How NOT to job hunt

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phone interviewThis morning on the bus I couldn’t help but notice the woman across from me as she made a phone call. (Cell phone chatter on the bus is just one of my personal pet peeves.) But just seconds after she started talking, I realized she was having a job interview.

I was dumbfounded. Despite how desperate job seekers claim to be, they still make the simplest job search mistakes. One of the golden rules of job search: Find a quiet place to do a phone interview.

So when I got to work and saw the headline “Jobseekers interview while using toilet” in my inbox, I just had to click.

Turns out a firm in the UK just conducted a study related to telephone interviews. The study revealed “shocking levels of complacency among candidates during telephone interviews.” Hiring managers reported interviewees:

  • Being clearly drunk on the telephone at the time of the interview;
  • Using the toilet;
  • Having a bath;
  • Eating while on the phone;
  • Outside walking their dog;
  • Arguing with a family member;
  • Being pulled over by the police for being on the phone while driving.

Remember: Even though they can’t see you, they can still hear you. Avoidable mistakes can cause immediate rejection by some recruiters: 40% cited if a candidate was clearly doing something else while on the phone, 33% cited not preparing for the interview properly, and 19% cited poor telephone manners.

Are you guilty of one of these? Was it ever unavoidable? How did you handle it?

222 Comments
  1. I was interviewed for a job while I was walking the dog once. However, it was an unscheduled call too, so I just took that to mean that it wasn’t my fault. To be frank though, I ALWAYS set aside “quiet time” for job inerviews by phone. It shows professional courtesy, maturity, respect, and that you actually “care” about the job. I cannot fathom anyone using the toilet while being interviewed…how classless is that!? Anyone who cannot show at least some respect during a phone interview will probably never be offered the job.

    • Why not let the phone go to voicemail, let them leave a message, and return home before calling them back? Or even call them back the next day if it’s late?

      • Clay/Mark,
        I agree w/ nanapeppa.I received an unscheduled call (I never answer calls from numbers I do not recognize) and let it go to voicemail. A lady was calling to conduct an interview & left a message. I pulled up my resume, the job description, etc…and called back (it only took 10min). I got her voicemail & left her a message indicating I would be available the rest of the day and the next. Or I’d be glad to set a time by email. She never called back. It’s been 5 days. I’m attributing it to the busyness of the holidays but also to her lack of professionalism. Im not sure I’d want to work for an organization w/ employees like that therefore as badly as I need a job, I don’t intend to pursue it. In this case, the HR manager was treating my time like she owned it. In any case, I don’t regret letting it go to vm. I did the same thing last tuesday w/ another potential employer & the HR manager called back to set a time for the phone interview, then called me back for a 2nd interview. I’m awaiting their hiring decision.

        • THANK YOU!!!! Interviewers have no respect to the interviewy. Your absolutly right they feel like they own (your time), while your waiting for that (Scheduled) call. I feel the same way. How badly do you want to work with a company that has so little regard for peoples feeling. It’s tough enough looking for work. Do we really need all this nonsence.

          • It is a two way street, BUT, the employer has something you want. If you have several employers chasing you, then fine but most do not.

            Recruiters have many candidates for almost any opening these days. If you want to stack the deck in your favor, you do the interview when they want to do it. If you can’t be bothered to answer the phone for an interview, I’m going assume you can’t be bothered to go the extra mile in the job.

            Besides, you can’t spell worth a darn so I’m sure the employer saved themsevles a from a bad hire.

            • he can’t spell… you can’t write! those who live in glass houses should not throw stones!

              “I’m going assume you can’t be bothered to go the extra mile in the job.”

            • This guy criticizes people on spelling, yet he has his fair share of grammatical errors in his own errogant comments. These people are trying to discuss serious issues, but they also have to deal with this jaggaloon telling them they aren’t worth hiring anyway. Why? Because they can’t spell…well sorry while I LOL at this because this guy is as equally challenged by the English language as the previous person whom he so carelessly attacked. Dude get a life, stop getting into chat rooms just to try and feel “important and cool”, and then do the world a favor. Go sit in a dark corner, think about your actions, and get bent….tool.

            • Who gives a darn if I, or anyone for that matter, mispelled a dang word? On that note, I have spoken my peace, and hope that you do the same, *Shauny Out.*

  2. Phone interviews should be scheduled in advance for time consideration. Should a hiring manager or human resource representative make an impromptu call to a prospective employee sans prior notification, what he or she hears is what he or she gets. Common courtesy and professionalism is a two-way street regardless of how much one may want or need a job.

  3. Another option, that I should have included with my previous comment, is that it should be perfectly ok to advise the person calling that it would work better if you could call them back because now it not the best time for you, and you want to be able to give them your full attention.

  4. I am a Recruiter and what surprises me is that a candidate answers the telephone when they are otherwise engaged. If you are walking the dog, you can let the call go to voice mail and return it at a later time. Otherwise, you really shouldn’t be surprised when you do not get past the first step.

    • Why in the world would a recruiter call someone when they are walking the dog…. get a job You are qualified for, like walking dogs.

      • “Why in the world would a recruiter call someone when they are walking the dog”

        If the recruiter is psychic enough to know when I am walking a dog, then they should be psychic enough that they wouldn’t need to interview me in the first place, they would already know my answers.

        Take the call, tell them what you are doing (or be polite and say you are occupied if you’re doing something like pooping), and that you will call them right back or give them a time to call you back. Just make sure that you are ready for the second call. If you are expecting the first call, you should get everything taken care of BEFORE the call, or put it off until after you get off the phone. And smile while on the phone. They can’t see it, but your tone of voice is brighter, more cheerful and more optimistic sounding.

        • I agree. However, I would add: Due to background noise I can’t hear you very well. I would like to call you back when I am in more private surroundings since I am very anxious to talk to you.

        • I don’t know when I laughed so hard…when I read comment by Frak to Chives I cried laughing..so Chives ..I had to reread your statement a few times to see if I read it correctly..and yes I think Frank said it all…

    • Dawn, you have to realize that in this cell phone era people must always answer the phone even when they’re on a date in a restaurant. It makes them feel important even though cell phones are so cheap now that even the poorest village in India is overrun with them. Get a clue people, you don’t always have to be reachable. You’re not that important, and you won’t miss anything.

      • I agree totally. My wife and I have observed a couple on a date in a restaurant and one of them is chatting away on their cell phone as though they were home by themselves. My wife and I both agreed, had we been the one who wasn’t on the cell phone, that would have been our first and last date with that person on the cell phone!

    • Dawn Kay you should really get a new job, because you are to stupid to realize that a person isn’t going to NOT answer their phone from a number they don’t reconigze just because they are walking their dog… Idoit!!! Have enough common sense to maybe ask the prospect employee when is a good time to talk.

      • Um KLS and most of you here are ridiculous, not Dawn. It’s a cell phone, if you’re not prepared for a potential employer to call you on it give them your HOME number for goodness sake. I know who I give my cellphone number out, and if a contact name for the number does not pop up during a incoming call, I let voice mail do its duty. It seems like common sense, I have no idea what part of that idea is so novel or bizarre to most of you. If it is someone who has something important to say, they’ll leave a message. You can, OMG, call them back later *gasp*

        Like someone else said, who do you people think you are? celebrities? Why would you answer an unknown caller while you are walking your dog??? If it’s not a friend or family member, then just let if go to voice mail. What, will the world end if you don’t pick up the phone right away, socialites? I didn’t get the memo that whenever your cellphone rings it is absolutely imperative you answer it then an there, regardless of what you’re doing. The simple equation is: cellphones/smartphones just make a lot of people into total douchebags who think they look smart or chic blabbing on their phone while doing the most mundane things…

        If YOU are the one in need of a job, then I suggest you learn to be a little more aware and flexible. There are plenty of people searching and making yourself look silly just means the next person in line for the job has a shot.

        • That assumes the person has a phone other than a cell phone, which is often inaccurate these days.

          Even still, a bit of common sense (and common courtesy) wouldn’t be a bad idea.

        • I disagree. If I’m looking for a job, I want the employer to be able to find me, regardless. If I’m in the bathroom or brushing my teeth, etc. I leave it to voicemail. If they surprise me while I’m living my average daily life, I can take the call, tell them I’m glad they contacted me, and explain that I can either call them back in a few minutes or be available at a certain time. A professional recruiter or HR manager will be willing to make reasonable accommodations for an unscheduled solicitation on their part; less so if it’s a scheduled interview that I’m not prepared for. If they are so arrogant as to think I spend my waking hours sitting by the phone with resume in hand, I don’t need to work for that company. Period.

    • Whether you are a recruiter or a candidate, the rules of professional courtesy apply. Advance notice of a telephone interview should be scheduled and, once agreed mutualy on a day & time, the candidate should repect that commitment. Candidates should, however, understand that recruiters can be delayed for many reasons beyond their control (for instance… a previous interview lasting much longer than expected) so it would be prudent for the candidate to plan on separating aditional time for the call.

    • When you thi’nk that you may be getting a call, you should either send yourdog to a kennel or you can do what I do- put the dog on rations so they only poop twice a week. Also, I take lots of anti diarea medicine so I don’t poop at all. This way, I am more prepared for a phone call that I may never get. I don’t poop and the dog doesn’t either. Works great for a while.

        • I remember we had a guy who quit and went to grad school. He used to comb his beard into his desk. Then play with the pile. Make a little pyramid. Almost like a Zen garden. We drew straws on who would clean out his desk…

    • Dawn Kay,

      What you are taking for granted in your reply is thinking that a recruiter will even leave a message. So many will not. And then they do not call you back. They will say when outed on this that if you don’t answer then, you might not answer a phone in your role, which is just as preposterous as most of the other shenanigans that recruiters often pull.

