The Anatomy of the 30 Minute Phone Interview

One of the most important parts of your job search is submitting your resume for a job and receiving a call from the company. The voice on the other end is usually stoic and informs you of a 30 minute phone interview with a company representative. You know that if you do not make it past the phone interview your chances of a face to face interview has come to an end. The information I will share in this article is intended for the interviewer and the candidate. If the interviewer is not properly skilled to conduct the phone interview it can adversely affect the outcome. What follows is what should be discussed during the interview, the amount of time allotted for each component and the next steps.

Introduction (5 min): When the Interviewer calls you there should be a formal introduction. During this introduction you should be provided with the structure of the 30 minute interview and what to expect. This introduction allows the Interviewer to tell you about their company (if it is a Search Firm) and the role they will have in the interview process. This time can also include sharing their experience and qualifications. The Interviewer should let you know that they have a copy of your resume and have reviewed it. You should have been provided hiring company information to allow you to prepare for this phone interview session.

Job description (5 min) This time is intended to allow the Interviewer to share all of the information about the hiring company. This would include job description, benefits and compensation, training and expectations.

Candidate input (15 min) This is your time to share your relevant experience as it pertains to job qualifications. The candidate should not be expected to summarize their resume but only the skills and qualifications that would be relevant for the job. For the next 15 minutes the candidate has the opportunity to share why they should be hired. These 15 minutes can seem like an eternity so come prepared. It is acceptable for the Interviewer to interrupt with questions as you review your qualifications so be prepared to support your comments with facts and documentation (verbal at this point). For the candidate it is important that you’ve covered all of the key points of your resume. You should also have the job description in front of you to assure that you have addressed everything that is listed in the job description. This gives you the confidence to know that you haven’t omitted anything during your discussion. It also lets you know that if you don’t receive a follow up face to face interview it wasn’t because of what you said but maybe something else?

Questions (5 min) You should be allowed to ask questions during this period. Don’t ruin these 5 minutes by asking “So…what are the next steps”? You know what the next steps are. What you don’t know is if you will make it to the next steps. Instead, ask about their training program or better yet ask the interviewer what s/he like about the company?

Getting past the 30 minute phone interview can be stressful because it is difficult to know what to expect. Now you Know! I wish you the best.