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Interview Tips

Phone Interview Tips

Congratulations! Our client is interested in interviewing you. This means that the skills and experience listed on your resume are close to what they are looking for. You will be competing with several other consultants for this opening. Telephone interviews are much more difficult situations to “sell yourself” in than an in-person interview and it is possible that your phone interview is going to be compared with candidates the client interviews in person. This sheet contains some telephone interview tips that we hope you find helpful. Should you feel you would benefit from a practice interview - contact your ESC Recruiter to schedule a mock interview with him/her.

Interview Prep

  • Prior to the interview ask your ESC Recruiter or the Account Manager, questions about the opening and about the company. Get as much information about the client and the job as possible.
  • Prior to the interview use the Internet to visit the client’s web site. During the interview let the client know that you have taken the time to check it out.
  • Prior to the interview we will provide you with a copy of the Profile we have created on you and presented to the client. Be sure to take the time to read it and to know your consultant profile (resume).

Prepare Yourself

  • Have two pens and a notepad on hand to jot down any information you may need to remember during the interview.
  • Have your ESC resume in front of you, and refer to it as needed.
  • Use a land connection phone if possible. If using a cell phone, please ensure that you have good reception and DO NOT use a Bluetooth.
  • Free yourself from distractions. If at the office, be located where you will not be disturbed or distracted for any reason. If at home, have no children present and turn off radios and televisions.

The Interview – practice, practice, practice – prior to the interview

  • Greeting - The greeting should be short, but it is very important as well. It should contain these steps:
    • Smile – your facial expression will show through your voice on the phone
    • Be sure to say the interviewer's name
    • Say your name (if the interviewer doesn't). Example: "Ms. Jones? I'm Martha Smith. I'm glad to meet you."
    • To break the ice, and be remembered, you may choose to use the line "I want you to know that I am wearing a brand new suit for this interview".
  • Being Interviewed
    • Be prepared and waiting for the call at least five minutes before the scheduled time. Being early is imperative!
    • Speak distinctly and somewhat slower than usual.
    • Be aware of how a language accent may affect the sound quality of the conversation.
    • Listen carefully to the questions before answering.
    • Think before answering the question. Be sure your response answers the question directly.
    • Smile. Facial expressions translate over the phone, so smile and have a pleasant and relaxed expression.
    • Show enthusiasm. Enthusiastic feedback can enhance your chances of being further considered.
    • Keep your answers brief and to the point but avoid one word answers.
    • Silence over the phone is a huge negative. If you need time to think then say so. "Let me think on that" or "give me a moment to organize my thoughts on that".
    • Avoid over or under selling your abilities.
    • Stress your accomplishments.
    • Try to never answer a question with "no". Instead relate a similar accomplishment or task that you have done.
    • Ask questions regarding the project.
  • Being Interviewed
    • Let the interviewer know that you are interested in the position.
    • Thank the interviewer for his or her time and consideration. If you have answered the two questions-- "Why are you interested in this position?" and "What can you offer?" -- You have done all you can.

Special Situations

  • If the unavoidable should happen and you are running late: Contact your ESC Recruiter immediately.
  • Often times, the client is not an experienced interviewer, or is not technical and will not always ask the right questions: If possible mention the job and why you think your qualifications make you the best fit.

The Interview

The interview is a formal meeting between an employer and you, the job applicant – the employer’s chance to meet you as a person, not just a name on the resume. The following tips will help prepare you for an in-person interview.

Before the Interview

  • Research the company and find out how to pronounce the interviewer’s name.
  • Determine the appropriate dress and map directions to assess drive time.
  • Practice out loud...
    • an introductory statement that describes you and what you can bring to the company.
    • describing your experience and accomplishments.
    • identifying and describing your strengths and your weaknesses in a positive light.

During the Interview

  • Bring several extra resumes, work samples, letters of recommendations, and a list of references.
  • Arrive early (5-10 minutes) and greet everyone in a professional and friendly manner.
  • Maintain eye contact with your interviewer and greet him/her with first name (if offered).
  • Answer questions with confidence and honesty in a way that highlights your abilities.
  • If asked about your weaknesses, answer by describing a positive trait, (e.g., "I am sometimes seen as too demanding, because I work hard and expect those around me to do the same.")

Ending the Interview

  • Ask where the company is in the hiring process and the number of candidates they are considering.
  • Thank the interviewer for his/her time and re-affirm your interest in the position.

Following-up after the Interview

  • Send a thank you letter via email to your ESC Recruiter and he/she will forward on to the client.

Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid

  • Poor Communication -- Speak clearly, answer questions directly and communicate your skills briefly.
  • Lack of Confidence or Overt Arrogance
  • Dishonesty -- Dishonesty in your resume or interview can end your candidacy.
  • Inappropriate Attire -- Clothing and personal hygiene should reflect the social standards of the company.
  • Lack of Research -- Understanding the company and position is key.
  • Political Correctness Blunders -- Avoid issues of race, religion, lifestyle choices or display prejudice.
  • Inappropriate Salary Discussion -- Research the range of salaries in the industry before entering into salary negotiations.
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