      Admit it, for most recruiters, hiring is a game. One must play the game properly to win, and a simple fact (as with any game) is that luck is often a major element in the game.

  5. I agree with Nate that walking your dog would not necessarily be considered an activity which would necessitate your allowing the call to go to voicemail, but if the person answers the call and determines it’s for a job interview, then like Susan said, that would be a good time to tell the person calling that it would be better if you could call them back as that moment wasn’t the best time for you to talk and you want to be able to give them your full attention.

  6. Phone courtesy does not mean much any more because most of the employers don’t know any better themselves.
    I can’t believe how many H.R. personnel do not know how to dress for work or know how to conduct any interview.
    Lucky for most job seekers, the employer is not much smarter than the interviewee.

    • In all my experience with HR people, they seem to have the easiest and probably most worthless job. Most of them never knew much about the positions they were hiring for. All they knew was that a certain department needed a new employee for something. Even when it came to pushing papers, all of the paperwork was a standard form that came from corporate and was created by either a lawyer or someone from corporate headquarters.

      Even if you had to file a complaint, all they would do is give you a standard from to just fill out, and then they would just email it to someone else. None of them ever seemed to be college educated.

      The best company I worked for didn’t have an HR department. All of the hiring and paperwork was done by the department managers.

      • Bless their little HR hearts, they don’t usually know anything about the jobs they are screening for so that they have to stick with straight degrees and are unable to compute actual experience into the requirement of the job… for example a communications degree with interest in science versus a science degree with years of science-based referenced communication experience and track record of success – do I sound bitter? :-)

        • I’m an oldie, and I have to say I miss the days before HR started conducting the preliminary “elimination” rounds of interviewing. When I met directly with the supervisors, they were able to see how certain skills would translate to the job, even if they weren’t exactly what was stated in the job description. Now you’re likely to be rejected without an interview if the scanning software doesn’t pick up the exact phrases they’re looking for on your resume.

  7. There is a time and place for everything.

    At the same time, if they are in a situation where it is not a good time to discuss the position further, I am okay with that as long as they professional express that. Regardless, it is very interesting how many people don’t even treat phone screens as part of the interview process.

    As a recruiter, I prefer calling unscheduled because it allows me to gage a persons actual interest. Just the other day, I had a candidate respond that they had no idea what position they applied for with my company. Furthermore, when I asked the candidate why they were interested in working for my company, they responded because they were registered on CareerBuilder and it recommended them as a match. However, they had no knowledge about my company. Now why don’t you think they got to the next step?

    Bottom line, as recruiters, we want our positions filled just as much as a candidates wants a job but it needs to be the right fit for both parties. However, if you can’t even have the professionalism in a 10-15 minute phone conversation, how are you going to be in an 8 hour day….

    • I’m amused that Stephanie, the HR person at comment #7, would – 1st of all – purposely contact a job candidate by making an unscheduled phone call, “in order to gage (sic) their actual interest.” Does sneaking up behind someone and yelling “Boo” tell you anything about their hygience habits? Both are absurd.
      Secondly, please understand that those of us seriously looking for a job fill out TONS of applications and reply to so many ads each day that it is impossible to keep them straight. We don’t do research on all the companies with which we apply because there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to do this – and MOST ads do not even list the company name – merely the name of the employment agency. Why would an HR person be so rude as not to introduce herself, state the name of the company she works for and the title of the position about which she is calling?
      Sounds like HR Stephanie could use a lesson in phone etiquette.

      • As an HR executive, I can say without hesitation that Stephanie’s pretentious attitude and lack of grammatical skill would put her in a position to be an interviewee, if she were employed by my firm.

      • I agree. Why are the company’s so secrative about who they are that on the job boards they can’t list their name. I need to know who they are and where they are located so that I CAN research their company.
        I have also had a phone interview while driving and it was an unexpected call. I took the call because I did not want the the interveiwer to think that I was not interested. I will not do that again, because they do deserve my full attention.

        • Because it is an employer’s market, a lot of Stephenie’s thrive in HR. She uses surprise to eliminate some prospects. Think of it this way: She has a large number of great resumes and simply isn’t intellectually equipped to do the required skill analysis. In addition to telephone tricks, others use age (implied), sex (deduced from name), race (YES!), accent, address, location, paternalism, length of resume, currently employed, etc. etc, just to reduce the pile. For the Stephanies of the HR world, who knows how important skill is?

        • One reason why so many job postings appear on the boards withouth company names is because they are being posted by recruiting agencies. Agencies are often more interested in getting hold of your resume and information so they can place you with whatever company they think will hire you.

      • Tana clearly does not get it. Sending resumes to tens or even hundreds of openings at the time is NOT the way to get a job. You are better off to take the top 2 or 3 openings you find every day, spend some time on the company web site, formulate why you want to work for the company, read the ad, customize your resume to the ad, write a cover letter, formulate why you are an excellent match for the opening, just to mention a few things. Keep a log of what you sent where and when and why, and keep the log within reach if you answer the phone. Resume blasters do not find jobs; their resume gets tossed.

      • I aggre alot of the ads I have aplied to were blind ads where never mind no business name there is never a name of the person doing the hiring and more offen than not you never here anything any way. Thanks Tana

    • I have to say this comment by Stephanie the recruiter is truly scary for those of us looking for work and doing our absolute best to keep all the applications straight, write cover letters that are relevant and engaging (but not too long!), doing research on each company (when we actually know what company we are applying to), etc… on the off chance that we actually get a response, any kind of actual response… All the while worrying what it is on our resume that seems to be making us so undesirable… I was at a company for only 6 months, because my manager, after 24 years, decided to move and took the whole team (me included) to the new firm. Is that it? Is it that I do not have a degree? Even though I have several years of Executive Assistant work under my belt, if I had a degree, why wouldn’t I have my own assistant? I’d love to know what it is… and feel free to surprise call me to tell me because it is hard enough to keep your spirits up without hearing about the tricks and manipulative ploys being used by hiring managers! Glad they are enjoying this job market so much… wish it was the same for those of us looking!

      • Amen Liz, I couldn’t agree more. I have years of experience, a degree, and yet I still can’t get my foot in the door. What I don’t need is someone playing little games trying to trip me up by surprising me with a phone interview I wasn’t expecting, and then asking me questions regarding a job I probably applied for a month ago, and 50 others since then. Who can keep them all straight? I don’t have time to research every company with which I apply, but I do research every company I have an interview with.

  8. Personally – I think phone interviews are un-professional in the first place. Just like nearly all the “modern” hiring practices. I’ve been actively seeking for an IT position for over 18 months now – and yet have had just a few interviews. My Resume has been evaluated over dozens of times – and highly rated by all. I have a GREAT personality (People I meet though networking can’t believe I haven’t been hired – and I don’t say that arrogantly – I’m a happy person in general – and I have had to many jobs where I have been promoted to manager and Head of Training – so it’s not a personality thing) It just that now – you can ONLY apply for a job via online website – or via e-mail. And in many cases – you don’t get an “interview” anyway- a lot of companies are sending out WEB-CAMS – to conduct impersonal interviews – that are just a notch above the impersonal phone interview. HOW do you stand out in an INBOX? I ALWAYS smile when talking on the phone (and all should as adivised below) – but on a phone interview I had – I was on speakerphone with 3 people – all shouting over each other – preventing me from even talking! I politly asked them whose question I should answer first – since I couldn’t tell who was who – over the phone – and they hung up on me!!! VERY un-professional from one of the top OnLine Game Producers in the world!!! It all boils down now to WHO you know, networking and Linkedin.com. Sad…

    • Addressing each question individually and announcing this intent to do so would probably have worked in this instance. It is very clear that no one on the employer’s side was actually in control of or possibly prepared/experienced for telephone interviewing.

      This reflects that the company is probably engaged in horizontal management which encourages creativity rather than in the vertical management which breeds control.

      Although they seem disorganized, given the nature of the employer (gaming), they are probably a very good company to work for. Responding to and working for horizontally managed companies is much different than the traditional vertically managed companies.

      I come from a background in IT/Communications research and development related to computing which are all horizontally managed companies. At first they seem disorganized, but later you discover that horizontal management encourages creativity because you work outside the box of the traditional “controlling” vertical environment. There is much more interaction in horizontal companies and a much more relaxed atmosphere – with very strict deadlines. A great place to work if you can adapt to less supervision with higher responsibility and equal amounts of accountability between management and “production” positions. You will find also that the pay level’s in these type of companies are much more conducive to what you know rather than how many hours you work. And the pay grade between management and “production” employees is not that significant, so you don’t find a battle for workers competing for each others’ positions or for the ‘bosses’ job – they work as a team, each responsible for their own “piece” of the larger puzzle.

      Better luck next time – and if you are into development of computing gaming – there will be a next time – and many learning curves to come!

    • I have read many of the comments posted and must agree with the overall theme stated by Cory. I was raised in the era that the first two minutes of an interview it was decided if you moved to the next step in the hiring process. My father was upper management and really drilled the fact that always make eye contact, smile and answer all question clearly as well as know the company history before intervoewing. Now today I have my masters degree and have been out of work for two years. I am over qualified, or someone else fit better ( term for I got the position filled at a lower salary). HoOw can anyone know the person will fit by talking to them on the phone, reading an email in today’s life. I really think that sending emails does not work and what I have started doing was looking up the company and getting an actual location and become a walk in so that I have a face to make an impression and when the H.R. has a face they tend to look closer at the resume. This has started to work as I have gotten a few call backs and am waiting. Many people in the work force today and looking to hire really do not have the time to sit at their desk and read the hundreds of resumes that are sent to their in box. Take the time to research the job position you are looking into and go to the office and hand a hard copy in to the H.R. person, not the desk jockey sitting in the lobby. Always state that you can wait if they inform you that the H.R. is busy at this time, and state that yes I know I do not have an appointment I just was in the neighborhood and wanted to drop off these paper with them.

