Congratulations, you landed a phone interview for a great new engineering job! However, you don’t want to make the mistake many professionals make by blowing off a phone interview as a formality. Far from it. Phone interviews determine whether you get called in for a personal interview, so you want to knock it out of the park. Follow these three pieces of advice to nail your engineering phone interview.
One: Conduct Research and Plan Ahead
It is a mistake to wait until a personal interview to conduct thorough research on a company. Take time to study what the company does, their recent achievements and projects and if possible, try to find your interviewer on LinkedIn to learn about their background.
Next, print the job posting and study it carefully. Compare it with your resume and make sure you’re prepared to highlight skills and achievements that align with the role. It’s helpful to print out a copy of your resume and do a side-by-side comparison. Keep that printed copy of your resume with you during the phone interview, in case the hiring manager has questions directly related to the document.
Two: Prepare Questions
While a phone interview doesn’t get too far into the meat and potatoes of a role, it still affords you the opportunity to ask some important questions – and you should. Asking questions shows you have thought about the job and you are interested in learning more.
The questions you prepare for a phone interview will differ from those you should ask in a face-to-face interview. Skip questions about compensation unless the interviewer broaches the topic. Instead, ask questions to help clarify the responsibilities of the job, employer expectations and gather more information about corporate culture.
Remember, the objective of a phone interview is to assess potential fit for the role – both for the company and for you. Therefore, it pays to get some good questions in early. And, make sure to ask about next steps before closing the call.
Three: Send a Thank–You Note
Just as you would after a personal interview, it’s always good form to send a thank–you note after a phone interview. As soon as the call wraps up, compose a brief email thanking the interviewer for their time, reiterating your interest in the role and restating your understanding of the timeline for next steps. This can be shorter than a note you’d send after a face-to-face interview, but take the time to craft a thoughtful letter.