From a Recruiter’s Viewpoint Vol. 9

In this Issue:
Telephone Interviews

More and more, hiring managers rely on a telephone screen to determine the need for a face-to-face interview. The telephone interview is probably the most tricky and difficult interview to do because you are eliminating one of the key parts of any interview, which is body language. You have only about 10 minutes to make a good impression. It’s quite a bit tougher to make a good impression and stand out from other candidates when you are only a voice on the telephone.

Our Advice for Hiring Managers

  1. Set aside quiet, uninterruptible time. Always schedule an interview time like any other meeting.
  2. Have a short list of requirements well defined and at your fingertips.
  3. You are trying to determine if they have the skills and experience to do the job. Stick to an agenda.
  4. Start with a very brief synopsis of what you are looking for. If they are listening, they will emphasize how their skills and experience match up.
  5. Use the resume as your guide to discover why job changes were made and how this person makes decisions.
  6. Probe accomplishments with “How did you do that specifically?” questions.
  7. Ask them what they would change in their current job to create the perfect job for themselves. This addresses their motivation.
  8. Ask what they know about the position and the company and why they would want to work for you.
  9. Don’t waste time on unqualified candidates. Politely cut off the interview after 15 minutes.
  10. Take notes.

For Candidates:

  1. Be prepared – know how you are going to present your strengths and qualifications for this specific opening.
  2. Be ready for a full-blown in-depth interview, not a quick screen.
  3. The interview starts as soon as you pick up the phone, have your “interview voice” ready, smile and stand up, you will speak louder and more concisely when doing so.
  4. Visualize being across from the interviewer as if you were there with them. Project a self-confident image.
  5. Set aside, quiet uninterruptible time. If your situation has unexpectedly changed, you are better off apologizing and rescheduling than proceeding with screaming kids in the background.
  6. Have your resume on hand, but do not use prepared scripts.
  7. Listening and responding to what is said is absolutely vital.   Do not take notes which can distract you.
  8. Ask questions sporadically throughout the interview, giving the discussion an air of a casual conversation.
  9. Help them connect your skills and experience to the job requirements with clear, concise, fact-filled examples.
  10. If asked about compensation, tell them what you currently earn and that you expect an appropriate increase. Don’t bring up compensation unless the client asks.
  11. Do not use a cell phone. Disable call waiting. Don’t chance any nuisance interruptions.
  12. It is okay to ask about the next step in the process and to express your continued interest in the opportunity. Try to close the deal


Next Issue:
Resume Writing

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