The Dos and Don’ts of Phone Interviews

The Dos and Don’ts of Phone Interviews

In today’s on-the-go digital world, phone interviews are becoming increasingly popular for interviews with multiple rounds. These interviews are convenient, easy to schedule and save time. Oftentimes, the phone interview serves as a preliminary round that determines whether or not a candidate will be invited to an in-person interview. These interviews sound great on paper: you don’t have to dress up and the pressure of a face-to-face meeting is eliminated — phone interviews are a breeze, right? While phone interviews do have their perks, they should be taken as seriously as any other from of interviewing. Here are some of the best tips for over-the-phone interviews.


  1. Prepare.

You should prepare for a phone interview the same way you would for any other interview. This entails doing your research on the company, being familiar with the job description and preparing questions. You should also practice answering anticipated questions. Having your resume in front of you is another way to ensure you are prepared because it is likely the interviewer will reference it.

  1. Charge your phone.

The last thing you want is for your phone to die mid-sentence just as you and the interviewer are warming up. Make sure that your phone is fully charged prior to the interview and that you have a phone charger with you in case the phone call is lengthy.

  1. Find a comfortable location.

Choose an environment in which you will not be disturbed. Before your interview takes place, it is important to find a location that is quiet, has good phone reception and no distractions. Avoid locations such as busy coffee shops and other noisy public places. If you are going to be at home, keep the TV and music off. To ensure that all distractions are eliminated, it is also a good idea to turn off mobile notifications prior to the interview so that your phone is not buzzing or dinging in your ear while you are trying to concentrate.

  1. Pay attention to how you speak.

The most important tip to remember for a phone interview is to slowly and speak clearly. You should also make sure you sound cheerful and interested. Avoid a monotone voice. Try smiling when you answer the phone and throughout the interview: it gives your voice a warm, welcoming and confident tone that will translate to the interviewer in a positive way.

  1. Take notes.

Taking notes will keep you focused on what the interviewer is saying and help you come up with questions you can ask at the end. Make note of the questions that you were asked and other important pieces of the conversation. Notes are a valuable resource that can help prepare you for a follow-up interview.


  1. Don’t ramble.

Keep answers as brief as possible. In other words be thoughtful and thorough but get to the point; without the element of eye contact and body language, it can be easy to lose focus (and interest) fast. Limit your response time to a minute or less. Instead of rambling or using fillers such as “um” and “uh,” take a few seconds to think of your response.

  1. Don’t forget to keep it formal.

A phone interview can feel comfortable and informal because you are not dressed up or face-to-face with the interviewer. However, you must not forget to keep the interview formal. Don’t talk in slang and don’t use curse words. Speak how you would during any professional interview.

  1. Don’t eat food, chew gum or drink during the interview.

These are all noises the interviewer does not want to hear in his/her ear. These activities are also distracting and take away from your ability to speak clearly. However, having a glass of water in front of you is okay in case your throat gets dry.

  1. Don’t interrupt the interviewer.

Give the interviewer time to finish their full thought. Interrupting him/her mid-sentence is rude. If you feel like you are going to forget what you had to say/ask, then write it down and come back to it once he/she is done speaking.

4 Tips for Skype Interview You Need To Succeed

Job interviews are already intimidating enough as is, but if you throw trying to communicate via Skype into the mix, it can feel like that awkwardness is multiplied by a thousand. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with these helpful tips, so you can focus on what’s most important— getting the job!

1. Plan Ahead!
You want to come off as professional as possible, so if you know ahead of time that you’re going to have a video interview, then plan out what you want the camera to see. A plain background is best; You also don’t want to look silly by having a plant or something else looking like it’s growing out of your head. But what’s most crucial is just making sure that everything in the background is tidy and orderly. You don’t have to clean the whole room, but at least just straighten up the area that will be shown on camera.

2. Check The Time Zones
If the employer is located somewhere outside your timezone, make sure you communicate with them about whether the time you plan to interview is your timezone or theirs. Here is a nifty website if you need help figuring out what time the interview is at!

3. Update Software Before the Meeting
Leave an hour or two before the scheduled interview free so you can update the software to be the most recent version. This is crucial. Nothing is more embarrassing than getting on a Skype call and then the employer is not able to hear/see you.

4. Dress the Part
Even if the Skype interview is from the comfort of your own home, dress as though you were going in for an in-person interview. Do not– and I repeat, do not– wear pajama bottoms because you think only your shoulders up will be shown on video. If for some reason you have to stand up during the Skype interview, sweatpants would instantly make you lose all credibility. Give yourself your best shot to succeed!

