Consider this: You’ve been applying what you’ve learned in the previous sections. You’re long-shot message on LinkedIn to the CEO of your favorite company actually worked. She sends you a message saying “I will give you a call in a few days.” Once your excitement fades, you realize you have just landed the dreaded unscheduled phone interview. This can be the cause of a lot of anxiety. When is she going to call? What is she going to ask? Here are some tips to get you through this situation while looking like a superstar.
Do your homework
Getting your homework done as soon as possible is a priority in this situation. The CEO is busy and can have a somewhat chaotic schedule. Maybe somebody cancels a lunch meeting with her and she suddenly has some extra time. She decides to call you days before you expected it. This is why you need to be as prepared as possible as soon as possible.
Doing your homework means understanding the company culture as best as you can. Understanding the culture and fitting into it is one of the most critical aspects of an interview. All your competitors will know the names of everybody on the board and how much money they left on the table after the previous quarter. Something that employers are looking for is how well you will be able to fit into the culture of the company. This is not everything, however, but if you can get as much information about what the environment is like inside the company, the better off you’ll be.
Lock down the basics first. Then reach out to employees and see if you can strike up conversations or buy them lunch. Get a sense of who they are and what the company expects of them. If you nail this, you will have a major head start on the competition.
Clear Your Mind and Your Environment
Interviews usually bring some anxiety. Clearing your mind and your environment can help you maintain a calm and professional demeanor during the call. Keep in mind that no matter what position somebody is in, they are human beings just like everybody else. Typically, when an interviewer is looking to fill a sales position they want a driven, organized, self-motivated, go-getter. At this point in our courses, you have already been implementing these character traits to have even gotten this far.
Have a glass of water, your resume, and a notepad nearby. Any other relevant documents should be on hand so you can be instantly responsible for any questions that are asked during the interview. Your goal is to show your employer that you’re prepared and no curveball is going to take you off track.
Listen. A mix of nerves and excitement can take over during an interview. Sometimes we forget to slow down and fully take in what the interviewer is saying.
Finding what you have in common with the interview is what’s most important. You wouldn’t be having the conversation if they didn’t think your resume was up to par. This part is more so about how you communicate like a human being. Are you a good listener, do you have a sense of humor, and are you relatable are key things they will be looking for, whether it be conscious or not.
The call is over. You’ve done everything you could to leave the best impression possible. You even sent a thank you note promptly after the call. Now you just have to sit back and wait. For many, this can be the hardest part of the process.
You may feel the need to follow up too soon and seem too desperate for the position. You may get angry and resentful before the interviewer has even had a chance to even consider filling the position in question. Sometimes a solid connection doesn’t turn into an opportunity for weeks, months, or even years.
At the end of the day, as any good salesperson knows, if you can’t close a big deal, don’t wait around for them to respond. Get back up on your feet and keep finding new leads. The ball is in their court now, there is nothing you can do except to continue to sharpen your skills and find new opportunities.
The best way to prepare for phone interviews is to have as much homework done as possible before the call, be in a calm state of mind, and be prepared to listen. Know what the interviewer wants to hear, and have as much evidence prepared as to why you’re the best for the job ready at hand. When it’s all said and done, be patient. Never sit around and wait. Always be looking for the next opportunity.