A telephone interview is an important step in the hiring process, both for the organization and the candidate. It helps the hiring team narrow the field of qualified prospects, and it also gives the candidate a first look at how the company functions. The questions will not be as in-depth during a phone interview as they are during a face-to-face scenario, but they are still critical for the selection process, and engineers should always prepare well for a telephone screen.
Research the Organization
While you probably conducted some research into your target company before applying, it can be helpful to go back and review your research, and to dive a little deeper. Take some time to study the company website to gain a better understanding of the organization’s size and structure. Visit LinkedIn and get to know the names and accomplishments of some of the key players, and it can be helpful to read up on the person who will be conducting your interview, as well.
Prepare a List of Questions
Compile a list of questions that will give you critical information about whether or not the job and the company will be a good fit. You might want to ask about their training and onboarding program for new engineers, what the opportunities for advancement look like, whether or not the company provides professional development opportunities, etc.
Be Ready the Day of the Interview
Always be on time and ready to go in a quiet area so that there will be no background noise to distract you or the interviewer. Be clear about who is calling whom, and if you are expected to make the call, dial in a minute or two before the appointed interview time.
Have your list of questions ready when the interviewer calls. Print out a copy of your resume for yourself, or bring a copy up on your laptop or tablet. Have a pen and a piece of paper handy to take notes along the way.
Tips for the Interview
Some guidelines to follow as you make your way through the telephone interview:
- Sound interested and enthusiastic.
- Be definitive and succinct in your answers.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Be prepared to answer open-ended questions.
- Be sure to use the interviewers name in your conversation.
- Always ask what the timeline and next steps will be.
- Thank the interviewer and express your continued interest, if you indeed have continued interest in the position.
A great way to ensure that you are prepared for phone and in-person interviews is to work with a professional engineering recruiting agency. A recruiter will have the inside track on just what the hiring manager is looking for, and can help get you adequately prepared for the hiring process. The Prevalent Group is a nationally recognized engineering recruitment company. We have strong relationships with top-tier organizations, and we work with engineering talent at all levels. If you are looking for new opportunities in electrical, civil, mechanical, or software engineering, contact us today.