For more interview tips and tricks, check out some of our other blogs.

How to Prepare for an Interview

You’ve conquered the job application, resume, and cover letter at this point. Now comes the time of interviews where you need to seal the deal to obtain the job offer! How will you be prepared? With the use of these great preparation tactics, you’ll be able to nail any interview coming your way.

1. Do your research on the company, hiring manager, and the job position.
Thoroughly analyze the organization’s website so you can relate details you’ve learned about the company in your answers to interview questions. Learn about the company’s culture to be able to make the impression you’d be a great fit. Make sure you know the hiring manager’s name and a bit about him/her so you can make a personal connection during your interview to up your chances. You should also be aware of the exact job requirements to know how to market yourself.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Practice makes perfect, right? Practice answering typical interview questions that most employers ask to refrain from freezing up on the spot. Think of examples and stories you can tell about yourself to highlight your achievements. Giving proof of your resume skills is important! Also, come up with a list of your own questions to ask the employer. They want to know you’re interested in them too!

3. Plan ahead of time and dress for success.
Have extra copies of your resume printed, have a notepad and pen on hand, and have your outfit picked out the night before! You want to appear organized and professional. Make sure your outfit choice is appropriate for the interview–it’s important to make a good first impression.

4. Be early for the interview.
Showing up on time just isn’t good enough in this situation. Give yourself extra time to get to the right place, find parking, check your outfit, and going over key points you want to say in the interview. Being time pressed is a stressful experience no one wants to have right before going into an interview.

5. Body language and eye contact is key!
During the interview, RELAX. Include body language with your interview answers to show your personable qualities. It’s important to appear confident in what you’re saying. Actively listen to the employer’s question so you answer to your fullest ability. Lastly, maintain eye contact the entire time!

For more interview tips and tricks, visit our website!

Steps to Following Up Post Job Interview

You’ve just nailed your job interview! As soon as you walked out the door of that hiring manager’s office, you stopped to take a big, deep breath of relief. All of that stressful preparation may be over with, but now comes the anxiety of waiting for an answer. Instead of solely waiting by the phone, there are important steps you must take to increase your chance of landing the job.

After the interview, it’s important that you follow-up with the company without crossing any boundaries. So how do you make the right impression? Below you will learn the steps on how you can follow-up with an employer post-interview!

First, Write a Thank You Note.
Following up with a thank you email, or a handwritten letter, is essential to show your continued interest in the job opportunity. You should do this within the first 24 hours after the interview with every person that you spoke with. This note should be friendly and conversational–but keep it short! Restate your interest in the job and include any additional reasons as to why you’re qualified. This will help you to stay in their minds as they’re making a decision.

Second, Check In After a Couple Weeks.
Sending a thank you note to initially follow up was easy, right? Now comes the harder part: checking back in with the employer when the date you were suppose to hear back has past. You don’t want to sound annoying, of course, but you want to make it known that you’re still eager about the job. Keep the message brief–ask them where they are in the decision-making process and if there’s anything you can provide to further help.

So What’s Next?
A few different outcomes could happen now. Best case scenario, you get the job! However, you could hear back that they are still in the process of making a decision… Or, worst case scenario, you hear back that you didn’t get the job.

If you hear back that they are still in the hiring process, it’s time to stay on top of it and continue to reach out. Tell them you’re still extremely interested, and kindly ask for an update on the process at their earliest convenience.

If you received the news you didn’t get the job, move on! The right job is out there for you–so stay positive, and keep looking and visit our website for more opportunities.

5 Things Employers Are Looking For On Your LinkedIn

It’s a tough job market out there today– but luckily, professional networking sites like LinkedIn allow candidates to brand and present themselves to employers exactly the way they want. Check out our tips on how to maximize your LinkedIn portfolio to its fullest potential.

1. Look Professional

The bio section of your profile is the first thing any employer is going to see when they view your profile. This means it’s imperative you sell yourself right off the bat. Employers almost never view a profile that’s lacking a photo, so make sure you have a professional and recent image that’s cropped to show your face clearly. Next, ensure that your headline is catchy and uses specific keywords that employers can search to find you by. And lastly, customize your LinkedIn URL– it’s a quick and simple way to look more professional.

2. Specify Your Summary

The summary section can either make or break your profile. You could have great experience and the necessary skills for a position, but if your summary section is too broad or generalized, employers might feel as though you lack interest or drive. This is the opportunity to showcase who you are and where your career is going!

