Career Resources: Phone Interview Preparation

Most Important

Be prepared with a list of questions for the company. Write them down. Ask about company, job, plant, etc. Ask, smart, well thought out questions. Try to identify the key elements of the job description as soon as possible and try to identify the set of problems or opportunities that is creating the job opening.

Answer their questions and provide additional information to support your answers as appropriate. Do not get into long monologue answers. Be to the point and do not dominate the conversation.

Do not ask about money, salary, relocation, vacation or any other benefit type questions.

Do not say anything derogatory about current or previous company, boss, or coworkers.

Reason for Leaving

You will usually be asked "why are you looking?" so be prepared to articulate an answer. Have this well thought out so you can give a clear and succinct answer. You can give both personal and professional reasons as appropriate. If you are looking because of a bad situation at your current employer it is often helpful to state what you are looking to get to as opposed to focusing on what you are trying to get away from.

For example, compare these two responses: "I am looking because I am afraid I will be laid off" verses "I am seeking an environment that provides job stability and future growth potential." These say the same thing, but the second answer comes across much better.

Your Story

Be ready to articulate a response to: "Tell me about yourself" and "Why are you looking?"

The "tell me about yourself" answer should basically be a two minute commercial of your career as an engineer. A good way to start is to ask "I'd be glad to tell you about myself, where would you like me to begin?" Then when he says "begin anywhere you like," start with your two-minute commercial of your career (try to paint an overall picture of career growth and an increase in your responsibility levels over your career).

Ask for a visit

At the end of the call, say, "This sounds very interesting, I would like to pursue this... What's the next step?"

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