Friday, April 10, 2015

How To Get The Job: Part 1 Trying Get A Dreaded Phone Interview

This series is inspired from my seven years experience listening to the good, the bad and the truly hideous interview. About half the applicants I turn away could have done the job and done it well. This guide will lead qualified candidates to avoiding major pitfalls on how to navigate the interview process.




Getting Started: How to get a Phone Interviews:
Applications are read and sorted into three piles, “Yes, No, or Maybe”


An application falls into the “Yes” pile if there is:

  • Open availability—in the service industry this is the BIGGEST impact to whether we consider you.

  • Relevant experience. Corporate/franchises see candidates will little to no experience as a risky investment. Labor/training is the most expensive factor in running a business. Managers want to minimize this major “controllable” cost. A Candidate with no experience might apply at a “Mom and Pop” store where managers are more willing to train an inexperienced candidate.

  • The Position is Open. If the openings are for sales and you apply for HR assistant even if you are qualified for sales you go to the “No” pile.

  • Versatility and Flexibility: Demonstrating on your resume willingness to do more than one job shows you are eager. We want eager people and applying for more than one job position shows you're eager. It also says you’re versatile and able to handle more than one thing—all good traits in high demand.



If the resume outlines these traits, congrats, you're hire-able. The human resources gate keeper will call you with a few follow up questions and a quick phone interview. The yes pile is not a sure thing.

You might get a phone call because you are in The Maybe Pile:
You got to the “Maybe” file because:

  • Your availability happened to be the time slots needed to be filled.

  • You have no experience but there are no experienced candidates available so we will train.

  • Your experience, while not directly related was in seasonal work of some sort or was some kind of part time school work related gig. Finding this information out takes more time on the reviewer's part and since he or she is usually skimming, you're lucky they caught this tidbit.


  • You didn't apply for an available position but for some reason our applicant pool is low and we decided you might fit the job available. If you fall into this category you put A LOT of faith in the the gate keeper and honestly, most of them are not very thorough so you are really really lucky.  

Those are the factors in getting your first phone interview.  Seems pretty simple right?  It's not,  the "no" pile is far larger than the "yes" and "maybe" combined!  

Next time, I'll cover the phone interview plan.  For now let's hear from you!  

Let Me Know:
-Anything you felt I missed or glossed over?
-Share a story of a memorable phone interview!
-Was my advice helpful?
-Do you have further questions or concerns?

Was this guide helpful? Help a friend and help a friend: share it please and thank you!

Please check out the next part of the series here.