You crafted the perfect resume; it stood out from the rest. Now it’s time for the next step: the phone interview screening.
As a recruiter, I’ve often heard candidates refer to me and my colleagues as “gatekeepers.” We review tons of resumes every day, and then screen candidates via a phone call.
We want you to be successful. So, here are a few things you can do to help move from the phone interview stage to a meeting with the hiring manager.
Five tips for your screening interview:
Do your research.
Often, recruiters start the conversation by asking what you know about their company. Be informed. Candidates who stand out take the time to review our website, research the type of work we do and describe their understanding of the role. It’s always a good idea to ask the recruiter if there are additional links or sites that you should review to better understand the company and organization prior to any further conversations.
Speak succinctly about your background.
When asked to give a high-level overview of your qualifications, be prepared to talk through your career history in a succinct manner. We want to hear about your previous roles, why you left and what you’ve done in your career that relates to the job for which you are applying.
Be concise, but go into more detail if requested. We will usually have follow-up questions that come from discussions with the hiring managers. These questions are meant to delve into areas that are most applicable to the role.
If you’re unclear about a question, just ask! We are always happy to clarify, which can help you provide a better response to the question.
Make a connection.
In addition to reviewing a hefty pile of resumes daily, we also participate in multiple calls with candidates throughout the day. While phone interview screens are a way of determining a right fit for the position, they’re also about establishing a connection and fit with the company.
The most successful calls feel more like a conversation than an interview. You can make a connection with your recruiter by reviewing their profile ahead of time. Ask why they enjoy working for the company and what keeps them there.
Asking questions is always encouraged. If we don’t know the answer to specific, detailed questions, we will either find out for you or you will be encouraged to ask the hiring manager during the next interview stage.
And don’t forget to smile. Even though we can’t see you, smiling can make you feel positive and confident, which often radiates over the phone.
"The most successful calls feel more like a conversation than an interview."
Ask about the next steps in the process. We will let you know when you can expect a response from us, what the next step will be and even give you an outline of the overall interview process.
Ask if the recruiter has further questions or any concerns about your qualifications that are necessary to move forward in the process. Often, we can provide real-time feedback that will help you get to the next level.
If you don’t hear back from us, reach out! Daily emails are not encouraged, but if we give you a specific time frame, set a reminder on your calendar to follow up with us.
A short thank you goes a long way.
As a recruiter, I can tell you that thank you notes from candidates after phone interviews are few and far between. Sending a follow-up note expressing your interest and thanking us for our time can go a long way.
And if you felt that you didn’t answer a question in the best way during the phone call, use the note to shed more light on why you feel you’re a good fit for the opportunity.
Don't get discouraged if you don’t get to the next step in the interview process. You can always follow up when you see additional roles within the organization that may be better aligned to your qualifications.
Make a lasting impression with recruiters, and we’re likely to reach out in the future. We are always looking for great talent, and we want to help you achieve your career goals. The recruiting process in large organizations can seem difficult to navigate, but we are here to help you find a role that best suits you—and us.
Ready to do work that’s transforming the way the world works and lives? Find an opportunity with Accenture.