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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Surviving engineering interviews: Part 3 - The Phone Screen Interview

Once deemed qualified by an on campus interview, a job fair interview, or a resume submittal, most hiring processes involve a phone screen interview of some kind. There are often more qualified applicants than the team with the opening wants to bring in for the Live Interview (detailed below). This is especially true if travel is involved, but even when it’s not the hiring team will want to minimize the time they spend figuring out who to hire so they can continue to do their real jobs.

The Phone Screen Interview typically does not involve as many people asking you questions (usually no more than 2) as a Live Interview will, but it can still be an intense experience. Make sure you are in a quiet setting where you won’t be disturbed when you take the call as hearing your roommate playing the Nintendo in the background will not give a good impression to the interviewer. Just because the medium being used for the conversation is less formal, that doesn’t mean the questions will be. Approach the Phone Screen Interview as if it were a Live Interview. The advantage you have, though, besides not having to dress up is that you can have materials at your disposal in front of you that you cannot have in the Live Interview.

Have a copy of your resume handy for your reference or even the information you collected when you constructed it. During a Live Interview, you will have to answer questions about your resume from memory but in this setting you can read it yourself, which takes some of the pressure off. The same goes for research you have accumulated on the company, which can be a little awkward to have in your hand in person but is freely at your disposal on the phone. You might even be able to get away with having some technical outlines handy to assist you.

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posted by Pete Johnson @ 1:41 PM   0 comments links to this post

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