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Phone Screening

  • Open with making sure that it is still a good time to talk and then thank them for their time
  • I always open with “Tell me about yourself. What brings you to today?”
    • For more senior roles the person should be able to have a narrative about their experience and how that experience
    • For more junior roles they may not have as much experience to explain or talk about, that’s ok. You can focus on projects that they have worked on, scholastic experience, etc.
  • I generally ask what they are looking for in a new role, what type of challenges are they looking for? This typically leads into a discussion of why they are leaving their current role.
    • Also a good time to get information on any out of the ordinary things, e.g. contracting -> FT or career changes
  • Take notes (I usually just annotate on top of the resume)
  • Depending on how much there is to talk about, you may give them a short background on the company and team, but focus on getting a read on them and if you run out of time politely tell them that the team will be more than happy to answer any questions they have at the on-site or they can email you questions.

In short: Use the phone screen the way other companies waste time in the on-site: get their background, story, and what they are looking for. This is the first step in the process and so you are not looking to be “yes” necessairly, you are simply trying to determine if they are a hard “No”.

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