What happens if you've been told you're going to get the phone interview but then nothing happens?
They don't say they changed their mind about you--they just tell you it's on hold and then you don't hear anything more.
This happened to a real job candidate--a recruiter called to tell him about the job, submitted his resume, set up the phone interview, and gave him the name of the company and the manager. The next thing the candidate knew, the recruiter called back to say that he wasn't going to get to do the phone interview because everything was on hold, but he would be in touch. After more than a week with no phone call, the candidate asked me for help. (I do individual career coaching.)
You communicate your confidence in your physical presentation, your body language, and what you say and how you say it.
Good communication skills are essential. Sounding even remotely uncertain of your ability to do the job you’re interviewing for (and do it well) is an interview killer. No employer is going to hire someone who isn’t even sure himself if he is capable. What phrases convey uncertainty?
Employers want to know about more than just your skills and experience--they want to know how you'll get along day-to-day. How will you react in stressful situations? What will you do when a customer gets cranky, or there's some issue with the product?
One way for hiring managers to get to that information is to use behavioral interview questions that try to uncover how you have reacted in similar situations, or that set up a theoretical problem to see how you would go about solving it.
Both types of behavioral (or situational) interview questions show how you think, which can be much more informative for a hiring manager than asking about your greatest weakness.
The easiest and most effective way to answer Behavioral Interview Questions is to use the STAR format.
If you got the phone interview, you are just a few minutes away from getting the face-to-face interview--IF you handle those few minutes well. Think about your phone interview in a fresh way and stand out from everyone else they talk to and get your face-to-face interview!
No matter what job you do--technical, administrative, education, operations, manufacturing, data-based, marketing, or sales--the process of getting the job is basically a sales process. You are the 'product' that's for sale, or hire; the hiring manager, or interviewer, is the 'customer'. In this analogy, you are also the sales rep, because you are convincing that hiring manager, or employer, to buy your product (hire you for the job).
If your job search is like a sales process, interviews are like sales calls. If you look at what successful sales reps do to sell their products, and apply at least some of those principles to your job search and interviews, you will be successful in 'selling' yourself for the job.
Here is a great article to help you from Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter. Mark gives you outstanding phone sales tips to use when contacting customers that work very well for also speaking with hiring managers (or Human Resources) in your phone interviews.
I have posted the article in its entirety, but I have italicized the tips that will be most useful and effective for you:
Have you ever felt like your age was holding you back in your job search?
If you are over 40 (not to mention 50 or 60), age discrimination could be keeping you from getting hired. It's almost impossible to prove, but it still happens. And it's not just frustrating--it's threatening to your career and the quality of your life.
No matter how old you are, you deserve to get the job you want and are qualified for. To make sure that happens, I am putting together a free webinar with Bobby Edelman, founder of Interns Over 40. (If you haven't seen his website, you need to.) Bobby is a true expert on the issues older job seekers face, as well as the solutions that work.
You don't have the perfect background or quite enough experience?
You don't stand out as the "wow" candidate?
You get lots of interviews, but no offers?
The easiest and best way to get past those very common obstacles is towrite a 30-60-90-day plan and bring it to your interview--that's the straightforward, honest truth. It works if you're a brand-new graduate and it works if you're a seasoned veteran of your career.
I've used it myself (and got 5 offers the last time I was in the job search) and I've had my candidates use it for years--because it gets them hired.
Once you use one of these plans, you will never go to another interview without one. They're that good.
We have a ton of information about 30-60-90-day plans on this blog you can use to write one, but here are two to start with:
Or, if you want to just cut to the chase and get it done (or even if you just need the confidence of an expert who's got your back), check out our 30-60-90-day plan samples and templates that come with all my tips and tricks for writing and presenting these plans. You will be very comfortable using this tool in an interview. You have two options:
How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.
Think about job interviews. You’re so thrilled when you get the call. The interview prep work is exciting because you’re getting to know what you hope is your new company. You get your resume, your brag book, and your 30-60-90-day plan all lined out, and you choose what to wear. You map out the route and get there a healthy few minutes early. You greet your interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake, and then you start The Conversation.
Everything hinges on your job interview questions and answers. Your answers are THE major deciding factor in whether or not you get asked back for a second interview or get the job offer. Not to worry…Career Confidential is here to help.
I am thrilled to announce that we are launching a new blog article series: How to Answer Interview Questions.
In fact, we are publishing 101 job interview questions and answers in a brand new, open-access series for you. These are typical but tough interview questions that most candidates are asked at some point in their interview process. We will tell you how to answer just about every interview question possible…from the most common standard interview questions to the weird, “personality” interview questions.
But we’re not just giving you the answer to parrot...I don't want you to sound like someone who Googled “how to answer interview questions.” (Although I will give you ideas.)
Job Interview Questions and Answers
Would you like some free training on How to Answer Interview Questions?
It's all just one part of Career Confidential's mission to transform you into the top candidate for the job. We want you to get the job you want fast. Please explore our site to see everything we have to offer to get you to your goal.
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Listen to this audio--I'll tell you how to develop and use a positive attitude in your job search to have more confidence and be more successful.
This was a Total Access Coaching Club presentation I did in December. Many commented that it gave them hope and a positive way to go. (For you, it's Christmas in May...you'll get it when you listen.) I hope you enjoy it.
I've had a series of coaching calls recently with a guy who won't talk to his kids about his job search--and he's been out of work for a YEAR. His reason? He doesn't want to scare them or cause them concern. Underneath that, he doesn't want them to see him as a failure.
He's not alone. I spoke with a woman recently who's been in a job search for months, but she still leaves the house every day like she's going off to work--and her family has no idea. She doesn't want to upset anyone.
Here's why they're both wrong (and why you are, too, if you're keeping such an important event from your family):
1. A job search is stressful--there's no getting around that, even if it's going relatively well. If it's taking months, the stress builds. I guarantee that your kids (and your spouse) are picking up on your stress--so your 'sheltering' act is likely to fail anyway. It's not a healthy family situation. It's too much for you to handle alone--you need support from your loved ones.
2. Your kids won't see you as a failure. They just don't think that way. They only see that you need a job. Your kids' biggest concerns are going to be about them: will they have to move? will they lose their friends? You can reassure them. If you're not talking about it, they are worrying about these things alone.
3. You are missing out on a prime teachable moment in your children's lives. Do you think they'll never be in a difficult situation? You need to prepare them for the adversity they will no doubt face in their lives. Kids learn best by EXAMPLE. Show them how to pick yourself up, move forward, and overcome a tough spot. It will be something incredibly useful they will carry with them forever.
Here's a great way to show your kids how to take positive action in a crisis...sign up for a free job search webinar and tell them about it.
As a career coach, I talk to job seekers in difficult circumstances all the time. One of the biggest problems that job seekers can face is that at some point, they were fired--for fault. It wasn't downsizing. It wasn't the economy. They did something that caused the company to let them go. If you were fired, you might think that your career is over--but chances are, it isn't.
Let's put a little perspective into this situation....do you remember the Vanessa Williams scandal? Talk about a roller coaster of a career. First African-American Miss America, very publicly fired and forced to give up her crown because of nude Penthouse photos, came back to be an incredibly successful singer/actress.
How about Bill Clinton? President of the United States, very publicly disgraced because of his inexcusable Oval Office misbehavior with Monica Lewinsky, now gets paid millions of dollars for giving speeches, and even joined forces with George H.W. Bush.
So if you were fired...will you let that moment define you? Or will you move on and turn it around? If they can do it, you can, too.