What to expect during a phone interview.

Well I have studied hard and got some certs and finished my Bachelor's degree. I have only been in Desktop Support for 2 years. Even though I am not "looking" for a job I do try to put in for one a week so I am forced to keep my resume up to date.

Fast foward to today. I have a phone interview for a Windows system administrator position. Problem is I have never had a phone interview so I do not know what to expect. What should I expect in the phone interview. I would really like to make a good impression.

Comments

  • vColevCole Member Posts: 1,574 ■■■■■■■□□□
    citinerd wrote: »
    Well I have studied hard and got some certs and finished my Bachelor's degree. I have only been in Desktop Support for 2 years. Even though I am not "looking" for a job I do try to put in for one a week so I am forced to keep my resume up to date.

    Fast foward to today. I have a phone interview for a Windows system administrator position. Problem is I have never had a phone interview so I do not know what to expect. What should I expect in the phone interview. I would really like to make a good impression.

    Phone interview is usually going over your qualifications, background, why you want to leave, etc. Also, they may ask a few technical questions to get an idea of your skillset. Nothing to sweat over!
  • citinerdcitinerd Member Posts: 266
    vCole wrote: »
    Phone interview is usually going over your qualifications, background, why you want to leave, etc. Also, they may ask a few technical questions to get an idea of your skillset. Nothing to sweat over!

    Probably nervous for nothing, but I just want to be as prepared as possible. I start forgetting things sometimes when put on the spot. I find myself forgetting the small things. And as soon as I walk away from the conversation all the terms I was searching for come back to my brain and I just feel like I made a fool of myself.

    Here's to not letting that happen this time.
  • vColevCole Member Posts: 1,574 ■■■■■■■□□□
    citinerd wrote: »
    Probably nervous for nothing, but I just want to be as prepared as possible. I start forgetting things sometimes when put on the spot. I find myself forgetting the small things. And as soon as I walk away from the conversation all the terms I was searching for come back to my brain and I just feel like I made a fool of myself.

    Here's to not letting that happen this time.

    Make sure to take a few seconds to think before just shouting out a response. Even if it's an extra 15-30 seconds to think about it, it usually helps. Good luck!
  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    citinerd wrote: »
    Probably nervous for nothing, but I just want to be as prepared as possible. I start forgetting things sometimes when put on the spot. I find myself forgetting the small things. And as soon as I walk away from the conversation all the terms I was searching for come back to my brain and I just feel like I made a fool of myself.

    Here's to not letting that happen this time.

    To me, in phone interviews...the little things count.

    I was leading a phone interview, and the guy sounded like he wake'n'baked...needless to say we never contacted him back.

    So...be awake, be alert...try to organize questions to ask the employer, as it's typical to be asked if you have any questions for them...and if you do, i.e. something about their IT infrastructure that you read online (how large is their userbase, what software-based systems do they use), then they will see that initiative.

    Also, if you know who is calling you ahead of time (Bill and Nancy), make sure to address them by name...if you don't know, write their names down when you make first contact. Then, at the end of the conversation, say "thank you for your time Bill and Nancy." This 'personalization' increases positive first impressions and goes a long way subconsciously.
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    lsud00d wrote: »
    So...be awake, be alert...try to organize questions to ask the employer, as it's typical to be asked if you have any questions for them...and if you do, i.e. something about their IT infrastructure that you read online (how large is their userbase, what software-based systems do they use), then they will see that initiative.

    ^^ This. From being on both sides of a phone interview, I can't tell you enough how important this is. While you should try to think of some questions ahead of time, you also need to be able to come up with some on the fly, in case the questions you thought of get answered without you asking them.
  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    Also if you're a pacer, which I know I'm very guilty of I always pace when on the phone, make sure that you don't pace too fast. Otherwise you'll come across as kind of gaspy and out of breath on the phone. Definitely put in your research on the company ahead of time. Make sure you really do know your stuff when you're on the phone. Make sure you know what you put down on your cover letter and resume because you'll probably be asked questions based on what you've put down there. For example I have lots of experience with Exchange migrations recorded so I'm always getting asked about migrations.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    citinerd wrote: »
    Well I have studied hard and got some certs and finished my Bachelor's degree. I have only been in Desktop Support for 2 years. Even though I am not "looking" for a job I do try to put in for one a week so I am forced to keep my resume up to date.

    Fast foward to today. I have a phone interview for a Windows system administrator position. Problem is I have never had a phone interview so I do not know what to expect. What should I expect in the phone interview. I would really like to make a good impression.

