Job Search Update: Phone interview

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After a painful rejection in spite of a seemingly successful interview a few weeks ago, and non-stop job searching and applying for days straight (I’m being dramatic, I did about 3 applications a day for about a week), I finally got a request last Friday for a phone interview. It was from a rather small, relatively new company in an industry that I’d never considered before, but if they’re interested in hiring me, I’m interested in them.

The easiest part about phone interviews is that they don’t see you and only rely on what you’re saying for their reference. You don’t have to dress up, you don’t psych yourself out having to walk into an office and sit across from someone who is obviously judging everything you say and do, and you can relax in a friendly environment. The hardest thing about phone interviews is that they don’t see you and only rely on what you’re saying for their reference. If you flounder, they have to sit there staring at the wall and clicking their nails on the desk while you stammer some garbled response. You can’t impress them with your fancy suit, or your perfect oh-so-mature up-do. It’s all you and your brain. Good luck.

As long as you’re prepared for the phone interview, they tend to go quickly and be fairly easy. I’ve had several phone interviews over the past several months, and I’ve learned from my mistakes (Don’t answer their question on what your dream job would be with a flashy rewording of the job description. The interviewer isn’t an idiot, they know you’re sucking up.) and I’ve recognized my skills (In response to the self-description question, talking up my education and listing my major, minor, and certificate. It sounds impressive.).

This interview went as well as it could. I had researched the company and muddled out what the job description actually meant (read closely, don’t be fooled by fancy words– they use Word: Thesaurus like the worst college freshman). I had my usual questions ready. I impressed them with my answer to what I like to do in my spare time (also my answer for the hobby question and the question on what I’ve been doing since I graduated), and emphasized how my previous experiences have made me perfect for the job, detailing each specific skill they had emphasized in the job description.

The only problem with the interview, like seems to always happen when everything else is working well, was the technology. The phone line was screwy at the building they were calling from, and my heart almost stopped when, two words into telling them about myself, the line went dead. Luckily I got a call back within minutes, and was back on track to impressing them. The connection was still not the best; the volume fluctuated so that on a few occasions I had to ask the interviewer to repeat herself. Otherwise, we had a nice conversation.

By the end, I was pleased with the interview and so it seemed were the interviewers I talked to. I now have a secondary in-person interview scheduled for later this week!

So here’s what I’ve taken from this experience and I hope you’ll keep in mind. Interviews are always stressful, always hard. And even with the best preparation, something is bound to go screwy. But if you’re able to keep your head and roll with it, you can, as Barney Stinson says “always turn it around!”

Thanks to Amylu’s 12WBT for the image!

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