Companies Use Phone Screening

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<strong>New York &mdash; Jan. 30</strong><br />To handle the increased numbers of candidates who are looking for positions, companies are increasingly using phone interviews to decide who they will bring in for an in-house meeting said Robert Graber, founder of WallStJobs.com.  &ldquo;Phone screening makes it easier for firms to reduce the number of face-to-face interviews, thereby speeding their employment cycle.  That is why it is more important than ever to fine tune your phone skills.&rdquo;<br /><br />Graber offered some suggestions to successfully make this increasingly common first cut:  &ldquo;Listen to yourself on calls.  Are you enunciating well?  Do you say &lsquo;like&rsquo; or &lsquo;you know&rsquo; as filler in your conversation?  Would you hire yourself based on your speech pattern?&rdquo;<br /><br />In preparation for a phone interview, Graber advises the following:<br /><br /><ul><li>Don&rsquo;t use a cell phone.</li><li>Pull up the company Web site on your computer in advance of the call.</li><li>Never put the caller on hold.  Defeat call-waiting.  Mute the ringer.</li><li>Keep your resume in reach.</li><li>Write down the names of those on the call as soon as you hear them (use a pad and pencil to avoid key-taps, which can be distracting and might be interpreted as a lack of attention).</li><li>Listen to questions; don&rsquo;t interrupt. Avoid cliché expressions such as, &ldquo;to make a long story short.&rdquo;</li><li>If you think you are talking too much, you probably are.</li><li>When ending, ask what the next step is and what the time frame might be.</li><li>Thank everyone by name.</li></ul><br />&ldquo;With text messaging becoming so popular, it is easy for anyone to get sloppy about their verbal conversation skills,&rdquo; Graber said. &ldquo;But with phone screening becoming so important, it pays to practice your telephone presentation and prepare adequately for this &lsquo;faceless&rsquo; first interview.&rdquo;<br />

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