Phone interviews

In this lesson, we'll introduce some types of phone interviews.

Now, let’s go over some techniques that will help you ace your phone interviews, in-person interviews, and video-conference interviews.

For most organizations, phone interviews are required before you even get a chance to sit across from an interviewer.

According to Jorg Stegemann (a headhunter with Kennedy Executive Search & Outplacement in Paris), “In a typical search assignment with 100 or more candidates, I identify the 15 that interest me most and call them. Based on my impressions during telephone screening interviews, I meet with five or seven of these people. Only three of them make the shortlist that I present to my client.”

So, yeah, phone interviews are pretty important, but don’t be scared; we’ve got you.

For starters, there are two types of phone interviews: scheduled and unscheduled.

Scheduled phone interviews #

Scheduled phone interviews are (obviously) scheduled on either LinkedIn or by email. If you are responding to a request to schedule make sure that the time you are agreeing to actually works for you! It is very important that you are not caught off guard by an appointment you accidentally made at an inconvenient time; remember, this interview will most likely determine whether or not the organization wants to move ahead with you.

Unscheduled phone interviews #

The second type of phone interview is unscheduled and they are… unscheduled. However, this does not mean that you have to do the interview when they call. If it’s a bad time, tell them so by saying something like, “Great to hear from you. I am not at my desk and won’t be able to give this call the attention it deserves. When can I call you back?” (Stegemann). Do not feel uncomfortable saying this, it shows a commitment to professionalism​.

Pro Tip: No matter what happens during a phone interview, you must always remain calm and courteous. Even if you are not interested in a particular job, a snide remark could hurt your chances there and elsewhere. Remember, you do not live in a vacuum, people talk!

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