Many companies today perform preliminary screenings of job candidates via a phone interview. Those who pass this phone interview probably will be called in for an in-person interview.
While perhaps not as nerve wracking as an in-person interview, performing well in a phone interview is critical to being called in for a face-to-face interview.
While similar to an in-person interview, there are a few important things that are different about a phone interview.
Read below for some tips on how to ace a phone interview for a pharmacy position.
- First of all, if a recruiter or hiring manager calls you and asks if you have “five minutes for a few quick questions?” and you don’t feel ready, or you don’t have the time right then, it’s perfectly OK to ask them to call you back. You don’t have to drop everything just because they’re calling you now. Simply ask if you can call them back in five, 10 or 30 minutes or whatever works for you at that time. Offer to call the person back if that’s better for the recruiter.
- After you hang up, go get your resume, your cover letter and a copy of the job description and have these in front of you for the phone call.
- Make sure you’re in a quiet place where you definitely will not be disturbed. If at home with young children, ask an adult to keep the little ones occupied while you’re on the phone.
- Turn off any music or talk radio coming from a computer, smartphone or radio.
- Talk less than you listen. If asked a question, wait about three seconds to gather your thoughts. It will help you eliminate “ums” and “uhhs” from your conversation.
- Don’t lie on the bed or couch or slouch in a comfortable chair. At minimum, sit up straight at a table. Better yet, sit at your desk in a home office.
- If possible, consider dressing in professional clothes. Doing so will help you stay in a business/professional state of mind, even if the interviewer can’t see you.
- Make sure that you’ve researched the company online before the interview. Doing so will help you come up with your own questions to ask the interviewer.
- For example, in your research, you may have found that the family-owned pharmacy plans to open another store in the next six months. You could ask how this job opportunity fits into those plans.
- Frame your answers around two primary reasons companies hire people: to save money or to make money. As a pharmacist, you can talk about how your management skills helped keep turnover to a minimum, or how you were able to redesign processes so that prescriptions were filled more quickly.
- As the interview ends, ask what the next steps are: when will the interviewer be calling people in for in-person interviews? When does she plan to make a decision? And so on.
- Let the interviewer know that you hope to be called in for a face-to-face interview.
- After the phone interview, email the interviewer to thank her for her time and to reiterate why you’re a great candidate for the position and that you look forward to hearing from the interviewer again to set up an in-person interview.