123Before you head into the office for an in-person interview with management, there’s a good chance that you’ll speak to a recruiter, probably over the phone.  The goal of the recruiter is create a qualified shortlist of candidates.  In my calls with recruiters, I’ve developed a system to get on that shortlist.

The best piece of advice I can give you for acing a phone interview (and it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare) is to write out three things.  Spell out the answers in bullet form and have them in front of you for your job interview.  These three things about yourself should cover most what you say in the interview:

1. Why you want to work the position.

2. Why you want to work at that company.

3. Why you think you’re a good fit.

I’m pretty sure there’s a manual that all the recruiters follow, let’s call it Recruiting 101.  In Recruiting 101, there are a list of questions that the recruiter gets to chose from.  And most of the time, they pick the same four questions:

Question 1: Tell me a little bit about yourself?

You can answer this the standard way, telling them your background, where you went to school, what you studied, etc.  However, this information is on your resume and the recruiter has seen it already.  Use this as an opportunity to set the tone for the rest of the interview.  Tell them about who you are as a person, how your attitude and personality make you a well-qualified candidate for the position.

Question 2: Why this position?

You applied for the position, so you should know why you want to work in that specific line of work.  Let’s use sales as an example.  If the recruiter asks you “why sales?” point out that you like building relationships, you like to be in control of your own success, and you’re money motivated.

Question 3: What attracted you to our company?

Do a little research into the company, not just on review sites like GlassDoor, but also check out their company on Facebook and through Twitter.  Their social media presence will give you an idea of the company culture and values, as a opposed to just employee reviews.

Question 4: Do you have any questions for me?

Just ask them a couple questions like why they chose to work there, what their favorite part about working there is, and what the company is expecting of new hires.  Then ask if there is anything keeping you from moving forward in the interview process.

So that’s the phone interview in a nutshell.  You shouldn’t get caught off guard or asked anything too difficult.  Just be prepared, be concise, and be clear.

Photo Credit SmartRecruiters Instagram.

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