      • Mary,

        You may not be aware, but a lot of hiring managers ask the “desk jockey sitting in the lobby” for her/his opinion of the job candidates that come in. Treating a receptionist in a rude, condescending manner could cost you that job you want so much.

        • To Mary, who wouldn’t want anyone to hand their resume to a “desk jockey”…Here’s a little anecdote.

          Because we are not a huge company, I (even though I am the hiring manager) sometimes sit in at the receptionist desk so they are able to take a break, use the restroom, etc.
          I had several interviews scheduled one afternoon, and we had a few minutes between two of them, so I went out and relieved my “desk jockey” so she could take a quick bathroom break. The next candidate arrived, was very rude to me, and let me know in no uncertain terms that she was here to see my “boss”, so if i would be a “good girl and go get her”, she’d be eternally grateful. I just smiled. A couple of minutes later, the real “desk jockey” returned from break, and I approached the candidate, introduced myself, and watched her shocked face turn several colors, as she stumbled over herself with apology.
          Needless to say she didn’t get the job, even though she got points for being early. So be nice to the “desk jockey”! You never know who they are!

          • Good one Anne!!! I work as a “desk jockey”, because being a college graduate can’t find work in my career field. I just laugh at those “Mary’s” that come in thinking we should bow down to them. In fact the company I work for won’t even accept a hard copy resume, due to personal information written on each resume and it being a liability. So, therefore I have to refer all prospect candidates to our website. Which, those Mary’s just wasted their time coming into the office trying to get a face to face contact with a HR manager.

            • I remember my boss once decided that EVERYBODY would interview the new secretary. When she finally got to me, I was pretty much just doing the ‘chill’ and ‘relax’ bit. I think she finally got hired, but it was overkill for the position.

        • I work for a manufacturing company that you can walk in be rude to the receptionist dress like you just changed the oil in your car and get hired.

          Our General Manager does the interviewing and you show up properly dressed she automatically assumes you will not want to get dirty and your done before you even sit down to speak with her.

          You will also be getting interviewed in a kennel. She brings her 3 dogs to work with her and they sit in her office.

          I’ve had friends come in for interviews without letting the company know that they are friends of mine and they left explaining they don’t feel that they would fit in there.

    • I disagree that phone interviews are unprofessional. As a a recent college graduate I was applying to jobs all over the country. I was looking for a job in marine biology while living in a land locked state. It would have been impossible for me to afford to travel for an interview and I would not expect any company to pay for me to come to them. I did conduct mutiple phone interviews and got very good responses from all of them, I even got hired and the first time I met my new employer was when I moved there. Fortunately for me I get along with all my coworkers. I know that my situation is not the case for many people but sometimes a phone interview is the only way.

  9. Regarding the above. Today’s interviewing skills have alot to be desired. Most of the HR people have no clue how to interview people. They ask a few questions and then they will say they will get back to you. They get back to you saying that they have chosen another candidate. A week later that same job was was posted on their site. Experience should be the key to getting a job not age, but that is how it is today.

    • Margaret, I do agree that some can work on their interviewing skills. However, there are many reasons why someone might not be qualified or hired for a position.

      Although life is not always fair and hiring practices vary, the thing individuals need to realize is that a recruiter knows the company and knows exactly the type of individual it needs.

      So it might not be because of age but more because you lacked something they were looking for. It could be more of a cutural fit situation.

      Unfortunately, due to legality, most HR/Recruiters have to play it safe and give you that generic response even though they would love to be more specific.

      • There are many reasons why someone would NOT be hired for a position that cannot be revealed to them. Despite various ethical and moral issues, some regulations cannot be simply mandated.

        If during the interviewing you are asked a question that reveals your age, often that can become a stumbling block to hire. Although employers cannot discriminate based upon age (gender, etc.) that doesn’t mean they don’t do so. This law merely means they cannot put such matters in writing, but discrimination is indeed alive and well and living within all facets of employment. Even your voice can reveal your age. Not being offered a job because you are not a good “fit” does indeed reflect that you are being discriminated against for some reason that cannot be put into writing because of discriminatory law.

        The Chamber of Commerce across America have recently introduced many policies in which employers participate. One policy is to attract a younger workforce into mid- and upper-level positions and actively retiring the older workers. They are promoting this program in order to sustain a local economy as younger people will come, marry, and start their families who will in turn, be future entrepreneurs and/or participants in the local economy. Young families spend more money.

        The second program seeks to “re-educate” the displaced older workers by offering entry level job training and part-time job opportunities. You are eligible for retraining after you turn 55. However, being retired by replacement of a younger worker begins anywhere from age 36 to 42 depending upon the specific field.

        Society itself retires many workers much earlier than any retirement system allows. Retirement, when used in this regard, means that you are not qualified or are not a good fit.

        This is why raising the retirement age will not work. Until there is a paradigm shift regarding the usefulness of seasoned employees reflected in pay levels, there are always going to be issues with “job fit” and other elusive reasons why someone will not be hired for a position.

        • So those of us who have the means and experience in the workforce and the savings account to spend from get screwed because some freshly out-of-college, wet-behind-the-ears, book educated but lacking both common sense and life experience young person can work for pennies. You and the Chambers of Commerce across America might want to remember who put those kids through college while maintaining a home, cars, buying groceries, school supplies etc. and bolstering the economy.

          Established older individuals spend money-wisely. Young people spend on credit cards, buy houses and cars they can’t afford and then go bankrupt…OH and I get to pay for that problem as well.

          I’m not so sure I want to be part of your version of society…which wouldn’t not exist for you and those like you to take advantage of and screw us in the process, if we hadn’t been working for so many years. I am glad I raised my daughter who I am putting through college while she lives at home better life values than the ones you learned.

            • For some reason, youth is overvalued in the U.S. society. You would think, a little over two hundred years ago, everyone died by age 40 or 41. We need to move forward as a society, yet, we linger in beliefs formed 200 years ago. Of course, we do not know exactly when our society will be abruptly returned to its agricultural roots along with much culling, but, I digress.

          • @ Robin: I disagree with your point “wet behind the ears”. What I have gathered is that from your statement if a young individual has attained their Master’s degree versus a middle aged individual with 10 years experienced in the same field; to hire the older individual. I disagree with your statement. Your belief system is the reason why so many young college graduates work little jobs just to survive, simply because someone who didn’t go to college has more experience. College is hard work and difficult it isn’t some walk in the park. If your belief was that of the majority of others then college would be obsolete, and to a certain extent education.

            I believe employers should mix it up, hire some with mainly experience and others with more pertinent degrees. But to focus on the older individuals is wrong and discrimination. I personally find it is unfair when a poor young person luckily gets a scholarship to go to college but later can’t get a job because HR personnel with your trend of thought rejects them.

            By the way more and more young people are starting to focus on creating their own business as studies and ebay will prove. I am one of those young people.

    • I’m a firm believer that more positions should be filled by telecommuters rather than onsite employees for many reasons:

      1) Telecommuters are generally more productive than onsite workers, studies have revealed this.
      2) Telecommuting saves employers money as office/work space is very expensive.
      3) Telecommuting saves energy. Less cars on the road means less waste in gas, oil, tires, highway repairs, and decreases the possibilities of accident and fatalities. There would be fewer traffic jams.
      4) For all of the above reasons, telecommuting is more environmentally – friendly.
      5) Telecommuting increases the quality of work life and allows workers to create a harmonious balance in their life which creates an environment that encourages not only productivity, but also creativity.

      While telecommuting is not for everyone – some need the social interaction at the water cooler and/or lunch room. And some folks are not disciplined enough for telecommuting positions. However, employers would learn this within a short time after hire which would save a lot of money long-term in job training as employee turnover is very expensive within the corporate environment.

      This is the reason why telephone interviews are necessary and I believe more companies should be exploring and implementing telecommuting opportunities rather than the traditional brick / mortar / control environments.

      • I must strenuously disagree with your assertion that telecommuters are more productive. There are several people in my company that telecommute and they are utterly useless, don’t get much of anything done and incite hostility among other employees.

      • “Studies revealed?” Who did the study? Who PAID for the study?? Studies change over time and results depend on the criteria used. I have seen studies that state marijuana is good for you too.

        But then we are not discussing telecommuting; we are discussing phone interviews.

        Whether the employer is conducting phone interviews or face-to-face interviews, the same amount of time is spent in a discussion with the individual applicants. So why not conduct the interview in person–time spent is time spent regardless of how it is spent. And while on the phone in an interview with the applicant, are they finishing some report for a deadline or are they giving the applicant their undivided attention. How can you really tell as an applicant in a phone interview?

  10. I was recently interviewed over the phone for a job. I had selected the time, all was quiet at home, no distractions, but I was sort of nervous and didn’t do the computer part of the interview as well as I could have. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. I agree that the old school way of face to face interviewing is probably the best. Also, the cold way I was turned down (boilerplate email) was pretty insulting.

  11. I have recently been interviewed via phone and have turned down another phone interview–I do not care for the practice. You cannot judge the interviewer’s reactions to the answers you give to the questions being asked, i.e. body language, eye contact, voice inflections that cannot always be heard on the phone. Many employers contact you via cell phone; what if I am in an area with bad reception or lose the call. I would also like to be able to critique the company offering the position; see the employees I would be working with, the facility I would be working in, etc during a face-to-face interview.

    To the recruiters who get upset that the candidate knows nothing about the position or company, today many employers are listed as “confidential” in the employment ads and/or give little information about the company itself. I want to know who I would be working for. I was contacted by a recruiter that wanted to spend 45 minutes on the phone getting my personal information…but would not/could not offer me any information on the company that I would be working for if hired. I declined that interview.

