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Technical Phone Interview: Four Tips To Impress The Interviewer!

The first phase of the interview process in the Technology Industry is the technical phone interview. Some interviewees don’t take this interview seriously, which ends poorly for them. Because a bad showing here will not lead to an in-person interview. That’s not going to happen to you, the reader, as you’re here to learn the four tips to impress the phone interviewer.

Technical Phone Interview Tip #1: Be Courteous

This first tip seems to be common sense, but it isn’t. I’ve heard hiring recruiters complain about rude interviewees. I believe rudeness happens more often to recruiters than hiring managers because some interviewees don’t see recruiters worthy of their time. Especially when it comes to asking technical questions. Some interviewees believe the recruiter doesn’t have the technical acumen – or technical knowledge – to gauge their experience properly. Don’t behave like those interviewees.

To be courteous during the inteview do the following:

  • Answer the phone call on time
  • Greet the interviewer
  • Talk with a smile

Yes, answering the phone call on time is crucial to creating a great first impression. If an emergency comes up before the call it’s imperative to contact the recruiter before the phone call to reschedule it.

As for greeting the interviewer this is a must. Say hello, greet the interview by their name, and thank the person for the opportunity. This not only puts everyone at ease, but sets a good mood.

Finally, talk with a smile. I learned this while doing customer service on the phone. When one talks with a smile their speech sounds nice. And one can tell the caller sounds nice and happy without having to see that person. If a person sounds sad or bored that sours the entire interview.

Technical Phone Interview Tip #2: Use Professional Language

The second tip also appears to be common sense, but it isn’t. Again, I had recruiters tell me they had interviewees say the following:

  • Cuss words / Swear words
  • Cryptic slang
  • Complain about their day or even about the company

Don’t do any of those things! I mean, go right ahead if destroying a chance at the company is the goal.

If readers like to cuss a bit, practice restraint so that won’t happy during the interview. While some slang can be okay to use a little here and there during the interview, it’s best not to use any that very niche. That will only confuse the recruiter. And the recruiter could misunderstand the context of the slang and take offense from it.

Finally, if an interviewee has a bad day, don’t complain about it. The recruiter doesn’t want to hear it. And, frankly, those individuals don’t care. They got their own problems too. Oh, and don’t complain about the company, be it the one giving the interview opportunity, if even the current employer. It looks poorly.

Tip #3: Choose A Quiet Location

This third tip isn’t common sense anymore because people talk in public all the time. However, for a technical phone interview speaking in a quiet location is a must! This way both people can hear and understand each other properly. Taking the phone call in a noisy location just causes trouble for everyone involved. And it will bother those in the public space who don’t want to hear it.

I suggest to have the phone call at home because the inteviewee has control over the sound levels. However, if the person cannot take the phone call at home and must do it out in the public, then take the phone call in a car. Again, this give the interviewee control over the sound levels.

If those two options aren’t available, then find a venue that allows you to use a private conference room. That could be a library. Or a coworking space. Maybe a spare office at a school or the workplace.

Final Tip: Have A Charger On Hand

With the final tip I want to make sure the interviewee doesn’t run into a situation where their phone is about to die. I would hate for that person to have to pause the interview for a moment to find a charger. Or, worse, for the call to end suddenly because their phone died!

So keep a charger on hand. And charge your phone before the technical phone interview. It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.


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