Anyone ever had a phone screening for a job? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone ever had a phone screening for a job?

Just curious how they usually go? If you don't do well will they cut you of as to not waste anymore time? If you do well do they disclose more information? I had one over the weekend and I thought I did pretty well. Was asked a bunch of "technical" questions that I had no problem answering. And towards the end they started asking me if I'd be interested in working remotely after training and a certain number of hours in the office. I'm telling myself I have the job and that they'll fly me out for a face to face. However if I'm wrong what's the appropriate time for a follow up? One or two weeks? Should I speak to the same person who I did the screening with or some sort of hiring manager?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 10:58 AM
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In my experience, phone screens are used to eliminate people who look good on paper but are obviously full of it. I've always used them to hammer folks with highly technical questions. If they cannot pass the phone screen, they get a thanks but no thanks. It is usually pretty obvious if you ace it or not.

If they're asking you about next steps, that is generally a good sign, but no guarantee by any means. Follow up within days, not weeks... show that you're actively interested.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 10:58 AM
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Every company is different, when I got picked up by Siemens, I had a phone screening that would lead to a interview if it went well. When my phone interview was done, I was told to expect a call in a few days. If you didn't get any clarification, me personally, I would follow up later this week. And definately at least email a thank you letter to your interviewer for taking time out of his/her weekend to screen you!

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 11:05 AM
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I had a phone screening with Hewitt Associates about 15 years ago because I was getting my balls busted by the parents about getting a job. I completely blew it because I was smoking during the conversation and the bitch could hear me inhaling and exhaling. Good thing because I didn't want to get a job then anyway.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bek View Post
In my experience, phone screens are used to eliminate people who look good on paper but are obviously full of it. I've always used them to hammer folks with highly technical questions. If they cannot pass the phone screen, they get a thanks but no thanks. It is usually pretty obvious if you ace it or not.

If they're asking you about next steps, that is generally a good sign, but no guarantee by any means. Follow up within days, not weeks... show that you're actively interested.
Good thing it wasn't you doing the screening. These questions were far from technical.
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They told me if I were considered I'd hear back in the next few weeks. Should I still follow up within days to show interest?
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaugdog View Post
Every company is different, when I got picked up by Siemens, I had a phone screening that would lead to a interview if it went well. When my phone interview was done, I was told to expect a call in a few days. If you didn't get any clarification, me personally, I would follow up later this week. And definately at least email a thank you letter to your interviewer for taking time out of his/her weekend to screen you!
Unfortunately I failed at remembering the name of my interviewer. I was thinking about calling the number back from a different number and seeing if she answers using her name.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 11:33 AM
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Consider it an interview.... rev .05.

Send a thank you and ask about next steps.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 11:35 AM
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In addition...


When you talk to people it is not impolite to ask if they are a recruiting person or a hiring manager.


Many companies use recruiters to thin a list down to a few qualified candidates
to talk to the hiring manager.... you should always know who you are speaking to.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myles View Post
Should I still follow up within days to show interest?
Always - even if it is a simple 'thank you for your time and consideration, I look forward to hearing from you.' Often if you can figure something out, throw in a line that will make your 'thank you' note a little more memorable.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Just called the number from my work phone. It was definitely a recruiter, there was an automated response. I don't remember her name. Who should I follow up with or send a thank you letter to?

Thanks ahead.

-Myles-
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 11:51 AM
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General rule: WRITE the thank you and send it via snail mail. You want to stand out from the others, and the others will likely email.

And get it out today, reference key points brought up in the conversation, and reiterate why you are good for the position.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Many companies use recruiters to thin a list down to a few qualified candidates to talk to the hiring manager.... you should always know who you are speaking to.
This. ...if the screen is being done by the company.

If it's a recruiting firm, the phone screen is just a tool to use to see if they want to keep you in their database of placeable employees.

Either way, you just share what you know, what your goals are, and what your ideal job is. If there's a match, great. If there's not a match, you don't want the job anyway.
You can't really blow a phone screen. It's not a formal interview; it's just what it says it is-- a screen. They are paring down a larger list to see who is even qualified enough to speak to further.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 01:25 PM
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With the increasing globalization and virtualization of the workforce, phone interviews are a cost-effective way to hire. At my previous employer, over 90% of the interview process for our corporate positions was conducted over the phone - with face-to-face interviews being the very last step.

As a HR manager who was also responsible for corporate recruiting, I would get resumes... sometimes dozens... for a particular position. First, I scan thru them to weed out the obvious who won't fit (sloppy resume, no DIRECTLY related experience or obviously too junior/senior)... then I'll reach out to those who remain to schedule a phone screen (usually 30-40 minutes tho some go longer). While the "short question" is whether or not you meet the minimum qualifications for the job, at the same time I'm looking to gauge your interest in my company (as well as the position); to see if you are a match in terms of salary expectations and corporate culture, and to learn more about your past experience (highlights, lessons learned, etc.). I'll do this by asking several behaviorally-based questions and probing your responses. Are you hands-on, a "roll up your sleeves" type, or do you rely on a team to carry out objectives? What are some challenges you have faced and what was the outcome? What about your management style? Any restrictions on travel, or relocation? What is important to you in your next work opportunity? Our conversation will be the deciding factor in whether or not your resume is one of the half dozen or so that gets in front of the hiring manager. I'll be engaging and friendly... but always listening carefully "between the lines".

