Passing a Phone Interview

Passing a Phone Interview

Admittedly, there is no such thing as “passing a phone interview”. But it certainly does feel that way when all goes well. Passing a phone interview can be described as simply being remembered after the interview is done.

When an interview goes bad, signs show themselves in subtle, passive ways that can only be understood by listening to a recording of an interview. It takes practice to understand when someone is either showing interest or politely showing lack of interest.

Recording calls to analyze your interview

If the act of recording yourself in an interview makes you uncomfortable, just remember you have to listen to effectively know when an interview goes bad. Typically, most people do not like the sound of their own voice.

Recording your calls is a great way to listen to yourself over and over again. This way you can spot things you wish to change, or seek out more assistance through Find My Profession’s Interview Prep.

Here are some signs you should listen for in your recording to determine if you are passing a phone interview.

Questions geared at discouraging you

When an interview goes bad, the questions sound like the hiring manager is trying to talk you out of accepting the job:

  • “Don’t you think this is a step back for you?”
  • “Are you sure this is a job you can handle?”
  • “I am not sure we can pay you what you were paid elsewhere. Are you still interested?”

This does not mean you did something wrong. The employer may use this as a tactic to get you to reject the job on your own terms. On the positive side, it may also be a tactic to get you to accept a lower salary if you are hired.

How do you know the difference? Listen to the person’s voice carefully. Negotiations and challenges have a positive sound. Lack of interest does not. No matter what happens, passing a phone interview requires class and professionalism. Finish out the interview and thank the employer for the time.

Labored explanations of the job description

You know when an interview goes bad because the hiring manager starts to explain the duties of a job while sounding completely bored with all of it. The hiring manager may be going through the motions of interviewing people they know will never get hired.

Listen to the explanation of a job that sounds like the hiring manager would much rather be spending time on a candidate of interest.

They hang up on you

Yes, true story, it has happened. The interview went like this:

  • Hiring Manager: “I see you have worked for us in the past.”
  • Candidate: “Yes, about 10 years ago I started my career with your company and…”
  • Hiring Manager: {hangs up}
  • Candidate: {calls back 3 or 4 times and no one answers}

This sounds more like the employer is NOT passing the phone interview. This company obviously had a policy against rehiring employees and did not do its homework before calling you. It was their mistake, so forget about it. It was a very short interview, so no time was wasted.

The phone interview feels like a bad date that won’t end

Bad dates last forever, and so do phone interviews for a job that increasingly feels like it will never happen.

When talking to clients of Find My Profession about interviews, many times they express they know when an interview goes bad based on the emotional reaction of the hiring manager. They did not feel like they were passing a phone interview. There is no way to accurately read minds. But, as with bad dates, when you get a bad feeling it usually means something went wrong.

While listening to the recording of my own interview, I had noticed at one point it seemed like both the hiring manager and the candidate were trying to salvage an interview. It did not work and was not a very short interview, but it certainly should have been!

When it comes to finding your new career

All you can do is your best until you know better. If it is meant to be, it will happen for you. You have to keep trying until you find your profession. Passing a phone interview may simply mean you hung up the phone knowing the discussion about your resume was very positive and the company sounded interested.

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