The biggest lie about phone interviews and what to do about it

They don’t really call them phone interviews in HR, they call them phone screens.

Don’t be fooled that you are ever being called on the phone for a job interview.  The only reason you are ever “interviewed” on the phone is because they hope to keep from having to meet you.  The idea is to keep from wasting their time….and yours. The words “phone interview” constitute a lie.

So, how do you act differently in a phone screening?

First, don’t give them any reason to exclude you.

Don’t talk about WIFM (What’s In It For Me). Do not ask them about pay, benefits, time off, or vacation.  You can ask that when they make you an offer.

Don’t tell them about your horrible job, terrible coworkers, or your boss who tortures children for recreation. Forget your job wound.  Anything negative you say will hurt you 10 times worse in a phone screen.

Second, give them something enticing.

Make sure that they have to invite you in to see you in person.  What have you actually done better than the average person?  No, I am not asking what your responsibilities were.  What did you do very well?  You were a programmer….big deal.  There are 50 of them applying for the job.  You are a salesman…whoopee.  20 other salespeople want the job, and half are better looking than you.  So, how did you excel?  What were you an expert at?  What does that company need that you do very well? Can you prove it?

Sit down for half an hour in a quiet place with a list of everything you know about the job you will phone interview for.  Make a list of the things you have done better than other people.  Prove you can do this job well.

There really are only two things you have to do in a phone interview phone screen: keep from being excluded, and entice them to invite you in for a face-to-face meeting.


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