    Here’s some links good luck!
    how to prepare for a phone interview

    how to prepare for a phone interview


    February 4, 2010
    I’m always amazed by how often I can tell that a candidate hasn’t really prepared for a phone interview. Laziness aside, preparing takes a lot of the stress out of the experience and lets you answer the phone feeling confident and possibly even excited.
    Here’s what I recommend you do to prepare. Ideally, you’d do this the night before.

    1. Go to the employer’s Web site. At a minimum, read the “about us” section. Better yet, read enough to get a good feel for their clients, work, and general approach. Don’t leave the Web site until you can answer these questions: What does this organization do? What are they all about? What makes them different from their competition?

    2. Go through the job description line by line. Think about how your experience and skills fit with each line. Don’t be alarmed if you’re not a perfect fit; people get hired all the time without being a line-for-line match. The point here is just to get your brain thinking about how you are a match, so that those thoughts are easily retrievable and can be turned into answers in your phone interview.

    3. Think about the questions that you’re likely to be asked, and write out your answers to each of them. At a minimum, cover these basics: Why are you thinking about leaving your current job? What interests you about this opening? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What experience do you have doing ___? (Fill in each of the major responsibilities of the job.)

    4. Think about how you’ll answer questions about salary history or expectations, so you’re prepared with an answer when it comes up.

    5. Come up with two to four questions of your own, because you’ll be asked what questions you have at the end of the conversation. Good questions at this stage are clarifying questions about the role itself and open-ended questions about the office culture. You’ll also want to ask what their next steps are and their timeline for getting back to you.
    That’s it. Then, 15 minutes before the call, review your notes from all of the above steps.
    Videos:

    What not to do:

    8 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Telephone Interview - YouTube


    What to do:

    Job Shop: Phone interviews
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    undomiel wrote: »
    Also if you're a pacer, which I know I'm very guilty of I always pace when on the phone, make sure that you don't pace too fast. Otherwise you'll come across as kind of gaspy and out of breath on the phone. Definitely put in your research on the company ahead of time. Make sure you really do know your stuff when you're on the phone. Make sure you know what you put down on your cover letter and resume because you'll probably be asked questions based on what you've put down there. For example I have lots of experience with Exchange migrations recorded so I'm always getting asked about migrations.

    Glad I'm not the only one that does this. :p A desk phone is the only thing that keeps me from pacing. If I get a call on my cell phone, I'm walking all over the house while I'm on it.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,827 Mod
    The advice above from NetworkingStudent and others is SOLID. I recommend following it. I have a phone interview this Thursday. I always prepare for days before my interviews. I call it "studying for an interview". I always know as much about the company, have a pool of at least 10 questions to choose from to ask. Because I tailor each resume and cover letter to the position/company I am applying to, I always study them and remember everything I have on them. I go through all of the typical interview questions (available online) and I am prepared to answer each one. I also think about scenarios from my previous jobs because I know interviewers love to ask for examples.

    All of that prep goes into what I call "studying for an interview". It's no wonder I interview extremely well and I am always being told I did a great job and the interviewer usually looks and sounds impressed. Even when I am not offered a position because someone was found with better qualifications, I am usually given very positive feedback and told to contact them when I see another position open that I am interested in. Preparing for an interview makes a huge difference and hiring managers can tell those that didn't preprare. At our company it is policy HR is the only one to have contact with applicants to let them know they are offering or not offering. A couple of months ago I had such a great interview, the hiring manager broke policy and contacted me personally to tell me she went with another candidate that had more experience and credentials but that she would love to have me on her team and to apply for any positions that come open on her team. Put in the extra time, it can make a difference and leave a lasting impression!
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  • crazychrono100crazychrono100 Member Posts: 30 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I just had a phone interview a few weeks back. I wasn't expecting one so when I received the call I was in the middle of driving home from work. At first I thought it was one of my friend so I picked up saying "What's up?". That kinda caught my interviewer by surprise - I guess not many people say what's up in an interview - and it took him a moment to reply. He basically went through my resume and ask me a few simple technical questions. I just answer them to the best of my knowledge and I actually stumble on one of the questions. I told him straight out that I didn't know the exact answer but if given time I could figure it out. At the end of it I thought I did pretty horrible. However, a few days later I actually got an email for an in-person interview.

    So i guess from my experience the phone interview is just to verify the information on your resume and gauge your basic technical knowledge as well as whether you could hold a conversation or not.
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