Tips for Phone Interviews—The Next Step in the Design Job Application Process

Typically the next step in the hiring process is the phone interview. Your résumé peaked their interest; they’ve googled your name and haven’t found any keg stand photos. Congrats! You’ve passed the first obstacle. On to a quick 20-30 minute conversation, where they want to get to know more about you. Here are some valuable phone interview tips:

“Um, like, um…”
For entry-level, we know you are inexperienced and this is probably your first phone interview, but train yourself to speak professionally, not to say “um or like”. Be aware, you’ll be nervous, just breath. I had one applicant that “um..liked”, so much I was distracted and started counting them…1..2..3..

Have questions ready, research the company’s history, goals, attitude. Even Google suggested questions to ask a company to show you’re interested in learning more. If you’re able to have a few real life examples of how you are perfect for the job on hand.

You don’t have to wear pants!
Yes, they are optional, but the biggest benefit, you can have your notes, copy of the job description and the company website open right in front of you to read from. Plus, not having to worry about smiling or how sweaty your palms might get.

You most likely will be asked one of the following:

  • What made you choose to apply for this position?
  • Why did you choose your major?
  • What skills or experience do you have that are relevant to the job requirements?
  •  Describe your previous work environment?
  • Describe a major accomplishment – could be through past internships or extra curricular or personal
    • What were the biggest challenges
    • What skilled did you use and learn
    • Describe changes that were made
    • 3 examples of initiative
    • Discuss successes, failure
    • Describe planning process and management of that process
    • Looking back, would you do anything differently
    • How did you grow as a person
  • If you could describe your ideal position, what would it look like?
  • What type of management style do you work best under?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
  • How do you handle stress/pressure to meet a deadline?
  • Why did you leave your last job/internship?
  • Have you worked in a team environment?
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