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How to Ace Your Financial Modeling Phone Interview

Phone interviews continue to become more popular. They are a good way to get through the first interview with prospective financial modeling employees without the one-on-one face time necessary to make a first decision. More companies, especially those that are recruiting from outside the local area, have turned to phone interviews to make it through the first interviews with applicants.  Many times applicants are not invited to the actual company until the second interview.

Here are some things to keep in mind should you be asked to take part in a phone interview for your next financial modeling job.

Why you applied – It is important to explain the reason that you applied for the job. Not why you applied for any generic financial modeling job, but this particular job. Since everyone knows that, in today’s competitive job market, you likely have applied to several job postings, it is important to show in your interview that you are applying for the job and that you understand that job and what the company does. Explain why you are a good fit for the company and the job.

Why you are the best choice – This is your time to highlight why you will be a good fit for the job. You will want to explain what you bring to the table and why you are the best candidate for the job. It is also good to explain how the job fits into your career progression. Being confident is important during the phone interview. Companies want a financial modeling candidate that is confident and understands the job for which they are applying as well as why the job would be a good fit for both the applicant and the company.

Be honest and upfront – During your phone interview, it is important to be honest and upfront about anything in your past or on your resume that might be questionable. If you have a gap in your employment history, address it upfront. Don’t hope that they don’t notice – they will ALWAYS notice. A good financial modeling job applicant will address any issues before the questions can be asked. Being upfront and honest will show that you have nothing to hide.

Be ready with something about you – Most interviews include a time where the interviewer will ask you tell them a little about yourself. In fact, this is a common way for many interviewers to open an interview. Be ready to share some important things about yourself and your professional background without referring directly to the job. You want the interviewer to make correlations without you directly pointing them out.

Most people have a tendency to take a phone interview less serious than an in-person interview. Do not make this mistake. A phone interview is just as important as an in-person interview. Dress nicely, sit up straight and smile when you are on the phone, you will be surprised how your mannerisms and attitude can be portrayed through the phone. Lastly, speak clearly and not too fast. A good phone interview can lead to an invitation to an in-person second interview, which is the next step to landing your next financial modeling job.

Acing Your Financial Modeling Phone Interview

In today’s job market, it is more common than ever to be asked to complete a phone interview.  Whether you are searching for your first financial modeling job, or looking for your next career step, you will want to be prepared for the possibility of a phone interview.  As a financial modeling job candidate, being prepared for a phone interview is an important part of your job search.

Though it is an interview, a phone interview must be approached in the right way in order to be successful.  In addition to preparing for the interview as you would any other interview, you need to keep a few things in mind if asked to participate in a phone interview.  Following these tips will make your phone interview a success.

  • Be on Time.  This means that if you are to call at a specific time or told you will be called by the interviewer during a particular time window, you need to be ready to make or receive the call and don’t be late. If you are the one to make the call, do not be too early.  A few minutes before the time is acceptable but you do not want to sit on hold any more than the interviewer wants to look at a blinking hold light on their phone.
  • Have Your Notes Ready.  One of the advantages of the phone interview is that you can have your notes in front of you to help you stay on track, give you key words to answer questions, or have a list of ready to go questions when you are asked if you have any questions.  Take advantage of this aspect of phone interviews and have your notes ready and legible.
  • Keep Background Noise to a Minimum.  Remember, you are on the phone and background noise can be distracting to the interviewer.  This is especially true if you plan to use a cellular phone, as cell phones tend to pick up every noise in the background.  Be sure to be in a quiet place, turn off televisions and radios, and keep family members out of the room during your interview.
  • Dress Up and Don’t Slouch.  Though you may be tempted to interview in your pajamas while lying on the couch, this can be a bad decision on your part.  You will feel more confident and therefore project that confidence and professionalism if you are dressed and sitting up straight or standing during the interview.  Don’t let something as petty as assuming a couch potato stance be the reason you don’t get a second interview.

Following these tips help you prepare for your phone interview and get you through it with flying colors.  Being prepared for any type of interview will help you feel confident and possibly help you land that next financial modeling job.

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