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First contacts: be prepared

After you apply to a job, you may have one of several types of exchanges with your future employer: first contact (verbal or by email), an appointment or a phone interview. There are many critical moments when you need to pay attention.

Making an appointment

Take careful note of the information provided to you during the conversation. This is the time to ask a few questions about:

  • The type of interview
  • How long the interview will last
  • Whether you will be asked to take a test. If so, which?
  • Who will be present (names and titles)

If you happen to be in a noisy place when you receive a call, explain the situation. Ask if you can reschedule the call for later that day.

Phone interview

The first interview you have might be conducted over the phone. You may not have agreed to this in advance. This is the first stage of recruitment during which the employer is deciding whether to meet with you.

Please note! Lately, these calls have been lasting longer and longer. You should therefore prepare for a call as though you were meeting with the recruiter. See the page Getting Ready for a Successful Interview.

A few tips

  • Make sure you’re in a quiet place that is free of distractions. If necessary, ask if the interview can be pushed to later that day.
  • Write down the person’s name and phone number.
  • Listen carefully to the questions and speak clearly.
  • They will ask you about your motivation.
  • They likely will also ask you a few questions in English.
  • They may ask questions about your salary expectations.
  • Keep paper and a pencil on hand to take notes.
  • Show your enthusiasm. Smile when you speak. Other people can hear it in your voice.
  • At the end of the conversation, ask what the next steps are.

Need help?

Career Management Services offers many individual services and workshops to help you prepare your job interviews.

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