Simple ways to improve phone screens (for candidates) (SLOW DOWN)

If you are in the job market, most likely you will have at least one phone screen with a recruiter and then a phone interview before being brought in for an in person interview.


Here are a few steps for making the most of the recruiter phone screen (so you can make it to the phone or in person interview)

1) If it is a scheduled phone screen, a little research goes a long way. you may not know the company (if it is not listed) but knowing what positions you applied for comes across way better than, I applied for so many positions last night. 

2) Make sure you are not in a wind tunnel or a monster truck show. (Be in a quiet place where you are free to talk with a strong connection)


3) Speak Slowly. Most likely I am taking notes and the more I can get down, the more likely it will appeal to the hiring manager. 


4) Be able to give a solid answer to the salary question. I know this sucks but I do not want to waste yours or the hiring managers time with a gap in salary needs. With confidence state what you are currently or what you are making and what you expect to make. Do some research on salary levels. If you are way above what the position pays I will most likely let you know (and I may know of something that may be more in line). If you scare someone off due to your salary most likely it would not be a fit.


5) Try to eliminate verbal crutches such as umm, you know and like. I speak to candidates with a lot of experience and you know, umm, well you know sometimes they do not come across well. Slow down. Record yourself doing a phone interview. 

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Comment by Tim Spagnola on October 4, 2011 at 7:35pm
At least you don't need to be too concerned about a mint. Good list marcus and some helpful reminders. I would also add that if this call is not scheduled, but you answer at a time not good for you- by all means say so. I would much prefer to talk with someone at a convenient time rather it simply be a rushed courtesy conversation. I will also admit that I am very guilty of #3. Years of catching Docs in between rounds via an overhead page. You need to get a lot out there is a very small window.
Comment by Amy Ala Miller on October 4, 2011 at 7:47pm
Marcus I do so many phone screens a week sometimes I lose count.  Excellent list - especially #1 (I always start with what questions do you have for me and that directs the conversation for better or worse) and #4 I have no problem sharing our range but you have to tell me yours too.  Nicely done!


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