    And even when I spend the time to research the company and learn as much as I can, make it into the final selection, and when I do not get the job the employer can’t even give me the courtesy of an email or phone call of the results.

    • Recruiters are biased as they are often paid by the employers to screen applicants. They do not represent YOU, they are actually an agent of the employer. They are a middle-man and middle-man will lean toward who is holding the cash. I’m sorry – but it’s real.

      • Really???–duh!!! I realize they are agents for the employer. I would prefer to discuss the position and my qualifications with a representative of the company rather than an outside source. If the company can’t even take the time during business hours to interview the applicant, then I believe I am just a number to them rather than a valued resource working towards the company’s best interest. And like it or not; interviewing potential employees is one of many “costs” of doing business in the real world. I feel we have become a drive-thru society wanting instant gratification and are becoming way to impersonal.

        I realize that a company’s time is valuable, but so is mine. It would be in poor taste for me to send a “stand-in” agent representing me to an interview and I feel the same about companies using recruiters.

        I have even gotten text message responses from recruiters for positions I have applied for; they didn’t leave a name, company or even the position I had applied for in the text. As if that was the only position I have ever applied for.

        We need to get back to the more personal “old world” way of doing things.

        • I like to think the ‘old world,’ more personal way was to start one’s own business.

          The problem is coming up with that business…

  12. At the age of 50, I have vast experience of taking interviews or being interviewed. I have observed that interviewers become over smart due to authority whether to appoint a person or not. Telephone interviewing is need of the time so it is better to avail this facility to avoid waste of time before calling a candidate, but the interviewer should be very polite and clear. He/she should give more time to interviewee so that one could explain at length. Recruiter mus introduce the company and the incentives before entering into questioning and should make him/her to feel at home.

  13. (Note:I live in New York State) I was once called by a West Coast company at 5:30pm their time (8:30pm my time) and I was in a restaurant eating dinner. They were suppose to call me at 1:00pm my time so I waited… and waited. By 6:30pm, I was hungry so I went out to dinner. The interviewer was offended that I was not prepared for the call. When I informed them that the call was suppose to be at 1:00pm my time, they informed me that something had “Come Up” and they were just running a little late… I also found out that the person I was scheduled to have the interview with was NOT the person I was speaking to but his assistant and two co-workers, he was otherwise detained. I didn’t get the job! and by the middle of the “Interview”, I didn’t want it either.

    • I’m very sorry this happened to you but the decision not to hire you was made long before the call was even placed to you for the interview – albeit late and not the correct person. The employer felt obligated to make the call because the interview had already been scheduled. You are right, this company would not be a good employment prospect and you are better off without them. They don’t take responsibility seriously and are definitely not big on personal accountability either (both attributes are sparkling qualities to look for in prospective employment opportunities). The company probably has a high rate of turnover – not a good employer – many issues with management.

  14. I hate phone interviews. They can’t get a look at me and I can’t get a look at them. You can tell a lot about people face to face. You can tell a lot about the company by seeing the place, too.

    One place I applied when I was looking didn’t have a space for me to fill out my application. I had to sit at somebody’s desk, which was overflowing with papers and mess. The whole office was like that. It was deathly quiet and felt tense and unwelcoming. I filled out the app and left and was actually glad when they didn’t call me. I would not have liked working there, but I never would have known if I’d only had a phone interview.

  15. I have had several phone interviews recently where the person was clearly going down a checklist of questions to weed out the “undesirables” before a real interview by someone else. When asked how long I had been in the workforce, I replied with an answer pointing out that I had 10 years management experience doing the job I was applying for and listed some of my successes, examples, etc. (they already had my resume). She interrupted me and again asked how long I had been in the workforce, and when I politely said I thought this was not relevant, she said that if I refused to answer, then the interview was over. The next question was what year I graduated college, so they could “verify” it. They can’t come out and ask your age, but easily get around it. Many large companies are conducting interviews this way now and I feel that we 50ish displaced workers do not even have a chance at getting a real interview.

    • Darci, it sounds to me as though you had grounds for a lawsuit, since the interviewer was so obviously hell bent on figuring out your age.

  16. Even though my phone interview was scheduled and on time it still was very unprofessional on the companys part , trying to talk to 4 people with one being an interpreter at the same time was very confusing as each question was walked on by the next and very little time for response , I suggested that I travel the 6 hours for an actual formal ( Old School ) interview on my dime and my time of course ,the H.R. manager told me I was arrogant and he thought I may be over qualified for the position. I found out through my contact the H.R A-Hole had just started 2 days before my interview and had no idea which way was up…he was recruited fresh from college.I was called back 2 weeks later only to find out they had yet another New H.R.manager who actually read my resume and asked me questions regarding the respective industry and my experience. The job was then offered to me which I respectfully declined as I had landed one 30 mins. from my house….

  17. I recently went through a phone interview with the VA for a job at an out of state facility. They called on Friday and left a message of which I didn t get until Sunday as I was out of town. On Monday , they again called and asked if I had received teir message and would I be able to do an interview over the phone since I lived three states away. We set up a time later on in the day when I would be able to devote all my energies to the task. I had applied for this job 6 months before and the posting at the time was not clear about where the multiple openings would be. I took the next three hours before my appointed time to research the facility and also went to the VA’s website to understand the interviewing procedures that the Federal government uses and to familiarize me with the local hospital. The hour of my interview came and they were promptly on time. I was greeted by the head of the department and one by one they all introduced themselves so I would get an idea who was speaking by their voices. I wrote down all their names as I was greeted.During the interview each of them asked me questions pertaining to my qualifications and how that was linked to what intereactions I could expect from them if hired. They did not ask inappropriate questions as they each must have had a copy of my resume before them as they all refered to portions of it as we spoke. I was also glad I took the time to go to the hospitals website to help me get a prospective of what they have accomplished their and how I would fit into the giant sceme of things and also I was able to help them picture me as one of the team already on staff with this insight. So to end this let me say this was a enjoyable experience and the interview ended very well as I had that additional time to write and have in front of me my scribbled notes of questions I wasted to ask at the end and information I wanted them to answer to help me interview them. I was told they would be interviewing others; the next day I got a phone call asking for more references and the next day I was called my the HR department and given a tennative offer pending official VA backround checks. Also since this was a long distance interview they informed me they would have the legal stuff performed at a local facility. This has been an ongoing problem but they have called and touched bases with me about their frustrations with the local offices every week so I am always in the loop so to speak.
    I have learned that the phone interview can be one of the best options if you are well prepared and take advantage of the time to prepare your questions and answers and take / keep notes, search the company online, listen to the names of the interviewers and write EVERYTHING you can down while in the interview and get a feel for the company from the website and help them picture you as a team member during the interview so they can only see you in that spot.

  18. When I have wanted to apply for a position with a certain company, I want them to see for themselves that I am neat, clean, organized, know what I am talking about, have taken the time to learn about their company, have full comprehension of the English Language and good manners. I want to show I am punctual, professionally attired, and leave a good first impression. I want them to know I am quite comfortable in am interview situation by being able to answer the questions in a concise but informative manner. My cell phone will be turned off with the earpiece pocketed because the interview deserves my full attention at this time. How can I present all these qualities–which are attributes for the job I am seeking, from a phone call at home?

  19. I am a supervisor in a small nonprofit company and am used to doing the interviews in my department face-to-face which I prefer. however, I recently interviewed someone on the phone due to her living across the country. Despite the limitations of the phone interview- not seeing the non-verbal cues, lack of eye contact, etc.- it went very well and we ended up hiring this individual over those who came in and did the traditional interview. Both sides were prepared as they would be for a traditional interview, although there were some awkward pauses and talking over each other at times, but it gave both parties the opportunity to see how these situations were handled. I think that if it is done ethically and professionally, the phone interview can work out well.

  20. I have yet to meet an HR person that isn’t a “company cheerleader”! AND well uninformed…The ones I have been hired by: ,don’t do their homework for the job they are interviewing for… Here is an example, when I asked what the pay scale range was, it literally took the HR person 10-12 minutes, shuffling papers, looking on the computer, muttering, “no that cant be”…..THEN told me the “bottom to the mid range salary”…what about mid to top range, since you just explained the years of experience had bearing on the starting salary, I asked….”we don’t start anyone mid to top range” (WTH?)..as I questioned the offer, which after 20 years of experience, they offered ONE dollar over bottom range…I then asked, what would you pay if I had only one year of experience?….seriously!..Think about it…what would you have prepared to interview a potential employee as a HR employee? READ up on the job description, know the days and hours offered AND know the pay scale..goodness!!

    • I could never really put my feelings into words whenever I was interviewd by a “recruiter” until I ran across the comment by sally sue #21.

      Every so often when I am feeling really desperate, I find myself in one of those recruiters offices thinking this time it will be different, only to find that I am again enduring that “cheerleader” behavior. Silly me, all this time I just thought I had a bad attitude towards them. Thanks to sally sue I won’t be able to interview with any recruiter now that I have that cheerleader picture in my head. It would be unprofessional to interview while experiencing uncontrollable laughter.

      Seriously, thanks for the laugh sally sue. I really needed it today.

  21. I also agree with being prompt,dressed appropriately, cell off, being courteous and giving my direct attention to the interviewer..what I don’t agree with, is their improper behavior of being late, inappropriately dressed, phone continally ringing and having other employees or family members interrupt the interview….I have been hired at many facilities, always done well at my interviews, but then I don’t tell them what I really think of their unprofessional behavior. I want the job..I won’t have to deal directly with them once I start. By the way, I have received very high annual performance reports..

  22. I disabled I don’t have to put up with all that .They hire who they want instead of the one that capable of doing the job !After about 30 years old it being hard to get a job .Just wate and see .It depessing when you can’t get a job .When you know for a fact you could do a better job that the one that getting it!

