Recently, our best recruiter had a phone interview with a remarkable candidate for an incredible job opportunity. Spoiler alert: remove your leather case on your next phone interview. Read on to learn why.
Like all good search professionals, she did her best to collect the pertinent information on a phone interview to successfully move the candidate to the next level – a face-to-face interview.
My colleague did her best to delicately request the passive candidate to improve the call’s communication transfer. They called each other back, they moved toward the window, but nothing seemed to improve.
Full disclosure here – this topic falls in the category of using technology effectively – especially when your career depends on it.
Candidates: make sure the person (hiring manager, recruiter, reference, or other party) helping you succeed can understand what you are saying.
After minutes of straining to make out the language exchange from the candidate and barely able to get yes/no answers from the most basic of questions, a particularly important interview question was posed that required a longer answer.
My colleague made one final plea with the candidate, and indicated that this was a particularly important question, so see if there was anything that could be done to improve the transmission of information that would help qualify the candidate for the position.
The candidate said, “Just a minute.” When he returned on the same phone call, and phone, his voice came through loud and crystal clear.
My colleague asked, “What did you do?”
The candidate responded, “I am trying to keep my new smartphone from getting scratched, so I have it in a leather case. I removed the leather case.” Clearly, the leather case was obstructing the microphone, and muffling the candidate’s voice.
As I look back at many phone screens, I wonder how many of the poor calls were due to an error like this. More than once, just for lack of information, we’ve screened a candidate out of the running.
Barton Professional Placement Group is expert at finding golden needles in haystacks for our clients. We hope this story helps some candidates that may not be getting interviews, for the simple reason that their phone screen is not effective due this simple mistake.
The cell phone carriers in metropolitan areas have brought mobile communications technology up to meet expectations. It has improved so much that many people use their smartphone as their primary phone – and do not have a land or wired phone line. As in this example, remove your leather case around your phone on your next phone interview as it can be the filter that fails you. Next time you are on your smartphone with any critical call, be sure your audience can understand what you are saying. Take your phone out of its case.