Best advice I can give:

Tailor your resume to the job that you are applying for.

Be ready to explain why you are "in the market", and why you left your last/previous employer. Be ready to explain any gaps (family issues, going back to school, 6 years at Tamms - j/k).

Do your homework! Research the company that you are applying to. Know their business - their product or service. You would be amazed how many folks skip this - even at the management level. When I ask you what you know about my company, I expect, at the minimum, that you will be able to parrot back to me what is found on my company website. I'm looking for folks who are dedicated and committed to their work, folks who plan on sticking around for a few years and are interested in growth.

Be confident, but not cocky. "It's on my resume" is not what I'm looking for when I ask you about what you did at your last job. Remember, at every step I am evaluating and judging your communication skills, your ability to "think on your feet" in addition to looking for inconsistencies.

Always be respectful of the person on the other end of the phone. They may be an employee of the company or a third-party staffing firm but they ARE the gatekeeper - how you treat them during the process will make or break your chances of getting in the door. If they don't introduce/identify their role in the process, ASK. Get their contact information if you don't already have it. ALWAYS say "thank you". An E-mail is fine but once you meet with the hiring manager, a handwritten note is a nice touch. The only time you get zero points is if you DON'T acknowledge and thank them for their time.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBOlsen View Post
With the increasing globalization and virtualization of the workforce, phone interviews are a cost-effective way to hire. At my previous employer, over 90% of the interview process for our corporate positions was conducted over the phone - with face-to-face interviews being the very last step.

As a HR manager who was also responsible for corporate recruiting, I would get resumes... sometimes dozens... for a particular position. First, I scan thru them to weed out the obvious who won't fit (sloppy resume, no DIRECTLY related experience or obviously too junior/senior)... then I'll reach out to those who remain to schedule a phone screen (usually 30-40 minutes tho some go longer). While the "short question" is whether or not you meet the minimum qualifications for the job, at the same time I'm looking to gauge your interest in my company (as well as the position); to see if you are a match in terms of salary expectations and corporate culture, and to learn more about your past experience (highlights, lessons learned, etc.). I'll do this by asking several behaviorally-based questions and probing your responses. Are you hands-on, a "roll up your sleeves" type, or do you rely on a team to carry out objectives? What are some challenges you have faced and what was the outcome? What about your management style? Any restrictions on travel, or relocation? What is important to you in your next work opportunity? Our conversation will be the deciding factor in whether or not your resume is one of the half dozen or so that gets in front of the hiring manager. I'll be engaging and friendly... but always listening carefully "between the lines".

Best advice I can give:

Tailor your resume to the job that you are applying for.

Be ready to explain why you are "in the market", and why you left your last/previous employer. Be ready to explain any gaps (family issues, going back to school, 6 years at Tamms - j/k).

Do your homework! Research the company that you are applying to. Know their business - their product or service. You would be amazed how many folks skip this - even at the management level. When I ask you what you know about my company, I expect, at the minimum, that you will be able to parrot back to me what is found on my company website. I'm looking for folks who are dedicated and committed to their work, folks who plan on sticking around for a few years and are interested in growth.

Be confident, but not cocky. "It's on my resume" is not what I'm looking for when I ask you about what you did at your last job. Remember, at every step I am evaluating and judging your communication skills, your ability to "think on your feet" in addition to looking for inconsistencies.

Always be respectful of the person on the other end of the phone. They may be an employee of the company or a third-party staffing firm but they ARE the gatekeeper - how you treat them during the process will make or break your chances of getting in the door. If they don't introduce/identify their role in the process, ASK. Get their contact information if you don't already have it. ALWAYS say "thank you". An E-mail is fine but once you meet with the hiring manager, a handwritten note is a nice touch. The only time you get zero points is if you DON'T acknowledge and thank them for their time.




Rep !

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl 636 View Post
Rep !
+1
Great info. Thanks!

-Myles-
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 02:33 PM
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don't forget to ask the interviewer how many smoke breaks company allows and what kind of alcohol they serve at the company parties. They'll be impressed with your attention to detail.

<---- Useless Mufugga
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chunk View Post
don't forget to ask the interviewer how many smoke breaks company allows and what kind of alcohol they serve at the company parties. They'll be impressed with your attention to detail.
This. I did that once. Since it was a good friend of mine showing me around, and wasn't an actual interview yet. He got a kick out of it.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 05:17 PM
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Anyone ever had a phone screening for a job?

I've had or given lots of phone interviews. It's really to weed out bs and make sure the person is really interested. Especially if we are flying them out to see us. I really like it when companies do this. It tells me they value your time and pay attention to details. I've had to many companies call me out for numerous interviews and then tell me the position is a combined job title and they only want to pay me for the lower job while they advertised the higher position. What a colossal waste of time. I guess some companies figure people are desperate enough now to take anything and they pull shot like that to get good people in the door for cheap. I have no interest in working for a place like that.

I'd call them after a week and just ask where they are at in the process. It can't hurt to know where you stand and let's them know you are serious if they are on the fence about something.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Just sent a thank you email to a human resources email I found on their site. I hope that helps. If I don't hear back from them by the end of the week I'll follow up Monday to see where they're at in the hiring process.

-Myles-
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