  23. The last interview I had was a telephone interview, and I knew, even as the “interview” was taking place, that I wouldn’t be getting a call-back.

    Why?

    Well, not counting the fact that she’d forgotten about the interview in the first place, making me be the one to initiate it by calling her to remind her of it, she read from a rote set of 100 questions (since that list of questions was used in every telephone interview, regardless of the position needing to be filled, it wouldn’t have surprised me if she’d memorized them!), didn’t give me the opportunity to answer those questions in depth, got incensed with me because there was a problem on her end of the line and I needed her to repeat some of the questions because I couldn’t understand her and, by her overall attitude, conveyed to me that she was only conducting the interview because I’d forced the issue by calling her, as her time was way more important than mine and she’d have preferred spending her precious time doing what she wanted to do instead of what she was hired to do – which was to interview me for a position in her company.

  24. Since I have the feeling that I’m going to be the last poster on this message board, let me take this opportunity to suggest that, instead of focusing just on prospective interviewees and telling us how to dress for interviews, how to behave on an interview, what to say during an interview, what not to say during an interview, and what not to be engaged in while on a phone interview, CareerBuilder and other websites run a series of articles which focus on interviewers and prospective employers and what they should and shouldn’t be doing during the hiring process, such as:

    - If you need to cancel an interview with a prospective employee, call him/her as soon as you know you’ll need to cancel it instead of making the interviewee travel a significant distance from home only to be told that the interview is canceled and they’ll have to turn around, go home, and reschedule it for another day.

    - If you schedule a phone interview, mark it on your calendar and go over your calendar every day when you first arrive at the office so you won’t forget and you won’t get bent out of shape when the interviewee, who has set aside time in his/her busy day for the interview, calls you to remind you of it.

    - If I, the prospective employee, send my resume directly to your company or indirectly through the recruiter you’ve retained to represent your company, please contact me – even if it’s by form letter or email – and let me know you’ve received it. That way, I won’t waste my time or your time by sending in multiple resumes for one position.

    - And, if I, the prospective employee, arrive at your office for an interview and, for whatever reason, you’re not ready for it, don’t have the receptionist or your secretary stick me in “solitary confinement” (a windowless, too hot or too cold room by myself) so that my presence in your office can be ignored until you’re ready to meet with me.

    (I once had the “pleasure” of waiting for an hour-and-a-half in “solitary confinement” for an interview with a recruiter at a well-known executive and administrative support recruitment agency. Not once did anyone come into the room, which could have doubled as a steam bath, to acknowledge my presence, to give me an update as to when I would meet with the recruiter, or to offer me even a glass of cold tap water. By the time the recruiter was ready for the interview, sweat was running down my back and pouring down my face, and I was dizzy because of the heat. Guess who was told that she “didn’t present a professional demeanor”? I got up, walked out the door, and vowed to discourage anyone I know that is job-searching from contacting this agency. Don’t tell me I could have gone out to the lobby at any time to find out what was going on. I did. On several occasions. And I was told to go back to the room I was in and wait)

    • Well spoken. Kudos to you for maintaining your composure. I would have demonstrated a much less than professional departure from that agency. And then, I would have contacted the Better Business Bureau and/or posted the incident and company on my Facebook page.

  25. I can agree with many of the comments. I might not research a company for a phone interview but if I am called in for a 2nd interview you can beleive I will have done my homework. I focus on what I can bring to the table for the company, why should they hire me over someone else. I am candid, straightforward with my answers, and even if it may be detrimental I am honest about my shortcomings. Sometimes being honest with those answers surprize the interviewer and allow me a shot lol… We both know what we are getting…
    I can also sympathize with Linda, and I think you did the right thing in walking out. Personally, I would of asked if a better time would work for them as they obviously were not prepared to interview you that day, if they said no well then is that really a company you would want to work for? I know jobs are scarce, but sometimes just any ol job is not the answer.

  26. These comments have been interesting that the article. I have been called a few times for phone interviews and was shocked that most of the interviewers were clueless as to what the position entailed (stumbling over the technical terms in their questions). As much as we need a job, sometimes we can count ourselves lucky that those unprofessional places don’t work out.

  27. * Being clearly drunk on the telephone at the time of the interview;
    * Using the toilet;
    * Having a bath;
    * Eating while on the phone;
    * Outside walking their dog;
    * Arguing with a family member;
    * Being pulled over by the police for being on the phone while driving.

    I had to repeat those great tips, because no one would have imagined they might have a detrimental effect on an interview.

    Thanks for the great info.

    .

  28. Do not call in for a phone interview after almost being attacked by a protective white german shepard yearling guarding its gas and electric meters. Of course, I did not get the job or even a rejection letter, but, that just means one less store to shop at. I cannot imagine their customer service is all that good if they cannot even manage a rejection letter/email/voicemail.

  29. I’ve been out of work for almost 3 years now and have sent out many hundreds of resumes. I have had only one phone interview and it was between 3 other people and myself. It was done very informally ( for a position in new mexico) and yet we all got everything done. I would have gotten the job but for the distance I needed to move which required me to have a 3-week lead time (I live 2000 miles from N.M.) Unfortunately, nobody else has ever called. 99.9% of them don’t even acknowledge my resume. I feel that most HR people are not too swift.

    • Try 6 years. And its always location. Some places in the US are vast wastelands as far as jobs. Some of them are well known cities. Sad but true.

  30. There are a few things missing in these posts that I want to point out.
    My three twenty-someting sons have never had a job that did NOT start with a telephone interview. Us 50-somethings had better get with it or get lost! These young HR people are just a quick screening call. Don’t try to impress them. They just want to know if you are a real person that speaks English and can give short simple answers to simple questions. The real interviewers just don’t talk to everyone. The magnitude of the problem is in the story my brother told of being in IT. The email box for a job posting was flooded with 2500 resume’s. They screened the first 50. NO one even looks at the others. Rejection letters are a nicety of the past. You didn’t get the job because nobody saw your resume.Careerbuilder had an article that the format of the resume application has to match their computer readers, or never gets screened. People, Computers are reading these resumes, and the lowest paid person is who gets to call you to see if you are still interested. My son had a phone interview, and then they sent a plane ticket and picked him up with a limo at the airport to go inteview with five people at once for a SUMMER job. He was a student and didn’t even own a suitcase – put his change of clothes in a backpack. He looks like a hippie rock-climber dude, but he has skills. (He does wear a suit to interviews.) Get some skills, and then you will get respect. Don’t expect a computer or low level functionary to respect you. We are one in a million unless there is something you can put on 8 1/2 x 11 paper that makes you special.

    • Interesting, some of us 30 somethings actually prefer to be treated with respect and professionalism. So being disrespected means we don’t have skills??? Wow… Thanks for straightening us all out :)

    • one point I can agree with in your post is the part about only reviewing the first 50 resumes. My sister had this verified by an HR rep. The suggestion was to submit multiple resumes or apps spaced every few days – that way it will be dispursed in several different places in ‘the pile’. It’s a shame, but I am sure it can me very difficult to scan thru so many, and probably half of them don’t meet the job requirements! I’ve shot out my resume when I have only met about half the requirements – usually being different aspects of experiene!

  31. Often the recruiting officer or proprietor calls when we are engaged. We can minimize the noise if it is controllable. I often run to a public bathroom because it is usually the quietest place to talk. This is especially true when I am in the mall. I always tell the recruiter that I run to the public bathroom so I can listen to him or her carefully.

  32. The last phone interview I helped with was comical because we’d ask a question, the candidate wandered aimlessly in his answer, then suddenly spat out the exact answer, almost like one you might find on Wikipedia. Hmm…. So we asked a little further to see if he really understood it, he wandered aimlessly again, then suddenly spat out the textbook answer. So, if you interview someone, ask questions that don’t have answers that are easily found on Google!

  33. HR stands for half retarded…I have delt with many..trust me on this..Most people who r in HR would not agree because they don’t realize they are half retarded in the first place.

  34. It’s interesting to read through these comments. Clearly you are going to find fewer posts about someone who was happy in the interview process than those who were/are upset – just like anything we experience in life. I agree, there are recruiters that are absolutely terrible and there are those who are good who know their company inside and out, the financials, the positions within the organization and the operational interworkings. As someone in HR who has recently been through a transition and a recruiter in a former life, take this advice:

    1.) First, be happy that you get a call about the position. In many instances, there are hundreds of people vying for the same position you applied for.
    2.) Find out who is calling, what their title is, and of course the company.
    3.) Inform them you are not in a place you can talk right now and schedule a time that works for both of you. Give yourself at least a day so that you can research the position, company, and competitors (try using Hoovers.com to get started).
    4.) Write down specific questions you want to ask about the company (plans for growth, strenghts, weaknesses, opporunities, and threats, etc…). What is it about this position being open that makes the hiring manager not able to sleep at night?
    5.) Find a place where you won’t be interrupted. If not at home, perhaps use your car in the parking lot (NOT a public bathroom as one poster had done!).
    6.) When in the interview, provide SPECIFIC examples of what you claim on your resume and how you did it (e.g. increased sale by X percent by doing abc.). Anyone can list fluff.
    7.) If you are lucky enough to get a call back from the recruiter, find out who you will be talking with next and tailor your questions to those individuals. You are going to have a much different conversation with an executive than a first line supervisor. One is looking at a 50,000 ft view and the other is in the weeds.
    8.) Sell yourself. Make it clear how your qualifications and experience line up to what is listed in the job description and find out what they company is looking for from a subjective perspective. What they are really looking for isn’t alway listed or quantatative.

  35. I can remember “interviewing” for a job. The first words out of the HR rep’s mouth were “do you have any questions?” yeah, duh, what does the job entail, who is it working for, what are the duties, what does it pay, what are the benefits, what are you looking for in an employee? hello, are you an HR rep or a receptionist??!!