3. Build Up Connections

Everything is about networking nowadays. Without connections, you will be listed lowly on the results an employer receives when they’re searching LinkedIn for candidates. If possible, shoot for at least 100 connections. Connect with friends, family, old classmates, professors, or anyone else whom may be appropriate in order to build up your online network.

4. Show Your Work

Anyone can simply state their skills and say what that they’re capable of doing, but it’s much more impressive if you can back it up. Visuals are a great way to catch an employer’s eye and make yourself stand out. Upload any and all examples that show off work you’re proud of.

5. List Recommendations

Recommendations are a quick way to build up credibility with employers, so if you’ve got them, show them! Recommendations are a testament to your character and allow insight into your real world experiences and connections. Plus, the majority of LinkedIn profiles that employers view don’t list any recommendations, so this will really set you apart from all the other candidates.

For more career tips and tricks, check out some of our other blogs, or visit our website to view the most recent job opportunities!

6 Tips to Getting the Best Resume in 2018

How many chances do you get to make a first impression on employers? You know the answer… one. Generally, the first thing hiring managers get their hands on about you is your resume. So, if you’re hoping to get your foot in the door with an interview, it’s crucial that yours is impressive enough to not get thrown in the trash with the other hundreds of applicants’ resumes. Not only do you want to make the best first impression, but you want to make the right one. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks to notch up your resume this year.


1. Boost your contact info.

Hiring managers don’t have much time to waste. Make their job as easy as possible by using hyperlinks so that it’s just one-click away. This includes your email address and your LinkedIn profile, or any other social media accounts you want the recruiter to see.

2. Use good structure that makes things “pop.”

If you think recruiters are slowly reading your resume from start to finish, think again. Instead, they are constantly skimming the page for certain check-offs they’re looking for. Therefore, use bolded text to make certain your achievements don’t get grazed over.

3. Don’t speak in first person.

Your resume shouldn’t include words like “I” or any other pronouns. Instead, take off the “I” and just begin with the verb to describe your experiences.

4. Forget the “skills” section, and weave your talents into your work experience.

Instead of having a long list of skills at the bottom of your resume, employers would rather see how you have applied them by including them into your work experience section.

5. Prioritize your resume content.

To make the best impression, you want the utmost relevant and important experience to be listed first. Make sure the categories on your resume are organized for recruiters to easily stay focused.

6. Keep it short and simple.

The average hiring manager spends about 10-20 seconds looking at your resume. You don’t want to blow this short amount of time. The highlight here is to cut down your professional story to one page, unless you have over 5 years of experience.   

For more tips about your resume from The Wilson Group, check out our blog and for job opportunities view our website.


Company Culture

Culture has become a buzzword in the business world. What does it really mean? Culture is a complicated term as it encompasses several aspects of a company. A Forbes article, written by Josh Bersin, defines culture as the set of behaviors, values, artifacts, reward systems and rituals that make up your organization. A company’s culture is evident in people’s behavior, enthusiasm and the space itself. All of these things can be felt or experienced when you walk into a company, meet with people and watch them interact.

Why is this important to know/consider?
Research shows that culture, engagement and employee retention are the top challenges facing business leaders today. Companies are trying to understand what helps keep employees engaged at work as well as what helps with employee retention. The company culture plays a large part in this equation. As more websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor post information to the public regarding a company’s employment brand, job-seekers are able to receive insights into what working for a certain company is like. They are able to peek into the culture of a company. Companies want a good reputation in this area because it demonstrates their commitment to employee satisfaction.

How is this “culture”created?
Culture-driven companies require the right leadership. What leaders say, what they value and what they give importance to all play into the culture. The leaders of the company are the ones who create and facilitate a certain culture. It is crucial that the right people are put in place to help foster this culture. Another way to improve culture is to look to the role models of company culture. These include companies like Southwest and Apple Inc. Let them serve as an example.

If you’re a business, you might want to take a moment to consider your company culture as well as your current leadership. If you’re an individual seeking out a job, be sure to look into the company culture of the organizations you apply to work for. This information can be accessed before you even go in for an interview. Get online and do your research!

For more company culture tips visit our website!

Interview Do’s and Don’ts

Interviewing can be the most stressful aspect of the job search process, but it doesn’t have to be! Here’s a quick checklist of the most important Do’s and Don’ts to be aware of before going in for your next interview.


Research the company
Come to the interview with a prepared list of questions tailored specifically to the company and position. This will communicate your interest and make you stand apart from applicants asking more general questions.

