With the large number of resumes management consulting firms like Bain and Booz receive each month, some recruiters would narrow down the applicant pool through phone interviews. Read this article and know how to answer screening questions on the phone.
Not all consulting firms will have phone interviews. Phone interviews are usually fit-oriented. Recruiters would just ask about your experience and values to know if you match the preliminary requirements of the firm. They would naturally do this if they’re uncertain on whether or not to consider you for case interviews. This strategy is a win-win situation for both parties. For them, it can be more efficient. For you, it can be less costly and stressful. You don’t have to worry on what to wear to project a professional image.
Some management consulting firms inform applicants of the interview ahead of time, but some informally do it, as well. Hence, once you submit your application to any firm, you must be prepared to take calls. Below are some noteworthy tips for doing well in a phone interview.
Your Nonverbal Communication Still Matters
Interviewers will focus more on your quality answers, but this doesn’t mean no elements of non-verbal communication are being observed. A recruiter can still feel your enthusiasm, confidence and professionalism by just the tone of your voice. Smile even if no one sees you. There’s a big difference between a greeting with a blank expression and a greeting with a happy face. A powerful smile also influences the way you answer your questions. You tend to answer the questions with optimism.
Mind Your Surroundings
When you take the call, make sure you are in a quiet environment. The interviewer would love to hear your answers clearly and besides you would not want to misunderstand the questions due to too much noise in the background. Also, choose a place where you can be who you are. It might be awkward for you to answer the questions with too many people listening around you. If the call is unexpected, you can always ask to call back at a better time. With a valid reason, the interviewer would understand your situation.
Set a Professional Voicemail
After submitting your application to any management consulting firm, you are not expected to attend to your phone 24/7. So make sure that you set up your voice mail in an appropriate and professional manner. Include your name to confirm that the interviewer has called the right applicant. As soon as you listened to it, call the firm back at the soonest, most convenient time. Assume that the recruiters will also contact other applicants so taking your time is not your best option.
Treat It Like an In-Person Interview
Do not wait for the face-to-face interview before you answer the questions in detail. Remember you won’t get that chance if you don’t make it right here. If the consulting interview has been scheduled ahead of time, think of the possible fit interview questions and rehearse your answer. Review your cover letter and resume as many of the questions will be sourced from those documents. Keep in mind that your goal for this step is to be called for an in-person case study interview at their office.
Since you have already learned a few tips on dealing with phone interviews, it’s time to prepare for other steps in the recruitment process.