Have A Phenomenal Phone Interview

Have A Phenomenal Phone Interview

Through the years of your career you’re going to have all kinds of interviews. One-on-one in person interviews are the most common, but there will also be group interviews, Skype interviews, phone interviews, quick ones in a café, the list goes on and on.


Today we’re going to talk about phone interviews and what you can do to excel.


Treat it like a regular interview

Because the interview is on the phone, you may be inclined to treat it as less serious or more preliminary than a regular interview. If you have any intention of moving on to that next interview you’d better take this first one on the phone seriously. Which brings us to our next point.



No matter whether the interview is on the phone, in person, on Skype or via satellite from the moon to Earth, your first priority is to prepare for it.  Research the industry and the specific company. Check out their website. See what they post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Which brings us to our next point.


Make a list of questions

All that homework may trigger questions on your part. Write them down. Have questions ready about the company, the job you’re applying for, the sort of future they envision for you. They will ask you if you have questions. Have some ready.


Use common sense

Don’t think it would be okay to have this interview on the go, in a coffee shop or during a commute or somewhere noisy. Find a quiet room and get yourself comfortable in there. Also make sure your phone is charged! The last thing you want is to suddenly notice you’re about to run out of power in the middle of the interview. Also if you expect the interview to take fifteen minutes leave yourself half an hour. If you expect it to run half an hour then leave yourself at least 45 minutes. Give yourself plenty of extra time.


Act like you are there in person

If this was an in-person interview you would have a smile on your face and you’d be sitting up all tall and attentive so do those things during the phone interview. You would be amazed how much body language and facial expression come across over the phone.


Take notes

Make sure you take notes of the sorts of questions you were asked during the interview. These are the sorts of things that will come up in the next interview. Use them to help you prepare.


Thank you

Finish the interview off by thanking the interviewer for their time and letting them know you look forward to meeting them in person.



What Exactly Does That Job Posting Mean

What Exactly Does That Job Posting Mean

“How can I get experience, when every job requires at least 3 years of experience.” This question is often asked with a hint of sarcasm by job seekers who are looking to apply for a new job. A job posting can seem filled with language that’s hard to understand and process. The truth is, a lot of companies, just like job seekers, make their jobs look as good as they can.


So how can you figure out exactly what employers are looking for? If the ad says must have 1-3 years experience, what does that mean?

Motivated Team-Player

Many job postings have terms you hear only in job ads and nowhere else. Terms like “Motivated team-player or “Customer-focused self-starter”. What do these things even mean? Careerealism has a funny look at what each of these mean. Here are a couple of  examples:


Resourceful, Independent Self-Starter

Since we have absolutely no time or resources to train you, we expect you to figure everything out for yourself… quickly.

Attentive To Details

We have strict policies and procedures and won’t hesitate to blame you for everything if you make a mistake.


While Careerealism is having some fun here, there’s a little bit of truth to it. Just like a lot of job seekers who come up with interesting ways to explain their skills, job ads also have a tendency to butter up what skills they are looking for. Most of these terms usually just mean the job posting is looking for a hard worker who is able to keep on task.

Opportunity for Growth

When reading the job description itself, pay careful attention to a variety of buzzwords like “Opportunity for growth.” While at the outset that sounds promising, make sure to take a moment and consider what else that might mean. Phrases like this can often have a deeper meaning.


Most of the time, a job is what you make of it. Every job has the opportunity for growth, in every position you’ll have to work with others and by yourself. Find the things that separate this job from the next one to get a better sense of whether this job is the right one for you.

The Requirements

This is where we’ll usually find that pesky “1-3 years of experience” line. CNN points out that the language used can help you better understand how serious you should take each one.

“When a job listing says ‘required,’ it’s a lot firmer. Employers are trying to narrow the field,” says Tom Allen, director of career services at DeVry University in Decatur, Georgia.

A skill that’s listed as “preferred” is not necessarily essential for a candidate to have.”


