Old School Interview Tips-Step 2:Phone Interviews

To continue my “Old School Interview Tips” I wanted to share what I found out about the tips that are given to the interviewer/recruiter for when they will be conducting a phone interview.  I am excited to take a look at the other side of the coin and see how I can work my magic to wow the person on the other end of the phone line.

“The format is the same as the in-house interview, but less detailed, and should always end with a definitive action.”

Opening: Start with a few general introductory words about who you are and GENERAL information about the position.

Information Gathering: Ask open-ended, probing and direct questions to determine the candidate’s general qualifications.

Providing Information: Provide a little bit of information on the company and ask if they have any questions.

Closing: Always close the interview with some direct information.  Decide what the verdict is, and according to that decision make the appropriate close:

NO: (Refer to a previous post about other phrases recruiters use to tell you that you’re not in the running anymore.) ‘I’m looking for someone who has a little more experience in XYZ than you at this time…’

MAYBE: ‘I’m not sure whether your background is appropriate for this particular position, however I would like to give it more consideration.  I will call you on ….’ -mark it in your calendar to follow up with the candidate.

YES: ‘I would be interested in having you come in for an interview. I will ask HR to set up a time.'”

I hope this helps to understand the steps recruiters take to put you into one of three buckets.

But what is the reason for the phone interview? Well, after digging through some old papers I found more information from Marcus & Associates,  Executive Services of America, Inc.

Here are 5 real reasons for a phone interview to occur:

1. The “screening call” from Human Resources: ” Quite often, the HR department needs to learn more about you for the purpose of sending your credentials down to the hiring manager…”

2. The “Ad Response” from a hiring manager: “When a hiring manager with an open position runs an ad…they often have to run brief telephone interviews on the top ten or more resumes.”

3. The “in-depth” telephone interview: “Generally…either already screened by the HR department or by a recruiter, the hiring manager will want to conduct a more intensive session dealing with the past experience and skills of the applicant in comparison to the job requirements.”

4. The “recruiter interview”: “After being recruited for a position…you will have a telephone conversation in detail with this outside consultant. It can be specific to a given project or allow you an opportunity to go into your [the candidate’s]aspirations and goals for your career in general.”

5. The “committee telephone interview”: (Personally, I’ve never had this happen before and am kind of happy about it.  It’s hard enough to exude your personality over the phone but to do so with several people on the line…then again, is that why I’ve been on speaker phone before?)  “Sometimes several hiring managers will decide to get together on the interviewing process, so that they can share their conclusions afterwards.”

So…what do Marcus & Associates suggest you can do to prepare for any one of these situations?
Here are the tips in my own words.

1. Even though you are being interviewed, remember that the interviewer may be feeling just as uncomfortable as you…make them feel at ease, this will show your personality.

2. Smile over the phone!

3. You are being judged by the same criteria used in an in-person interview, so exude self-confidence!

4. Keep it short and sweet and don’t ramble on about your skills and success’.  Prepare some answers ahead of time.

5. When dead air arises, an extremely uncomfortable time, make sure that you have some topics to bring up and some questions to ask.

6. This is when listening skills are most important!  So listen up and turn off any noise around you.

7. The success of the interview will come from how comfortable you are with your surroundings so, get comfortable and make sure the call is happening at a good time when you will not be interrupted.

8. Never ask about compensation or benefits and don’t bring up issues at a current or previous employer!

Since I like round numbers…here are my own two pieces of advice!

9. Sit up when you talk. Your voice changes so you don’t want to sound like you are making the phone call from your bed.

10.  Always have a pen and paper next to you!

I hope these tips help and…what did you do today?

P.S. Tomorrow is Free Museum Day so print your tickets! And Monday…look forward to more interview tips!

One thought on “Old School Interview Tips-Step 2:Phone Interviews

  1. this is a time when you can have your CV, all kind of helpful information about your previous experience next to you, because you can forget about something, so be prepared…

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