    • If you went into a job interview with those most basic questions, then clearly you were interviewing for a job you knew nothing about. You were a poor fit.

      Anyone interview for a job in their field will know what a specific job entails.

      • Read some of the job requirements. If its not in techno geek, its so bizarre its like do they know what they’re doing? Or they list a set of degrees that are pretty much not even closely related (think education, mathematics, sociology, engineering…).

  36. Yes with the world downsized, they want to get the younger mindless drones to fill positions. So using HR people to screen through phone interviews are a necessity in our progressive society. They want to screen you out if you are older by the way you answer. They can’t ask your age, but they will pinpoint it somehow and exclude you. I was downsized and now I am on the wrong side of the numbers. My coworkers who were downsized with me, though slackers have been picked up, I am never considered. I have excellent references, better experience, but once you reach a corporate magic age number then it doesn’t matter what you have to offer, corporate America isn’t interested. The qualifications have flipped. Fresh out of college, I couldn’t get hired because I lacked years of experience, that worked against me. Now I have years of experience and they only want those fresh out of college. HR was a field that use to be OLDER people, and now everyone I have had phone interviews with are younger than my kids.

    And with the only way to get the phone interview is by applying BLIND to many ads on the various websites, how are you gonna research anything. And if you are on unemployment you have to apply constantly to stuff even stuff that isn’t in your area of expertise to make sure you don’t appear like you aren’t job hunting. The whole “new” system isn’t working as attrition is atrocious because they aren’t getting what companies want by using the HR methods of today. It won’t return to the way of times past, but this new wave of screening is maddening for the prospective employees as well as the employers that get stuck with people that the HR processed through.

    Networking I have found is the new word, but even if you get the phone interview HR doesn’t know you, so you are back to the system that DOESN’T work.

    Progressive insurance uses this type of interviewing system. There is an interviewer that calls and HARRASSES you the whole time. She is rude and unprofessional and thinks she is all that. I know many who have been accosted in the interview process with her ridiculing them unmercifully. She still has the job, and Progressive thinks this woman is ideal. She lost many GREAT people for that company, and she hired many that jumped ship later. I have 16 yrs of call center experience in various industries, and she tried to tell me I wasn’t call center material. I laughed and said would you like to explain that to all my reviewers and the numerous people nationally that sung my praises. She paused and told me to report to Progressive immediately. I called her bluff because I had no intention of taking the job, but her interviewing skills were antagonistic. I wouldn’t work for a company that considered her worthy of a job. But she is representative of the what the process has become and I say they deserve what they get from the list above on the article.

    • Sounds like she wanted to find out who could handle verbal abuse without going off on clients. Not a bad test if you think about it from the point of view.

  37. The bathroom is a quiet, private place where a person won’t be interrupted. It doesn’t necessarily mean someone is performing a bodily function.

  38. What about the other way or side. Say the employer is no good and is spying on you at your home for the phone interview or etc. Is there someone to alert the Feds like the FBI if they are overly spying on a person or abusing etc. If they are trying to change a person’s private life and they may still be a boy and cannot help the difficulty of the transition to an adult male position etc. I worked for a Big 6 Acctg. Firm and I think I may have picked up their spies and cannot get rid of them. They are super good and you only get that they are there in your mind. What to do?? Are there still police or security for this or related abuse??

  39. did this person get paid to write this article? maybe they’ll explain to us next that we should shower before going to an interview. or brush our teeth. or not smoke crack. if you don’t know that it’s probably a bad idea to do a phone interview when you’re drunk, on the toilet, taking a bath, or in the middle of a domestic dispute then you probably should remain unemployed.

  40. Though I would never do some of the dumb things described about such as use the bathroom while on a phone interview, I am
    aware that when I get on the phone for an
    interview, I usally put myself alone in a room but, usually I get antsy, sometimes start pacing, move from one chair to another possibly
    bumping something making noises. I just hope
    that is not counting against me.

  41. This is good advice. Although I had an experience contrary to this. A recruiter called me about a job while I was at a client site. I explained my situation and location. It would be a couple weeks before I was back in town for a first interview. I further explained that the client site was a DC at the end of a runway at a major airport. He decided that he didn’t want to wait and would do a phone interview during my lunch break. After the first jumbo jet passed overhead drowning out our conversation he chuckled and said, ” you were serious about being near a runway.” The rest of the phone interview was frequently interrupted but the end was an invitation to a second interview that led to a job offer.

  42. I would also add that even though it is a phone interview, you should still dress as if you were meeting the person face to face, i.e. for men, in a shirt and tie, etc. It is still a job interview.

    • Why? It’s a PHONE interview… You don’t need to be in a shirt and tie to talk on the phone. Seriously!!! If that works for you Kit then by all means keep doing what your doing.

  43. Over the last 30 years, I have seen a decline in both the overall civility and level of professionalism of those in business. The phone interview and clueless HR staff, like them or not, are the norm today. A brief phone conversation can be useful under certain circumstances, usually to establish if there is a match between the range of compensation desired by the candidate and the range in mind at the hiring firm. Other than that, unless you are seeking a telemarketing position, phone interviews are useless. They are most often a tool used by lazy HR departments to narrow the list of candidates. The sole exception, in my experience, is when a principal of the firm or the hiring manager wants to become totally immersed in the process. Even then, an appointment should be set. I would not expect to transact any meaningful business when just “dropping in” on the counterparty.

    Jobs are in short supply. Jobs worthy of a true professional are even more scarce.

  44. Never, never answer a call from a recruiter, never. Always let it go to voicemail. That way, you force them to state the purpose of their call, and you can compose yourself for the return call. If you’re really not prepared, call them back at 10:00 pm and leave them a voice message suggesting a time that you’ll be ready to take their call (give yourself a little flexibility — “Hi Jennifer, sorry I wasn’t able to take your call but I’m excited about the opportunity to speak with you. Can we talk at 1:00 pm tomorrow?”). And then you have time to prepare. This all adds up to protecting yourself from surprises.

    • Excellent advise Derek. This also gives you time to calm your nerves, if you get a bit nervous like I do. These calls are so few and far between that I get a little excited when the phone finally does ring.

      • This all sounds wonderful in a perfect world, but it will only give them the time to find another candidate for the position. Most recruiters are desperate to put the perfect candidate in the position, and they are usually under the gun to fill the job. (You can bet they don’t want to lose the listing to a competitor. Don’t let them kid you into thinking anything differently.) If they called you with an opportunity that you are interested in, you should reach out immediately if you can’t answer the call. What’s to prepare? If you are looking for work, you should already be prepared to interview anyway.

  45. We can all get upset about these “lousy” phone interviews conducted by “dumb” HR people. But in the end of the day this is not exactly a job seeker’s market. Learn to deal with it, and you are a step closer to landing your next job!

  46. Suppose you simply have to go to the bathroom during the phine interview? Sometimes those things go on for an hour. They have bathrooms at work, what the hell do they expect?

  47. I do not understand when someone sends you an e-mail and you have to post your home phone onit. The message says the phone will start dialing you immediately. I have replied to this e-mail telling the person that I do not own a cell phone (I can’t afford one on unemployment pay) nor do I own a computer. I have to use one at the library. The minute I plug in my phone number it starts dialing my home phone while I am still at the library. I can’t get home in time to answer all the pre-recorded questions therefore I can’t be considered for the position. I do not think this is fair. What gives? I am going to have to be at sonmeone’s house and put in their home phone number in order to answer the questions. Woe is me! Has this happened to anyone else out there? I am fully qualified for the position and they know it. I’ve e-mailed them telling them to send the questions to my e-mail address but to no avail. Later, I see a note on my e-mail address telling me that they considered someone else for the position. What is wrong with these people?

    • Michael, doesn’t your local unemployment office have an office where you can go to receive phone calls, use computers/fax machines/telephones [for FREE] for your job search? If not, you should definitely look into getting yourself a pay-as-you-go cell phone, and ditch your hard line.

  48. As a Corporate Recruiter when I call candidates I realize that I often catch people during moments when they are not in the ideal location and I always ask “is now a good time to talk?”

    I’ve interviewed candidates while they are in cars, at the store and many other places. Professionals will find a quiet place, even if it means they need to walk out of the store and call you right back – which is OK.

    Please keep in mind that if you have posted your resume to a job board or have applied somewhere, there is a chance that you’ll receive a call from an unknown number.

    For this I have some advise that I can give from experience talking with literally thousands of job seekers:

    1. Always answer the phone professionally.
    2. If you are not in a good place, i.e. in the bathroom (toilet flushing, water running), around screaming children, driving next to a police officer – let the call go to voicemail, I’ll gladly leave a message and you can call me back at a better time.
    3. If you do answer and you are not in a good place, tell me and I’ll schedule a time to have a conversation at a later time/date – I actually prefer this, it’s a win/win.
    4. I realize that with phones background noise is sometimes unavoidable – like the ice cream truck driving by at a “perfect” time. But try to take steps to not let it be a distraction. Some pet peeves: hearing a TV/Radio in the background, holding a crying child while talking to me, talking in the car while your friends are talking loudly in the background, any kind of flushing, and if you’ve had a couple of/multiple drinks just don’t answer the phone. Yes, this has happened, not just once but many times.

    My two cents…

  49. I recommened 44 insider secrets that will get you hired by Cynthia Shapiro. This really gives you a good insight into how the market is now and indeed, that we are being excluded from the get-go by HR departments. ANY red flag and it’s the end. The employers are the ones at risk to lose their job if they hire the wrong person be it for whatever ethical or unethical reason (or “legal”), not the would be employee.

