Tag Archives: phone screen

The critical email most job seekers fail to send

A successful email

A very short email was sent out by a candidate after a brief phone screening for a top level job.  I got a copy.  It helped set that candidate apart from all the others in a quiet way.  The next day that email was replied to with an invitation for an in-person interview.   That’s a successful email.  That email said, “Thank you for the chance to talk with you about your company and that opening.”

I admit it.  The email did NOT get him the interview.  His phone presence, background, cheerfulness and “can do” attitude got him the reply.  Still, the “thank you” email helped.

100 applicants for a job is not unusual.  Phone interviews with 10 solid candidates is common.  Often the choice between the top 3 candidates is only based on chemistry, the feelings of the moment.  So what can you do?

  1. Send a thank you by email after every interview.
  2. Also send a paper thank you.
  3. Dwell on the positive.
  4. Never complain about a previous job, boss or coworker.
  5. Tell interviewers what you like about the job.
  6. Ask for the next interview or for the job.

In the interview be the type of person you most like working with.  After the interview, be thankful.  That’s an unbeatable combination.


There’s no secret about success.  Did you ever know a successful man who didn’t tell you about it? (Hubbard)


Later:                          The guy who invented running died

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Propagating blueberries guerilla style

Great ideas are a dime a dozen

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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