First of all, congrats. You have successfully caught the attention of a recruiter. This means your resume or LinkedIn profile, or both, was put together nicely. Well done!
Next step is a phone interview with an HR person or recruiter who found you. This step is important because, in the event you fall short, you won’t move on to the next step of meeting with the hiring manager.
So how do you ensure you make it to that next stage. You need to understand the recruiter or HR person’s role in the situation. You need to know what they are looking for, what the company is looking to gain, and then create a game plan.
Below are three ways to knock this intro call out of the park.
Show Right Away that You Cover the Basics
In this first stage, the HR person or recruiter won’t be diving into the fine details of the job. They are looking to see if you meet the basic, fundamental requirements.
Due to this you should know the job description inside out. If possible, talk with people within the department in which you will be working. From your knowledge, list out the most important aspects of the job and during the interview speak to how your strengths align well with these particular areas.
Show Your Genuine Interest
Recruiters and HR personnel like when a candidate’s skills match with the job requirements. However, this can mean nothing if the candidate gives the impression that he is not that interested in the company or role.
In addition to a skills match, recruiters want to be confident that they are sending genuinely interested and enthusiastic candidates to the hiring manager. Make it clear during the initial phone interview that you have great interest in the position and the company. Recruiters will be looking for this just as much as aptitude and experience.
Indicate That You are a Good Cultural Fit
Having the right skills and experience, along with enthusiasm, is a tremendous start to landing any new gig. However, it can all mean nothing if you are not a strong cultural fit.
Demonstrating that you are a good cultural fit begins early in the hiring process, i.e. the initial phone interview.
In order to exude this from the beginning, you need to develop an understanding of the company and what it stands for. Study their online presence, see what they are posting on Facebook and Twitter, and read their mission statement. By doing this research you will begin to get a feel for the company and its culture. Then, assuming you fit in with the culture, demonstrate this during the initial call.