  50. I completely understand about not answering the phone while preoccupied and how your surroundings appear to the recruiter. However, I had experiences with recruiters who called me while I was on the noisy train or extremely busy but, when I return calls they are usually not returned. I usually call within 30 minutes. That can be an extremely annoying aspect of the job hunt and it’s very frustrating to candidates.

  51. Once I read the words, “riding the bus” I stopped reading. Why would I take advice from someone who uses such a subpar form of transportation? Whatever, cube monkey.

  52. Thank you, everyone, for all the great laughs! Reading this sure reminded me that I am happy to be alive another day, even if I still haven’t found permanent work!! [But seriously, many of your comments should really be reserved for your face book walls.]

    As desperate as most of the unemployed are today, we still don’t have to be made to feel that every single telephone interview, especially with a recruiter, should be treated as if we were speaking with the President. Don’t forget, we are interviewing them too. Manners and courtesy are the key, so if I take the call, I am prepared to speak with them in an appropriate setting, or I ask them if I can call them right back. As far as all scheduled telephone interviews go, only a complete moron would think it appropriate to do anything other than be in a quiet environment with pen, paper AND resume in hand. Using a toilet, fighting with a family member, walking your dog should all be reserved for telephone conversations with your friends. Who else is still going to like you once they realize what you are up to?

    Good luck to all of you and let’s bring on 2011. It’s going to be a prosperous one for all of us, I can feel it!

  53. I work in a retail store where I occasionally
    walked into the public restroom only to find
    someone talking on their cellphone while standing,
    or SITTING on the toilet. I don’t care if that person is talking to a much hated ex-mother in law
    or their spouse. Is the bathroom…while deficating,
    really the best place to have a conversation with
    ANYONE??? Was the topic of conversation SO important that it couldn’t wait a few MINUTES???

    I admit to trying to make EXTRA noise ( flushing
    more than once, running the water long & hard ) just
    to annoy or disrupt their “CRUCIAL” conversation.
    What I’d really LIKE to do is bang loudly on the stall wall in the hope that it will scare the serial
    conversationalist into accidently dropping their cell phone into the toilet ( that’s where some of their PUBLIC conversations were anyway ). REALLY?!?

  54. 4 years ago a recruiting agent called me in response to my job application and scheduled a 3-way telephone interview for the following day. Both he and the corporate manager (under whom I would be working) called on time and we talked for about an hour. At the end of the telephone interview I was given a good offer, which I accepted and did 18 months of contract engineering. There was no in-person interview, the first time I met the boss was to do the paperwork and get started on the job. Sometimes telephone interviews do work.

  55. You people are really over-thinking this whole thing. As an HR executive who came up through the HR ranks and has an advanced degree,I can tell you that employers long for the right person for the job. Not the cutest, youngest, oldest, most experienced, least experienced, the one with the biggest smile, best hair, most confidence, sharpest suit, most education, etc. We want the right person; yes, the right fit. That means your years of experience in a particular field does not entitle you or make you the best fit for a specialized position within that field.

    The fact that you have a master’s degree is meaningless unless you have the skill set we are looking for. And that’s what it boils down to – having the right set of skills and knowledge of the job to enable you to be productive from the very start. Nobody wants to waste money training you beyond the basics.

    My best advice, stop applying for jobs that you know are a stretch for your experience level or skills. Be honest with yourself and don’t blame HR or hiring managers when you don’t get the job. Obviously you were NOT the right fit or you would have gotten the job.

    This is from the heart, rather than churn out resumes and face repeated rejection, just apply for the RIGHT job, a fit for both you and the potential employer.

    Now, relax, take an honest look at what you bring to the job and leave out all that fluff, and apply for jobs you can really OWN!

    Good luck!

    • Another career builder article. But hey, its fun to vent here. You know when you told your younger brother that M&Ms can be eaten up your nose…?…..

  56. To all – Many of your comments are very poignant. While it is true that etiquette goes both ways, it is also true that you should ‘know the rules of the game’ so to speak. Even though it is disheartening to hear some of these personal truths about hiring practices, remember that this thread is not representative of everyone in Human Resources. Unfortunately, we do live in a time where jobs are rather scarce, however when searching for a job you should always stick to the basics. First, keep you resume short and sweet. Highlight what your accomplishments in current and former positions in a few bullets. Next, make sure you get at least three pairs of eyes to look at your resume. When it comes to grammar keep all former jobs in the past tense. As for punctuation, pick a style and stay consistent throughout. Now for the tricky part, give yourself an assessment. Are you looking for the same type of job, or do you want to branch out? What I have noticed is that unsuccessful job seekers just keep hitting send for anything. If your heart is not in it from the beginning then your setting yourself up for a less than stellar interview. Decide on what is important to you about a position (location, salary, upward mobility, transportation assistance, etc) then use these when you get asked that infamous question: “So, do you have any questions for me.”
    Finally, use your networks. Talk to so and so to see if there are any prospects at that cool company s/he works at, chat people up at parties and express interest rather than asking outright if a company is hiring, use social networking sites with discretion – send a few people you know well (both on and OFF the web) a note about your search and see what happens. You’ll never know unless you try.

    ***My last – and possibly most important – piece of information is: STOP LOOKING FOR JOBS ONLINE. Open a newspaper, magazine, or local periodical to look for positions. If a company has the cash to drop on ads in the paper and online, it may be a sign they are doing well. Running ads is rather expensive – which is a large factor that plays into the attitudes of some HR ‘professionals’ because they eventually expire, and have to be renewed until the position is filled. That said, you can’t take job searches personally even though it feels like that is the only way to take it. Know that there is another 8/9ths of activity below the surface that has nothing to do with you. So, do whatever you can to keep your spirits high and start with knowing that you are most likely well qualified so keep going until you find the right match.

  57. I take dumps all the time when on a phone interview. It really takes a load off and makes you feel confident. I think one time the manager heard me though, I ate a lot of Chili Dogs and he didn’t call me back.

  58. This is my only problem what does that have to do with the job, people want to work what is going on with our society, I have two college degres and over 14 yearrs of experiance and you are telling me I’m not going to get hired because of the pet peeves of the hiring manager. So how does the manager go about picking the best talent. I have been in a number offices where I did not get the job, but I was also aware of the fact that the people who had the job wer not on my level but there working. So does that make me negative or is that just a sad reality of the real world?

    • I remember one phone interview, they actually had some 20 something on the call with the hiring manager, barely keeping from popping her gum, giving all sorts of inappropriate comments like, why didn’t you put in there you could print out data? Or sort it? I was just looking at the phone, WTF??? And this was a nationally known company.

  59. One means of being successful in a job interview, telephone or face to face, is to take control of the process. If it’s an HR person, assume they have no knowledge of the skill set and define it for them. Be the expert. If it’s the working manager trying to fill out their team, assume they are uncomfortable with the interview process and guide them through it.

    Overcoming the “over-qualified” rejection involves watching for the cues and taking the justification out of it. With a working manager who is your potential new boss, explaining how you will make them look good, how you’re looking to work on their team to everyone’s mutual benefit and how you take satisfaction from a former boss’s promotion based on a project you contributed your expertise to. You want them to feel you will be their personal asset toward success.

    In this economy, you have determine how to best play the interview game. You can be the easiest road to completing their task, feed into their dreams of personal success or the person they most want to deal with on a day to day basis due to your engaging personality. Best bet, try to be all three.

    The job seeker is a salesman. Ask any successful salesman what they really sell and they will tell you, they sell themselves. The product is only incidental to the process.

  60. Man oh man… lots of talk about when to answer a phone! I would never answer a call in a meeting, or when face-to-face with someone. But don’t answer when walking a dog? Huh? I don’t own a dog, so I’m not sure if the dog would be offended by a phone call. Or, more likely these posters don’t actually WALK the dog, they take him/her outside for just long enough to twirl one down… that ain’t walking the dog, but that’s a wholly different website topic… something like pet abuse issues…

  61. Unscheduled calls for interviews are very bad. I arranged a quiet place to run to on a call but the elderly person I cared for started screaming at me after a few minutes and would not calm down. I could not explain adequately to the interviewer and I lost a major opportunity with an internship. It was the most horrible experience. There was not caller ID, message centers or cell phones back then. I never recommend interviewing on a phone for anything. I also recommend those who think this is a good thing should rethink.

  62. I had an interesting experiences while in a phone job interview for a business analyst position. The recruiter indicated the company was very interested in my profile and want an introductory phone interview where I describe my 20 year experience as a BA. I was all set for the introductory interview, and as a backup plan I logged online to see what questions are asked for positions related to Business analysts and landed on a webpage that describes the role, and all sorts of theories associated with the role. So I kept it on and waited for the phone interview.

    Later I get a call from the company recruiting manager he started by asking me if I am aware he will call me and if I had more than ten years experience as a Ba, and my answers were yes. Then the next set of questions were:

    What is UML? What are the tools to use as a BA for UML Diagrams. Then he asks Define BA Methodologies, and define Functional requirements, and nonfunctional Requirements?

    Wait a minute these are questions you ask in college not in an interview, but worse of all they are the same questions I have in front of me on the web page I was researching, and in the same sequence! I could not answer the same way I am reading on the website in front of me. Needless to say, he ended up saying do you have any questions for me, and I indicated that he did not ask anything about my experience, and he said that he wants to know if I know what I am applying for ? I did not get the job. What should I have done different? I was ready to describe all projects I worked on, give references, and discuss the technical details and methodologies I used but not to answer theoretical questions that can be asked in a Business analyst course in College or for a fresh graduate? Any Comments appreciated.

    • Lots of recruiting managers are idiots. So are HR. Welcome to the real world.

      I remember one, guy was Indian. Had a contract to do work, HAD NO MONEY TO PAY SALARIES. Had no clue what he was doing (God knows how he got the contract). Weirdest interview ever.

