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INTERVIEWS PART 1 - By Sindy Thomas

Phone Screens

After applying for a position you may be contacted to set up a qualifying phone interview. If the position is a highly technical one, the manager or someone on their team may do the initial first interview. Or it may be done by the Corporate Recruiter working on the role with the manager and hiring team. You should do everything you would to prepare for this screen as you would for an onsite interview.


Now you should have done some company research before you applied for the role. If for some reason you didn’t check them out, now is the time to go to the company website and learn more about them. Insider Tip: click on the “About” page. What is the company history? Who is on their Leadership team? Is their Leadership Team diverse by race and gender? What kind of work backgrounds do they have? Also, look at who is on their Board of Directors. Check out their products and their product pipeline. How does that look? Do they have candidates in the pipeline that are far enough in the pipeline to keep the company growing? Learn about their products and their partnerships. How have they grown in the past? Check out their Whitepapers. Don’t forget to spend time on the Investors page. It will show you the progression of the company by growth and financials. Here you can find more information like: a company summary; press releases; quarterly results; upcoming and past events and presentations (you may want to listen to a presentation); stock information; analysts coverage; and more there. Do a deep dive so you get clear picture of that company—where they’ve been and where they want to go. Does it line up with what you want in your next employer?

Job Description

Insider Tip: Remember when I suggested you save the job description in the Job Search Articles? Now’s the time pull that out. Sometimes a job description will be taken off the website even though the position is open. This is especially true if there was an overwhelming response in applicants, or if they there are more than enough qualified candidates in the pool to make a hire.

Screen Research and Preparation

Read the job description thoroughly and pinpoint your experience that aligns with it. Be sure to come up with examples of how you not only have that experience, but show how you successfully used that experience to make a difference. Write down how you solved problems, managed projects; resolved issues; made improvements in your applicable roles to the open position. Be ready to answer these questions:

  1. Why are you interested in this position? 

  2. Why this company is a right fit for you?

The Recruiter and Manager want to know. We also need to know your salary requirements. Determine and be prepared to share what you need to make to meet your obligations. Recruiters need to know that you’re within the company’s salary parameters for the role. We don’t want to waste our time, your time, the manager’s time or the interview team’s time going thru the screening and interview process only to learn you are out of range on salary. When thinking about salary be sure to consider the full package the company offers not just dollars. Ask these important questions:

  1. What are the benefits medical, dental and vision? 

  2. How much does the company contribute to premiums? How much will your out-of-pocket costs be? 

  3. Is there an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP)? 

  4. Will you receive stock options as part of your package? 

  5. What is the vacation and sick leave policy? Is it Paid Time Off (PTO)? Or two separate banks for accruing time? 

  6. Do they have reimbursement for training and college? 

  7. Do they have a 401K match? How long before you can start contributing to it?

You may think you’ll be ok with the range. However, after you get this new information, take the time to use this and recalculate to be sure you’ll be good from a salary standpoint. Also, be upfront and update your Recruiter on where you are with interviewing with other companies. Recruiters and Managers need to know where you are in process to gauge our timing on completing our interview process before you may have to make a decision to accept a job offer.

Hiring takes time. Remember managers also have their 9-5 jobs to do in addition to being active in the hiring process. It’s a lot for them to juggle. They may also be picking up the slack for work on the role they want to hire.

Insider’s Tip: know that employers rarely do one interview and hire. We must do our due diligence to ensure our hiring decision is best for the company and the team. Know the interview process will vary from employer to employer. Normally 6-8+ weeks for non-manager positions and much longer for higher level positions. You can always ask the Recruiter where they are in their process. Be sure you understand what their process looks like. This will help you gauge what the interview process and decision-making process looks like.

9.19.2020 slt

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