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How to Handle a Phone Interview

telephone job interviewDenise had a telephone interview with a large law firm and then was invited to three in-person interviews.

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She gave three good interviews, but the company was very disorganized and did not know Denise was not a fit for them only until they met her and read her resume.

There is a right way on how to phone interview, and if you’re not watching out for the right signals, you might just end up wasting your time.

Denise’s story:

I had what I thought was a great phone interview last week. It was for a large law firm and I’ve been working for small law firms.

Questions in Phone Interview: They did a quick phone interview and did not give me much of an opportunity to speak, but asked me a few qualifying interview questions which led to a meeting with 3 others.

The 1st person interview went great. The 2nd interview was with someone who knew nothing about the job or the company. She also said she didn’t get the chance to look at my resume. She spent about two minutes with me and then dismissed me to speak to the 3rd person.

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The 3rd person is the decision maker who also said he didn’t get the chance to look at my resume. He scanned it right in front of me and said I don’t see large law firm experience in here.

I told him I’ve only worked for small law offices but want to get my foot in the door. He just said, this is a big company and your at your desk most of the time. You have a great personality but you’ve got to get your foot in the door of a big law firm somehow.

He then walked me out and said they would make their decision after the weekend. The next day, I got the thank you letter from the person who knew nothing about the company or the job.

Why, did they waste my time if they wanted someone who had large law firm experience? Why go through phone interviews just to get there with high hopes and be told, we didn’t get the chance to see your resume, of which they should of before hand.

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It’s a blatant waste of my time, and to be told I’m a good fit, great personality, we’ll call with good news, then I get this letter the next day which tells me, they made up their minds as soon as they realized I didn’t have large law firm experience.

So it wouldn’t matter what I said from that point on, I was screwed no matter what.

It was very cruel of them to bring me in knowing they were set to say no, yet to let me go on and on about my experience and how I can be an asset to them is so humiliating.

I just don’t understand and I would like know why this happened to me.

Don’s Answer:

I understand your situation having been there myself – many times. But knowing how to phone interview has saved me from many interviews like this. Big companies can be inhuman, cold and just don’t care about you or your time and will gladly walk all over you if you let them.

They are looking for the best people for their company and will invite candidates for interviews in large batches just for a quick 10 minute face to face interview to see if there is anything they like.

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When they don’t find in you what they are looking for, they will quickly dismiss you. It’s so sad and cold of them to behave this way.

Phone interviews are not just for employers, they are an opportunity for you to interview them to make sure they meet your own criteria. When I searched for jobs, I usually would not even go on face-to-face interviews without interviewing an employer on the phone, first.

I did not want them wasting my time. I had a set of telephone phone interview questions I tried to get answers to before meeting them face to face.

I did my research on them. I read their website. I tried to find out as much about them as I could. I also knew what I wanted to do as well as what I did not want to do and I created a whole list of questions about the position and wanted to make sure it was right for me before meeting them in person.

What was important to me may not be important to you. But my first question was always salary. What is the salary range for the job? I like to cut right to the chase. If it was too low, I stopped right there and ended the interview. Why waste time if the job does not pay?

I would also ask them if they had a chance to read through my resume completely. Then I like to ask them why they called me, or what on my resume made did you like. Had you asked qualifying questions like this, you may have experienced a different outcome.

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If the money was good, I moved into questions about what they expected from this person. How soon do they want them to be up to speed.

Where they see the position going? Is there travel involved? If so, how much? What kind of training do they plan on providing to whoever gets hired into this job.

A telephone interview is your perfect opportunity to discover what they are all about and to avoid companies who don’t know what they want.

I would suggest treating this as a learning experience and to move on.

Inside The Complete Interview Answer Guide, you’ll find questions in phone interview techniques that will show you how to phone interview. The 201+ sample answers in the guide will quickly help you craft your own professional answers for ALL types of interview questions for any occupation.

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