1. Be prepared to articulate very specifically why you are interested in the organization you are interviewing with. It’s not enough to say that the location or position is interesting/exciting to you. Those that stand out in the interview process are able to demonstrate the research they’ve done ahead of time on the organization at hand. They can articulate what’s intriguing to them about the organization with the location/scope of position being the added bonus.
2. Be prepared to discuss measureable outcomes that you’ve been able to achieve to-date. What situations can you discuss in which you’ve been able to make money, save money, or improve a process for your current/past employer(s).
3. Ask great questions. Questions that pertain to the scope of responsibilities, organizational opportunities, challenges, strategic plan, culture, etc. are appropriate on this call.
a) Within the first 90 days, what would you identify as the three initial priorities you’d like this new _______ to address?
b) What would need to happen in the ________ department, or how would it look different, over the next year for you to have the confidence that you made the right hire
c) What challenges would this new ______ be faced with on day one?
4. Leave money out of the conversation to the best of your ability. The goal on this call is to demonstrate enough value to the prospective employer so that you have the opportunity to decide for yourself whether or not you’d like to pursue next steps within the interview process. By demonstrating value throughout the interview process you help lend yourself more leverage when it comes time to negotiating the offer. If asked about money, politely express your desire to learn as much as you can about the opportunity and organization. If it turns out to be a fit for both parties, all you could expect is a fair offer based on your experience and fair market value.
5. Make sure you never remove yourself from the interview process prematurely. After the phone interview always allow yourself enough time for reflection and the opportunity to get any outstanding questions or concerns addressed prior to deciding whether or not to move forward.