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Phone Interviews: To Do or Not to Do…. That is the Question?

Phone Interviews: To Do or Not to Do…. That is the Question?

by Ami Patel, Senior Recruiter

Have you ever wondered what you should or should not do during a phone interview? Phone interviews are very different than in-person, face-to-face interviews. During a phone interview, you must be extra cautious of what you say and how you say it because your words and tone tell the story. I conduct phone interviews with job seekers all day long, some leave me wondering if they have ever been prepped. So, let’s explore a few do’s and don’ts!

Don’t say more than you need to. Wait for an interviewer to finish asking their question before you answer – interrupting can leave a bad impression. Make sure you don’t answer with one word; elaborate but be concise. There is an allotted time frame for the interview and if the interviewer (and/or panel) don’t get the chance to ask all their questions, they may pass on you as a candidate.

Do let them know you have what it takes to do the job. This is your chance to prove you have the experience and knowledge. Be direct and make sure you have examples of what it takes to perform the job functions.

Don’t talk about past projects/employers in a negative way. If you must, use the scenario and turn it into a positive example of your work experiences. Always have a positive attitude and tone during the phone interview.

Do speak to how well you work with others. Being a team player can never work against you! It’s very important the interviewer knows that your personality will be a fit for their team environment.

Do let the interviewer know that you are excited and motivated for the project.

Don’t ever swear in any shape or form! That is a big DON’T!

Don’t be in an area where you can be disturbed by your family, pets, co-workers, or traffic. You won’t get the job if you are screaming at your cat or dog to get off your desk during the interview. (This really happened!)

Don’t chew or eat during the interview. Again, they can’t see you, but they can hear you!

Don’t tell them how smart you are and that they would be lucky to have you. This will be a sure way to be rejected.

Don’t talk about compensation with the interviewer, unless asked directly. This should have already been discussed with your recruiter and communicated to the hiring manager.

Do have questions ready for the interviewer at the conclusion. This lets them know that you are prepared for the interview and did your homework. An example of a good question would be how they feel your experience would add value to the position.

Typically, phone interviews are 30 minutes, make the most of your time to show the employer you are the best person for the project. Use it wisely!

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