So You Think That Phone Screen Went Well?

You might want to think again.

Normally you can tell based on the overall tone of the interviewer, obviously there are exceptions to every scenario. However, here are three questions to ask yourself that should help you get some idea as to how well that phone screen really went.

1) Did we use up the allotted time? If you really did spend the full 30 minutes for the planned half-hour phone screen, then that’s not a bad sign. If you went over, that’s even better. However, if it got cut short and you’re left with 10 or 15 minutes to spare, I wouldn’t pop the champagne quite yet. Chances are you didn’t impress the interviewer who figured he/she could make better use of that time rather than spend it with the unqualified likes of you!

2) Were you asked about your next availability? Hurrah if so! Whether it’s another phone screen or an onsite interview, that doesn’t matter. Clearly, the interviewer already has the wheels in motion and plans on putting you through to the next round. He/she wants to see how soon that can be done, depending on the next interviewer’s schedule.

3) Did the conversation quickly go to compensation? If after being asked only 2-3 questions, the interviewer has already shifted the discussion toward compensation and what you’re currently earning, don’t assume that it’s because he/she wants to see if they can eventually tee up an offer for you. Don’t you find it strange that the limited time isn’t being used more wisely to learn more about your experience and background?

The situation could very well be that the interviewer has considered this phone screen a wash and is using you for “market research” to see what the industry is paying. This is especially useful in understanding what the right profile and poor fit candidates are earning, mainly for comparative purposes.

As mentioned earlier, everything varies case by case so do not use these tips as your phone screen Bible! If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ping me and ask!

Victor Mahillon
Victor Mahillon
Director of Recruiting

Victor Mahillon is the Director of Recruiting at Kamcord. Previously he was a Talent manager at OpenView.
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