      • I hope he is not the same guy to interview me next. I am not against indian HR or any other HR or consulting houses. I am against all those third party recruiters who interview people for IT positions while their expertise in in gardening for example. They set you up with interviews saying it is a match for what you master. Then the interview ends up to be about marketing websites for example, while you are looking for website programming positions.

  63. two comments: 1)I got too many calls from companies that wanted to do the INTERVIEW right then, right there. Two that I asked to scheduled a time wiht never kept the appointments. The others seemed unconcerned that they were interrupting me or a meeting etc. 2)I scheduled a call with a group I really wanted to work for. I told my staff NO calls, no interruptions. I put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door and LOCKED the door. Two minutes into the call I got the first of 12 interruptions by my staff. I lost the chance for the job and I lost my temper with my staff. Next one will be taken offsite or in my car in a store parking lot.

  64. One time I was called regarding a job when I was in the middle of a chess game. I take chess very seriously. I was playing chess on line the interviewer did not like that fact that I did not stop the game. However, I was playing chess with another person on line, before the call. My plan was to finish the game, then stop playing.
    In retrospect, I should have just stopped playing chess.

    Some people have mentioned letting the phone go to voice mail. When companies are looking for people. They stop looking when they have found the people they want to hire. I think it is a good idea to take the call. If you are in the middle of something ask, “can I call you right back”.

  65. Come on is everyone missing the boat on all these multi-tasking future employeees. All the job descriptions out there want multi-taskers and people who can do more than one thing at a time. So why are they so put out by a bit of multi-tasking during the interveiw process.

  66. What seems to be lacking here is basic common sense. If you really want to get the job, you need every condition in your favor. Recruiters and HR people are basically salesmen and junior psychologists. Obviously, conducting an interview, you’re being profiled. Everything you say it’s being analyzed by the person doing the interview. Although, they can’t see you, that heightens their abilities to hear and judge your presentation on the phone. Likewise, if you elected to do an audition in a stadium hall or carnival, how can you hear and respond? You need 100% concentration. Less than that, you are coming across as a babbling idiot without any cohesive thought. If you are miss judging the key questions being ask due to background distractions, than you are not giving the appropriate responses. You are not bringing your best “A” game. And the person doing the interviewing has the upper hand and advantage. The interview should be on a mutual level. Then again, the interviewer is not going to tell you that you sucked and you can kiss this job good bye. So it behooves you to never agree to conduct an interview, where you are at a disadvantage, even though your ego convinces you that you are greatest thing since slice bread.

    Sea 2010 12 25

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  72. It was only once, I swear. I had to go to the bathroom really badly. I accepted the call and suddenly had to do my business. I ran to the public restroom, dropped my pants, while talking to the recruiter. I ripped a loud, prolonged fart right before……….
    Sorry..

  73. I AM a recruiter who participates in telephone interviews, as a first interview. First, I always explain where I am calling from, what position they have applied for and that this is a first telephone interview and it will take approximately 10-15 minutes. I have the common courtesy to ask if that is something they have time for, and have no problem with someone saying “Actually, I’m in the middle of …. can I call you back?”. I would prefer it, as opposed to someone taking a call while obviously distracted. Secondly, telephone interviews are a great way to gauge several aspects of a person’s personality. If you are rude to me on the phone, how will you be with your management or co-workers? If you can’t answer simple, open ended questions with more than a one word answer, how will you follow and articulate complicated directions required for the positions applied for? A phone interview takes 20 minutes of my time. A face to face interview takes about an hour and a half. Why would I waste my time bringing in a candidate who is unwilling to work the hours needed, or who finds the starting pay unacceptable? Lastly, the reason most of you haven’t been hired, from what I can read, is your attitude. Human Resources employees are not clueless. We are not idiots, or out to hire you because you look a part. Our job is to know humans, and we can smell that disdain for our position from a mile away. We are overworked and underpaid, and do our damndest to find the best candidates to fill our dwindling number of open positions; mostly because we don’t want to have to fill it again when the idiot who was on the toilet during the telephone interview can’t keep up with the job. I hold a detailed job description for every position I hire for, do your training, paperwork and process your payroll. When you are behaving like spoiled teenagers, I fix it. Learn how to write a resume. Research my company and the position you’re applying for, and show some enthusiasm when I call you, because if I did, it was after choosing you out of the hundreds of applications I receive daily. It is not OUR loss if we don’t hire someone who is too important to take 10 interrupted minutes out of their day to give us their undivided attention, it’s YOURS.

    • You are right, it is not your loss, or fualt, that someone did not make the cut. Wheather any one of us gets a job or not is up to the employer. Tip: DO NOT, CHASTIZE YOUR WOULD BE BOSS OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER, WHO MAY BE CONDUCTING AN INTERVIEW…Это ваше будущее, сделать это, или разбить его! That is Russain for

      • “Not Hiring You,” you are right, it is not your loss, or fault, that someone did not make the cut. Whether any one of us gets a job or not is up to our potential employer. Tip: DO NOT, CHASTISE YOUR WOULD BE BOSS (OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER), WHO MAY BE CONDUCTING AN INTERVIEW…Это ваше будущее, сделать это, или разбить его! That is Russian for: It is your future, make it, or break it!

        sorry… I messed up on that last one.

  74. Years ago when I was looking for another job. I had a company call me for an un-scheduled interview. I had already had on phone/pre-screening interview with HR rep that went well, but I heard nothing from them for over a week. The very day that my suitcase is packed to go on a trip and I am walking out the door with friends, I get a call out the blue for an interview with 4 people on the phone. Yes, I should have looked at caller ID, but I did not. I politely explained that this was not a good time for me since I about to leave town and ask that we schedule another day for the interview. They sounded disappointed and said they would get back with me. When I returned from my trip, I had a message from the HR rep who did the pre-screen interview that said I was un-cooperative with the interviewing process. What process?? At first, I was pissed, but then I thought this company is totally un-organized and un-professional. I do not want to work for them. If they could get 4 people together for a conference call interview, then they could have (should have) at least informed the interviewee.

  75. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … I’m starting a new club . It’s called the Common Sense Club. Many will apply, however, few will be accepted.

    All kidding aside, where has common sense gone ? It seems there is a generation of younger people (I’m in my late forties) who think they NEED to be accessible at all times. This shouldn’t be the case. If at a time when you are called or are returning a call , you happen to be engaged in some sort of activity where you can’t give your undivided attention , just what does that say to your potential employer?

    I am self-employed and I’ve had to hire (and fire) people . In my trade, safety is of the utmost importance to me as well as following directions when needed . Therefore, in an interview , if I notice a particular person cannot give me their fullest attention when I am interviewing them , it says very loudly and clearly their attention is divided and they are not focusing on the task at hand. It also speaks of the lack of respect as well. Therefore, this particular person will NOT be working for me.

  76. I had a phone interview that was facilitated by an agency. The response that I heard was “he seems too much of a shirt and tie kind of person and this is a laid back office”. Can someone explain how I am supposed to interact in a laid back kind of way on the phone with someone I’ve never met face to face?

  77. I had a phone interview scheduled, I went to a quiet place, waited 15 minutes then went back home. The recruiter called me, I asked if he wanted to reschedule? He said no, said that he was going to do the interview now. I told him that if I were in his reception area, and I had not been recognized after 15 minutes that I would have left. He continued to call me a few choice names, told me that I would never get a job with my attitude, and hung up the phone.
    The same company called me back a week later, told them my story and let them know that I don’t need them.

  78. I am amazed by some of the comments in this post. I have experienced applicants showing up for their drug test drunk, rude interviewees and one guy who took all time allotted for the interview to answer 7 questions (out of 40), while saying nothing. When there are potentially hundreds of people applying for 1 job, if it were me, I would be grateful to get any interview. It shows that I have a good resume and qualifications.

    My advice, stay positive, treat others how you want to be treated, don’t treat the company or HR as an enemy and keep trying. Any anger or frustration you are feeling will come out in your interview whether it is on a phone or face to face. I know that I would rather work with people who are not negative.

    Keep your chins up in this rough job market. Oh, HR people are just that, people. People make mistakes. As one of them, I have appreciated the comments made, as I may be able to learn a few things from you all.

  79. Every time I have ever had a phone interview the interviewer has been late calling me. It was annoying because I scheduled with someone else to take care of my son while on the phone. Another time I put my son to sleep, and 30 minutes later was worrying about him waking up if they called. They did eventually call, but that is ridiculous. I always have gotten a second interview except for once.

  80. Chances are, if you have been submitting your resume around that you should be prepared for a call requesting an interview. If I remember all of my phone interviews correctly, I’ve been blessed with either having a set time or I’ve been asked if “now is a good time”, which I’ve never felt the need to lie about! If I don’t recognize the number, I don’t pick up if it’s not the appropriate time – again, that’s ONLY after I know I’ve been submitting resumes. It’s just common sense.

  81. I feel the only valid reason for a phone interview is for an out of town job. I’ve always felt that the drive to the job interview was a perfect way to guage the daily commute, if you get the job.

  82. To the person that said “HR people, they seem to have the easiest and probably most worthless job.” Well , that’s good to know. I’ve been a recruiter now for 11 years, and make $80,000. How much do you make d-bag?

  83. As an HR manager, there are usually no less than 20-30 people for each position that we have open at any given time. When we schedule a phone interview, and that person does not answer, and we are calling at the agreed upon time, then we pass that person over and do not even consider them any longer. There are more than enough candidates to take the job, and I will usually go with one of the people who answered when I called them at the appointed time.

  84. Ha ha ha – This is unbelievable!
    1) Why wouldn’t you answer the phone?
    2) Why do you think that this website is only for English speaking people?
    3) Why don’t you answer and schedule the call at a more convenient time?
    etc. etc.

  85. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you really understand what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also talk over with my web site =). We will have a hyperlink trade contract between us!

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