Allen also notes that if you have around 80% of the stated requirements you’re in an excellent position to apply for the position. Employers aren’t expecting someone who perfectly matches every requirement and description. They’re looking for someone close to that.


So even if you don’t have the 1-3 years of experience, but you do have a number of the other required skills, apply for the job!

Five years From Now?

Five years From Now?

Some people like to think about the future. They plan and dream and focus on all the directions life may take them. Others are more live-the-present types. They prefer to think more about the now and the today. Still others focus on the past, what their mistakes and missteps taught them.


The interview question “Where do you see yourself in five years?” forces everyone to consider the future. Employers who ask this question want to know that the person in front of them has thought beyond the job they’re applying for.  If future focus isn’t your strong suit, here are a few tips help you answer this interview question.

Know Your Industry

This question gives you the opportunity to show off your knowledge of the industry. Research the career path of others in the position you’re applying for. Where have others gone? what have they done? In your industry, how long does it usually take someone to go from one position to another?


The more information you can find and build into your answer, the more impressed your interviewer will be. They’ll be impressed  by the ambition you display. They will also see how much you care about this specific job you’re after.

Make It About the Job You’re Applying For

A common mistake people make when answering this question is to focus only on the jobs that might follow the one they’re applying for. It makes sense, if they ask you where  you want to be in five years, you will to talk about being a Director of a Division or Manager of a Region.


Make sure your answer includes your intention to learn from and master the job you are applying for. Show that you know upward mobility takes hard work.

Highlight Your Goals

Hopefully the job you’re applying for give you experience in a field you’re interested in. Make sure you note this in your answer. Where you see yourself in five years isn’t just about your job title, it’s also about what you will have learned and the skills you will ll have gained. When you mention that the job you are applying for will help you gain experience in areas you’re interested in, is a great way to show you know where you are going, and that you know how to get there.


While the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?” demands that the interviewee think and plan for the future, it’s important to be mindful of the present. Show that you’ve thought about where you want to go, and make it clear that the job you’re applying for is your means of getting there.

Preparing for Your First Job Interview

Preparing for Your First Job Interview - The Job Window

If you’re about to head into your first interview, it can be pretty daunting. Preparing for an interview can be difficult, especially for beginners. Today we’ve got a heads up on what you can expect from a job interview, and some helpful ideas on the best way to prepare for it.


What to Expect

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. You’re most likely going to be meeting with one person, at their place of work to talk about getting a job. It’ll probably be you and the employer sitting down across from one another at their desk, or at a boardroom table.

On to the less obvious stuff. Your interviewer may ask to see your resume. Depending on how they do their hiring process, it’s never a guarantee they’ve seen it before. So always bring a copy of your resume with you. This is something beginners often forget. Bring your resume in something that prevents it from getting bent as well. If your interviewer asks to see your resume and you pull out a crumpled piece of paper, that’s all they’ll need to know about how much you want this position.


What Questions to Expect

Every interviewer is different and every interview will vary as far as the questions go, but when you’re preparing for an interview there are a few common ones you can expect. Your interviewer will probably ask you to tell them a little bit about yourself. This is so they can get a sense of who you are. Give a brief description of where you went to high school and college, talk about your interests and how they led you to this position.

You’ll also be asked about a specific time in your past where you demonstrated a key ability. Most often, the ability they will ask about comes right from the job posting. Make sure to think of specific examples from work or school where you overcame an obstacle, had to deal with a difficult team member or found success. They more you can relate these to the job your interviewing for, the better.


Another very common question that gets asked in interviews is where you see yourself in five years, or what your goals for the job are. Being ready with an answer to this question shows that you’ve thought about your future with the company.


How to Prepare for the Interview

Now that you know what to expect and what questions you might get, what else can you do to make sure you’re ready? Undergrad Success points out the number one thing you can do is learn about the company!


Demonstrating knowledge about the company shows you’re interested in not just the job, but this specific company as well. It can be as easy as checking out their website and following them on Facebook and Twitter.