Before I became a coach, I was on the other side of the phone line screening candidates. The following tips are areas I’ve seen candidates stumble on and I don’t want to see that happen to you!
1) Pick Up the Phone – If it’s your scheduled time, pick up the phone. Even if the number doesn’t look right, pick it up. It’s a huge red flag if you don’t show up. If it’s a telemarketer, you can quickly hang up.
2) Be Prepared – Go through your resume and review the company and job description. Have at least three questions prepared to ask when given the opportunity.
3) Know Your Talking Points – You will be asked some boiler plate questions – strengths, weaknesses, why you’re looking, etc. Practice your responses. Nothing is worse than “Ummmm” or “Uhhhh.”
4) Take the Call Somewhere Quiet – A noisy coffee shop or near a construction site probably isn’t the best place. If you have a head set for your cell phone, use it.
5) Take Your Time – Wait a second or two before responding to a question. If you need to take a deep breath on mute, do it. Your breath control is the easiest way to calm your nerves and anxiety.
6) Ask for a Salary Range – It's better to know at the front end what the job pays. At the end of the call you’ll typically be asked if you have any questions. This is the perfect time to ask, if you don’t already know, what the salary range is. If you are asked what your requirements are, make sure you know their range first and then you can say if you are in or out of the range. Do not give them an exact number. This can be left for the negotiation table when you’re at that stage.
7) Be Yourself – If you try to be someone else, it won’t feel natural. If it’s the right fit for you or not, you’ll know being your authentic self.