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The increasing trend for landing a job has slightly changed from years ago.  It used to be the case where you simply answered a job posting with a resume and cover letter.  Then you usually got a call back with an interview date if enough interest came from these written documents.  Now, more and more, hiring managers want to set up a preliminary phone interview before they give you an in-person interview.  You may be wondering what has changed.


Simply put, the initial phone interview is a tool used by recruiters to make the first cut from the resume/cover letter pool.  So it becomes easy to understand that if you dismiss the phone interview as unimportant, know that without its success the next steps will likely never happen.


How to Beat The Odds

Phone interviews are typically scheduled via a preliminary telephone contact by the receptionist or scheduler of the company or through an email.  However, be aware that a phone interview can be impromptu.  Because of this fact, it works to your advantage to be extra vigilant to answer in a professional manner.  It is also a good time to check that your voicemail greeting is expertly tailored and gives a nice impression.


If you are lucky enough to actually have a scheduled phone interview, keep these following tips handy to ace it:

  • Although you are not face-to-face with an employer, you must keep all the interview skills you have ever learned up until now working for you.  That means, you should answer the phone when scheduled, remain attentive, and keep distractions away (nagging children are occupied, TV is muted, and other devices should be turned off, etc.).  It is okay to be comfortable, but not to the point where the casualness on your end seeps through; therefore, it is a good idea to sit behind a desk or table while the conversation is in occurrence.
  • Another good idea is to have your resume, and any other documents you sent in when you inquired for the job, in front of you with all of your career accomplishments listed.  This way, you can make reference to details about yourself as appropriate.
  • As you would for a formal in office interview, make sure to do your research on the company and do take notes for easy mentioning.  In this regard, you actually have an advantage because there is no need to memorize facts; although you should be familiar with anecdotes so that it does not sound like you are reading when you talk about them.
  • Your personality and values should subtly come through during the conversation.  Be a good listener, which shows courtesy and attentiveness.  Be enthusiastic in order to show good energy and a genuine interest in the company.  Make sure that you set yourself apart for all the right reasons.
  • Lastly, review these top interview questions you should prepare for well in advance. You will surly face some different questions, but this will at least get you ready to think on your feet.


As stated earlier, treat any phone interview with the same seriousness you would an actual face-to-face interview.  That means, you should have some questions ready for the interviewer.  Inquire about the job duties, if anything is vague.  In addition, at the end of it, even if the phone conversation lasted a mere 10 minutes, always email a short thank you note to reiterate your appreciation and interest in the job.  After that, you must sit back and wait to see if you get selected for an in office interview.  If that invitation comes through, you can deem the phone interview was a success, and you now will have entered the next step of the job hunting process.

Atlas Consulting group offers great IT career opportunities in NJ, NYC, and Philadelphia. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rewarding IT job.

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