Provisional Blog

5 Tips for Turning a Phone Screen into a Job Interview

April 3rd, 2018

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that in today’s world phone screens are often the first step of the hiring process. If you successfully make your way through one, your chances of getting a call for an interview increase greatly. But how make the best impression possible, especially when you don’t like talking on the phone? Here are some tips to help you:

#1: Schedule it at a good time of day.

Do you perform better in the morning? Is afternoon the time that you’re on your “A” game? Do you feel like you get your second wind toward the end of the day? Whatever time is right for you, try to schedule your phone screen then. That way, you’ll have a better chance at answering questions articulately, coming across as more energetic, and impressing the hiring manager.

#2: Get dressed and stay focused.

You might think you’ll do fine during a phone screen in your pajamas or yoga pants. But you’ll actually feel more professional and focused if you’re dressed for the interview. The hiring manager might not be able to see you; however, you’ll be more confident, which will come through in your interview answers.

#3: Be prepared.

Make sure that wherever you sit for your phone screen, it’s an area that’s distraction-free. Ideally, you should be at a desk or table with the job posting in front of you, as well as your resume and a pen and notebook handy to jot down thoughts and questions. In addition, keep any important points about your background you want to bring up in a list beside you so you don’t forget them.

#4: Don’t ramble.

One of the hard parts of a phone screen is that you can’t see the interviewer and therefore can’t read their body language. Therefore, you’re not sure if a pause in the conversation is an invitation for you to continue talking, if they’re simply jotting down notes, or if they’re taking a moment to review their interview questions. As a result, candidates tend to talk too much to fill uncomfortable gaps. However, if you answer a question to the best of your ability and you don’t have much more to say, then stay quiet and wait until the interviewer asks their next question.

#5: Smile and watch your body language.

Even though the hiring manager can’t see your face, they can hear your tone. And your positive attitude and energy – or lack of – will come through loud and clear one way or the other. So make an effort to smile, sit up straight, and avoid fidgeting when you’re answering questions. It will make a difference in how you come across to the hiring manager over the phone.

Need more help landing interviews or preparing for them?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, including the interview process. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more about the difference we can make in your job search.

What to Do Before Your Next Big Phone Interview

March 6th, 2018

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that in today’s world, most employers conduct phone interviews before in-person ones. During them, you don’t have to worry too much about your handshake and whether you make enough eye contact. But, there is still plenty of work that needs to go into each one. So what should you do ahead of your phone interview to help you ace it? Here are some tips to help you:

Learn all you can about the company.

Read through the company website. Conduct research online. Look for news articles and information about the organization in the local media. This will help you to learn as much as possible about the company, their core offerings, and the people they serve. Not only will you be able to answer questions more intelligently as a result, but it will also enable you to make a more lasting impression on the hiring manager.

Evaluate the job description.

Once you get to know all you can about the company, it’s time to dig into the details of their needs for the position they’ve posted. So read through the job description several times. Make a note of the strengths, skills and requirements that seem most important for the job. Then align your background and skill set with them, so you can talk about what makes you the best fit for the job during the phone interview. Be ready with specific examples of accomplishments that tout your abilities.

Take notes.

The beauty of phone interviews is that the hiring manager can’t see you. So you can jot down notes about your career achievements and highlights that are most important to discuss, then keep them by your side during the interview. Don’t follow it as you would a script. Simply use it to prompt your memory so you don’t forget to mention any pertinent details.

Prepare your space.

Before your interview, make sure you have a space prepared with a notebook and pen so you can write down important information during the interview, or a question that you need to circle back to. Also, keep a glass of water handy, since you’ll be doing a lot of talking. Finally, even though the hiring manager can’t see you, be mindful of your body language. Sit up, smile and remember to breathe. When you do, you’ll make a far better impression and hopefully get a call back for another interview.

Need more help finding your next great job in Spokane, WA?

Call Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, from interviews to finding great-fit opportunities. In fact, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

3 FAQs About Phone Screen Interviews

January 10th, 2017

It used to be that if an employer was interested in you, they’d call you for an interview. Today, though, the norm is to conduct a phone screen first. As a result, you might have some questions about them – and how to best impress a hiring manager during one. To help you with the process, here are a few frequently asked questions and the answers:

Why do employers conduct phone screens?

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows there are a variety of reasons that employers conduct phone screens:

  • It’s an efficient and effective way to filter our weaker candidates and focus on the best fit ones. Rather than inviting 20 candidates into their office for an hour-long interview, employers can spend 15 minutes on the phone with each one and then create a shorter list of candidates they want to bring in for an interview.
  • In addition, conducting phone screens helps them to gauge your interest in the position and also fill in any gaps on your resume.
  • Also, it’s hard to get a sense of a candidate’s personality with a resume. But a phone screen gives employers some insight into your soft skills – such as communication – and whether you’d fit with the company’s culture.

Can I take a call for a phone screen during the workday?

If possible, try to schedule a phone screen before or after hours. If that’s not possible, then consider your lunch break and taking the call from your car as a possibility. Or, you can tell your boss you’ll be coming in late one day or leaving early and schedule your phone screen during one of those times.

But do not schedule a phone screen while you’re on the clock with your current employer. Most reasonable employers will understand that you have a job and therefore are somewhat limited as to when you can take these calls.

How long should I wait if the hiring manager doesn’t call or pick up?

If you’re supposed to call the hiring manager – and they don’t answer, double check the number and make sure you have the right one. If you do, or if they’re supposed to call you at an appointed time and they don’t, wait five minutes. They could simply be running late from a meeting.

If, however, after a few minutes you don’t hear anything, then call and leave them a message. Leave your name, phone number, reason for the call, and also how much longer you will be available for. In any case, don’t stress about this too much. It’s very likely not a reflection of you as a candidate but probably due to a busy hiring manager’s schedule.

Have more questions about phone screens? Need expert help finding a new job? Let Provisional be your answer to all your job search needs. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.