StarMed: Think Differently About Finding Talent

Phone Interview: Tips For Success!

Phone Interview: Tips For Success!

David Mahan, Director of Permanent Placement at StarMed, offers advice on how to prepare for a phone interview.

Phone interviews are easier, right? That’s what most people think. You can relax and have your computer ready for a quick Google search to help you answer questions and hey you can wear your pajamas! You better think again. In fact, the biggest mistake candidate’s make on phone interviews is not being prepared and sounding casual or disengaged! Preparation is key! Here are some helpful tips to help you prepare for your phone interview.

Prior to the call make sure you have:

  • Names and titles of the interviewers
  • Length of interview time
  • Subjects to be prepared to discuss (what is important to the client in this position)
  • Research the hospital and system. Know as much as you can about the organization you are interviewing with.
  • Make sure you have a copy of your resume printed and in front on you on the call.
  • Make sure you have a  quiet place (no kids, dogs, birds, etc. in the background).
  • Prior to the interview re-read your own resume and be ready to discuss specific examples of your accomplishments for interviewers.
  • You may have forgotten some of your accomplishments, so read your resume again line by line and think of specific examples – add notes to your resume, like a cheat sheet.
  • If you have had poor job stability be  ready to discuss why you  left each position.
  • Be ready to discuss why you  are a good choice for the position

During the call:

  • I recommend asking a few questions at the beginning of the interview; these questions let you know what they are looking for and can help you tailor your answers to what they have told you is important to them:
    • What do you see as the greatest challenge for someone accepting this position?
    • What is one goal you’d like to see accomplished in the first year?
    • What has made other people successful in this position?
  • Sometimes an interviewer over friendly or will encourage a relaxed environment; do not get too comfortable – remember that you are always interviewing.
  • Do not bring up compensation or benefits.
  • The key is to do a great job with the phone interview so they invite you for an on-site interview to meet the staff. If compensation does come up, you can tell them what you are making but more importantly, you are interested in the opportunity and why you want to work for that facility.
  • If they ask what you want to make – tell them “I’m open to a fair offer based on my years of experience”
  • You can tell them you’re looking for something comparable or a “bump” up from what you’ve made in the past – and if they ask you what about your salary history you can discuss.
  • Do not give a specific number; if the number is high it will scare them and if it is a low number it’ll be really hard  to justify an offer above the number you gave them.
  • They will want to know your technical/clinical knowledge, so be prepared to answer questions.

Be prepared for a Curve Ball

  • They might say something to you about the position that you think is unreasonable to see how you’ll handle a stressful statement or situation.
  • If they say “you’ll have to work 60 hours a week” or something like that – Always respond positively and say “if that is what the position requires then I’m up to the challenge.”
  • If you have ANY concerns about ANYTHING that they say during the interview, tell your recruiter all about it after the interview .

Remember, sell yourself and make sure by the end of the interview they know you are qualified and excited about the position. Above all – stay energetic, positive and excited about the opportunity. At the end of the interview – ask them about the next step and make sure they are aware that you are interested in the position and want to move forward in the process.