Career Tip #7: Smashing the Screening Interview

Part 1 on Interviews

Some people have all the confidence in the world when it comes to interviewing for a job. Others are terrified of the process. Preparing yourself to be somewhere in the middle is usually the best idea. There is a big difference between confidence and cockiness, and respecting that boundary can make or break an interview.

The job interview process is often lengthy—the days of being offered a position immediately following an interview have passed. Most companies have a complicated interview process starting with the screening interview, which is more commonly known as the phone interview. It’s only after you’ve been evaluated in this first step that you will be invited for a second and maybe even third face-to face interview.

Today’s tip is dedicated to the Screening Interview.

If you are chosen as a candidate for a screening interview, it is imperative that you conduct research on the company, and learn as much about the culture and operation of the business as you possibly can. If you have contacts that have worked there, and have knowledge about the business, try and secure information. Make sure you have the following in place before accepting the phone call:

  • Make sure you are available to answer the call at the time scheduled.
  • If you are going to be talking on your cell phone, it is extremely important that you are in an area with excellent reception.
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged.
  • Try and be in a location where there are no distractions or noise
  • Have a copy of your resume in front of you.
  • Have a copy of the job description in front of you.
  • Speak clearly and don’t rush your words. Smile when you speak and make sure to breathe!

A screening interview is primarily conducted over the phone to determine if the candidate actually has the requisite qualifications for the position. It is typically the first interview in the hiring process used to narrow down the pool of applicants. After this first stage, the remaining candidates will generally be invited for in-person interviews. Hopefully, the interviewer will give you a time line, but if not, you can definitely ask when you might expect to hear if you will be moving forward with the process.

The next tip will center on that first face-to-face interview… Get ready!

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