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INTERVIEWS PART 1 - By Sindy Thomas

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Phone Screens

After applying for a position, you may be asked to do 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. The phone screen may be also done by the Recruiter who works 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 research on the company before you applied for the role. If you have not checked 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. Do not 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 have been and where they want to go. Does it line up with what you want in your next employer?

Job Description

Insider Tip: Remember the suggestion to save the job description in the Job Search articles? Now’s the time pull that out. Sometimes a job description has been removed from the company’s website even though the position remains 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 have examples of how you not only have that experience but show how you successfully used that experience.

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 this. We need to know your salary requirements. Determine and be prepared to share what you need to make to meet your obligations. The law has changed, you do not have to share your past salary history. However, if you want to share past salary history you can. Nor Hiring Managers or Recruiters can ask you for this information. The law has also changed with disclosure of salary ranges for positions. If you do not know what the range, ask and get this information from the Recruiter. Recruiters also need to know the salary expectations of each candidate are within the company’s salary parameters for the role. We do not 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 vacation and sick leave to accrue 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 will be ok with the range. However, after you get this latest information, take the time to use this and recalculate to be sure you will 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 your job search process to gauge our timing on completing the interview process for the position. We want to ensure we have time to get through the interview process before you may have to decide on whether to accept another job offer.

Hiring takes time. Remember managers also have their 9-5 jobs to do in addition to being active in the hiring process. Managers have lot to juggle and may be doing extra work by covering for the position that is open.

Insider’s Tip: It is important to note employers rarely do one interview and hire. We must do our due diligence to ensure the final candidate is best person for the company and the team. Know that interview processes vary for each employer. Normally it is about 6-8 weeks for non-manager positions and longer for higher level positions. Ask your Recruiter where they are in their process and what their timeline is. Be sure you understand what their process looks like. It will help you gauge where you are in their process and your job search.

8.15.2023 slt

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