The following information is to help business owners or applicants with some tips on how to do phone screening and for applicants to pass the phone screen.

There is something to be said for the spur of the moment phone screen with applicants. How do they answer the phone? Are they polite or rude? If voice mail picks up, is it professional or questionable? This is a number you submitted to prospective employers; it does say something about you.

The pre-screen is another round of eliminating or move forward. I’m checking to see if you did any research into the company you applied to. Can you remember the role or the company?

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These questions will set the tone for the next stage of the interview process, so answer wisely. Do not tell me that the answer is on your resume. This is a time for you to chat about you! I’m taking notes and will provide a summary to my client. I want to be able to say how amazing you were, not that you couldn’t remember what Acme Company does.

The role determines the questions and the types of a conversation I am expecting to have. Truck drivers, I assume you want to know where you will be driving and what kind of truck. I want to know your driving history and if you understand safety. Administrative roles I tend to look for more conversation-this tells me how comfortable you will be on the phone with clients. Lately, my favourite question has been “out of all the applications that have come in; why should I pick you?”

Please do better than ‘I am organized or a people person’. Prove it. Give me an example or how you are organized. Expect the pre-screen conversation to be 10 to 15 minutes long. Smile and have fun with it!