7 Ways Not to Get a Job - The Phone Interview Edition

Campus Recruitment Team

You saw our tips on what not to include in your resume and are now wondering how to conduct yourself in a phone interview.  Search no longer, here are 7 tips on how to avoid interview faux pas:

  1. Breaking the ice: Shy away from leading with “I am not sure what this job is about; I heard about itfrom a friend.  Can you tell me?”  Chances are a recruiter can tell you; that doesn’t mean they will.
  2. Manage this, not that: Save, 'Hmm that is interesting',  'I have no idea' and  'what would you do?' for career advisers, spiritual leaders or your everyday Sensei.
  3. Big Brother is watching: “Soft curses” are not so great.
  4. Web master is watching: Employer’s know their Websites.  The jig is up if you read the description verbatim.
  5. Myth-busted: Having no questions is bad. This comes across as lack of interest/preparation.  Come to an interview with 2-3 specific questions prepared.  It is fine to acknowledge if all of your questions were answered over the course of the interview, and if that’s the case you should come up with at least one follow-up (You spoke to _________ earlier, and could you tell me more about ______).  If you’re really struggling for good questions, ask about professional development---it shows you care about getting better, and it’s not a topic that always comes up naturally during interviews.
  6. Mind the time- Remember the interviewer wants a specific, finite set of information from you, and you’re likely one of 5-10 people on his or her calendar for interviews that day.  After you’ve talked for 1-2 minutes, pause and ask, “Does that speak to your question, or were you looking for a bit more or something different?
  7. Building Vocabulary, “Vaguebooking:” If a recruiter asks how you managed the details of a complex project, it is best not to reply with “Well, I knew it had to be done.”  If you’re lucky, the interviewer might follow up and ask you for details about your work-plan, organizational system.  They may not and instead assume that you don’t have a good head for details (or even worse that you actually didn’t contribute anything noteworthy getting that project done).  When you have the chance to share specifics, especially data, make sure you do so!
What is the funniest thing (though it may not have been funny at the time) that has happened to you while at a job interview?