Re-read job description
Adapt the verbs and strengths used in the job description to fit answers that may apply to your previous experience and qualifications.

Use the STAR method
The easiest way to remember how to respond to situational interview questions is to use the STAR method, which stands for: Situation, Task, Action, and Result. You can begin to use this method for your answers by first explaining the context of the overall Situation. Then you’d move on to describe the issues of the Task at hand, and what specific Actions you took to solve it. And lastly, detail what you learned from the end Result.


Be negative
It’s okay to explain the certain challenges of a past position and what you’ve learned from those experiences, but speaking poorly about a company or an old boss will only reflect badly on yourself. Keep all your answers in a positive light.

Fumble on responses
Rather than using filler words such as “um” or “uh” before responding to a question, it’s perfectly acceptable to say “let me think about that,” and collect your thoughts before beginning to speak. This will convey your confidence and ability think strategically in the moment.

Forget about body language
First impressions matter. So it’s paramount that you remember to make eye-contact and smile when first shaking hands with your interviewer. Furthermore, avoid crossing your arms, slouching, or nervously touching your hands or face throughout the interview as these movements can show lack of seriousness or relay nervousness.

For more tips and tricks feel free to check out our blog and to search for job opportunities, visit our website!

Are You Ready for Your Next Interview?

Preparing for an interview can be intimidating, but do not fret. Here we will provide you with several tips and tidbits on how to be ready for your next interview.

Read Through Your Practice Questions
First, read through practice questions and explain your answers to someone out loud. This will make answering these questions in the actual interview much easier. Some common questions include the following:
Tell me about yourself.
Tell me about your past experience.
What do you know about this company?
Why should we hire you?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Get Ready
Next, you should prepare yourself by finding an outfit that is professional and that you feel confident in. When you don’t feel confident in what you have on, your focus shifts onto your appearance rather than the interview. You never want this to occur. Looking great and feeling great is key.

As you continue to get ready, you should read up on the company and seek out information from their website and social media pages. If you know your interviewer, it is also beneficial to check out their personal LinkedIn page, prior to the interview. This background knowledge is important because it makes you more familiar with the company, its culture and its clients. This will give you great insight, allow you to form questions for them and prevent you from walking into an interview blind. Be sure to print your resume out the night before as well and not the day of. This allows you to focus on other things the day of the interview.

Have a Great Day
On the day of the interview, focus on having a balanced breakfast. Then allot plenty of time to change into your outfit, figure out directions and drive to the interview location. Be sure to account for traffic. Before going in, have a mint, take a few deep breaths and remember that you are ready for this. You have prepared.

Our hope is that these tips will allow you to relax a bit and feel prepared for your next interview. For more tips, visit our website.

Tips for Networking Success

Confidence is key. If you’re nervous, don’t let it show. Instead, fake it until you make it. If you’re an introvert, try to emulate someone you admire in these social situations until it feels more natural for you. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.


Repeat the name of the person you’re speaking with. When you first meet someone new, use their name a few times throughout your conversation with them. This will help to build up rapport and a sense of familiarity with them.


Find networking circles in your area. Sites like provide you with a plethora of local groups and events going on, giving you ample opportunities to meet new people with similar interests and career paths as you. The events section of LinkedIn is a good resource as well.


Be excited to network!  Networking is a key driver behind higher salaries and career advancement, so don’t think of it as something dreadful, but rather as an opportunity for success.


Be vivacious. People want to work with individuals who are passionate about what they do, and one way to differentiate yourself from another person with similar skills as you is to speak enthusiastically, rather than in a boring, monotone voice.


Write down notes after conversations. Jot down a few key details about each new contact after you’re done speaking with them in order to remember specific details for your follow-up conversations. This will make it easier for you to differentiate who you talked to about what. Referencing an noteworthy detail that you and this new contact bonded over will make for a much more authentic follow up.


Know when to hand out your business card. Your business card is only as powerful as the impression you leave behind. Get to know the person you’re speaking with and gauge if there’s a connection. If so, end the conversation by offering your card to him or her.


Be aware of your body language. Crossing your arms can appear standoffish, fidgeting may make you seem nervous, and lack of eye contact can come off as uninterested. While speaking with a new person, keep a pleasant expression on your face and stay engaged by doing things like nodding your head in agreement and maintaining eye contact.

The meaningful connections you’ll make through networking are invaluable, and so is The Wilson Group! Let us help you find your dream job. Visit our website or call us at (361) 883-3535.  



We are eager to get you matched perfectly with the right talent or the right employer. Our years of experience translate to great starts.

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