Question: Strategies for A Group Phone Interview

 

I've been invited for a phone interview with a search committee: there will be five people on the call. Any tips on how to prepare?

P. L.

Ask for a list of all who are attending.

Show you are present: If there's a staff list with pictures print it out or pull it up online. Let people know you are looking at it as you talk. This may help you break the ice, and it will give you a chance to see how members of the committee act as a group:

Do they talk about their pictures and how they look different? Do they tease each other?

Is there silence?

Customize your questions:

Prepare a question for each person on the interview.

If you want the job, follow up with individual participants.

Follow up quickly with a custom thank you email to each participant. If you have information on their job titles, include a sentence or two that shows you are thinking about how you would interact with them on the job. This is a great opportunity to revisit any particular topics you may not have nailed in the interview — example: You asked my opinion about X; here's a more complete answer to your question.

If you don't have email addresses for each participant, Google *@companyname.com — this will show you how companies assign email addresses — you can figure it out from there.

Don't forget the blind spot — i.e. interviews are always a two way street: The employer picks the candidate, and the candidate gets to decide whether or not they want to work for the employer. You may be so focused on answering their questions that you don't take time to assess whether or not the job is a fit. If you receive an offer — and still haven't figured out whether the job is a fit or met all the players in person, ask if you can meet again before you get started.

Good luck!

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