing against.
Once your interview is scheduled, be sure to do everything that you can do to continue to improved your odds of success. Remember, it IS a competition, and there’s nothing wrong with that, so approach it as such.
Your INTERVIEW can take place as an unexpected, unscheduled phone call; a scheduled phone interview; or as an in-person meeting. Being prepared for as many possibilities as possible will help you shine at your brightest.
Keep in mind, this does not represent everything that you could or should do to be prepared, but it outlines a number of ways that you can set yourself apart from your competition.
Remember, success in life, and while searching for your next career opportunity, can come from unlikely places.
So be sure to be engaging and talking with people, not just sending emails and web 'submissions' as part of your Job Search process.
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