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The path to landing a job has considerably changed in the recent decade.  The idea that social media background checks have become commonplace, as well as professional portfolios have certainly made an impact in some hiring landscapes.  Although resumes dominate in getting you noticed from the rest of the applicants, it has become increasingly the trend that a telephone interview will be part of the screening process to get you to an in-person interview with a hiring manager.


Accordingly, you may be wondering why this extra step has suddenly taken such a huge role in the traditional job search.  Employers are predominantly using a phone interview as a way to thin out the applicant pool.  In addition, they are also looking for a couple of factors; namely, they want to firm up certain essential inquires that would be contingent in beginning employment and they could include:

  • Salary requirements
  • Start date
  • Hours you are available to work
  • Possible relocation issues

Besides the above practical information which may be non-negotiable in a potential employer’s eyes, that person may also try to garner a sense of how you would fit within the company’s culture.  Therefore, some turnoffs across the board would be if you communicate poorly, seem distracted, or portray an unfriendly demeanor.  Most job recruiters have a good sense in picking out these red flags rather quickly.


Ways To Up Your Odds

Phone interviews usually begin with the preliminary step of contact through email for a future scheduling.  Although, you should be aware they could be initiated without notice.  Therefore, once you send in your resume it is a good idea to follow some basic rules to keep you in the running and that will help you get a face-to-face interview with someone who has the authority to hire you.


Preparation can be one of your biggest assets when it comes to a phone interview.  Take the time to adequately research the company you have applied to.  One of the most common questions that arise during these sessions is, “Why do you want to work for us?”  Your best response would be one that is well articulated, thoughtful, and original.  Therefore, doing some due diligence will work in your favor and will give you an opportunity to stand out.  Take notes and keep them in a handy spot when the time comes.


Another consideration for phone interviews is the area of distractions.  If you were lucky enough to have a scheduled one, make sure that the children and pets are occupied and in another room during this time.  Keep music, the TV, and any beeps or notifications off from other phones, tablets, or laptops for the duration of your talk.  If you received an unscheduled phone interview and it is truly a bad time to go through with it, politely ask for a future call, which should not pose a problem in most cases.


Third, remember that although this kind of interview is not face-to-face, you must portray a positive personality that is engaging and upbeat.  Your answers should fall between rambling and simple “yes/no” answers.  Again, some thoughtfulness and practice will help your articulation, and a good rule of thumb is to keep your responses to three sentences or less.  In addition, these obvious factors also can substantially up your chances of nailing the phone interview:

  • Consider the whole interview as a formal meeting
  • Don’t interrupt the speaker
  • Be concise in answering
  • “Smile” through your sentences and keep positive
  • Preferably use a landline to avoid disconnection mishaps


Finally, do not forget to follow-up after the phone interview is over.   Within 24 hours you should email the recruiter and thank him/her for the consideration and interview.   In addition, be sure to reiterate your interest in the position.  These interviews can be more stressful than the traditional ones due to in large part to the unexpected ways they could go and the unknown emphasis placed upon them.  However, with the proper preparation and planning you can place yourself as the top contender for the open position.

Atlas Consulting is one of the top IT recruitment agencies working with clients and candidates in NYC, Philadelpha, New Jersey and beyond. Contact us today to see how we can help you reach your goals!

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