Friday, December 05, 2014

Why You Should Learn to Master the Telephone Interview Process



I talk to different people every day of the week.  These conversations that I have with really smart people are often the triggers that cause me to write blog articles.

Sometimes, ideas just come to my mind based on experiences I’ve had recently or in the past that I think could be learning experiences for someone else if I were to simply share the experience.  Other times like right now, this blog is coming to mind based on an article I read on LinkedIn yesterday.  Here’s the article I’m making reference to:


I won’t say that I disagree with the entire article but I would like to offer a different perspective.  I work with clients nationwide and sometimes outside the US.  In my search practice, 100% of my interviews start with phone interviews.  These phone interviews are real interviews.  They’re not practice interviews and they’re not fun and games phone calls.

The author of the article made this suggestion:

“The phone interview is merely another hurdle that candidates are asked to clear before finally getting a real chance at landing their dream job. Understand what it is from the company’s perspective – an opportunity to find a reason not to bring you in for a face to face interview.

I completely disagree with this paragraph.  When I conduct a phone interview, it is because I’ve either recruited a candidate whom I hope to be a strong fit for my client’s needs or a great candidate has made themselves known to me.  When I schedule a phone interview, my perspective is that I’m looking for reasons to put the candidate on the other end of my phone in front of my client.

Nearly 100% of the candidates I put in front of my clients receive interviews with my clients.  The first interview may be a phone interview.  In this case, my client is looking for reasons to understand why I recommended the candidate in the first place. 

After I put a candidate in front of one of my clients and they have a phone interview, nearly all of my phone interviewed candidates are offered interview opportunities for face-to-face interviews.  Sometimes these are face-to-face interviews and other times these are offers to fly to my client’s city for a face-to-face interview.

If you’re chasing after a job in another city, you can certainly expect your interview process to start with a phone interview.  If you are pursuing a job in your own city, you may still start with a phone interview.  

For any phone interview, you need to be sure to answer the interviewer’s questions and to not interject your own agenda into the phone interview too soon.  I've seen what happens when candidates fail to listen and to answer the interviewer's questions on a telephone interview.

Learning to master a phone interview is one of the most important skills you can develop for the interview process.  If you learn to master this step, you don't need to be afraid of this step in the interview process.





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