The Phone Interview – Cheating is Allowed

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The phone screen is usually a candidate’s initial contact with a company – it is a low commitment opportunity for a candidate and employer to meet and see if there is any reason to meet in person.  The candidate’s resume has been screened and a hiring manager or recruiter is looking to do a quick screen to ensure that the candidate is a basic technical and cultural fit for the company.

Many candidates fail the phone screen because they try to fit it in like they would any phone call – between activities, without much preparation, trying to do something else in the meantime.  The phone interview happens to be a great way to get ahead of the interviewing competition.  With some preparation and a little cheating, candidates can succeed to the next step in the interviewing process every time.  Here are five “Do’s” for your next phone interview . . .

Find a quiet secluded spot for your phone interview.  Too often candidates try to conduct a phone interview while in the car or while watching their son’s soccer game.  Bad idea.  The successful candidate finds a quiet spot without noise or interruption and gets there early.

Print out your resume and keep it in front of you.  The answers are all there, so why not have your resume out?  This is a no-brainer.

Use a laptop or an iPad and bring up the company’s website on it before your call.  The rest of the answers are here and scanning the website can yield some great questions and answers during the phone screen.

Use a landline if at all possible.  You don’t want to give AT&T or Verizon cellular networks any say in your initial phone screen do you?

Stand up and move around.  Non-verbal cues are impossible to use during a phone screen and the only tool you have to show enthusiasm and communicate interest is through your voice.  Don’t sit and get too comfortable in a chair – move around and you will naturally speak in a more natural fashion.  Standing and pacing keep you awake and inject some urgency into your voice.

Good luck on that phone screen, and remember to pick up that phone on time!


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