In our mock interview session, the first mock
interview offered a junior undergraduate who
was beginning her search for a summer internship.
We began her phone interview both on cell phones.
She apologized for not being ready at the moment.
After verbally fretting a bit, we stopped the interview
and noted that it is appropriate to suggest a
postponement until she was ready with all her
documents (and free from interruptions and noise).
Some screening interviews on the phone are set up
by an email to confirm time and number. But not
always. Also, things can change. Reschedule, so
that you can be ready.
Then, we began our interview. After a little small
talk we began the technical part by scanning the
resume and asking questions about the first element
under the experience section. It ends up, she was
just beginning the synthetic work and really not
accomplished her objective. While revealing some
embarrassment this was a “teaching moment” in
Remember, in phone interviews, answers should be
shorter and consist of back and forth conversation
of about 20 to 40 seconds.
Second, don’t list items on your resume until you
have actually experienced or done things, even if
you intend to do them. Every thing on your resume
is fair game for interview questions and in a
screening interview, we will seek to confirm
information listed in your resume.
Other tips for resumes, covered in the resume talk,
in related sections on interviewing and in the
resume review discussions were:
1. No personal pronouns, unnecessary words (a, the,
that, or fluff), or personal attributes (personal status,
age, SSN, except in European resumes).
2. Target the resume with a focused objective,
prioritized list of highlights, keywords used in the
job description, and prepared stories using CARI
concept for each bulleted item
3. Bring extra copies of your well written resume
(some interviewers may not have a copy, and
infrequently, people will want to see you speak
without back up material)
4. Use your resume as a reminder device about
key accomplishments and skills you have, after
you leave the interview
5. Take note of the items the interviewers asked
6. Avoid the common tendency to provide too
much information TMI, months with years, all
the years you attended schools (just provide
7. Be consistent in you punctuation and avoid
using too many acronyms
8. Be conscious of the “resume red zone” - the
center section of the first page for key information
matching what skills are sought.
Recently, I have heard that links provided in
resumes as attachments may be treated as spam
by spam filters. Deactivate the links (highlight
the link, right mouse click, and “remove the link.”).