Can You Hear Me Now?

I have a love/hate relationship with my phone.

I’m on my phone during the day so much that my neck is permanently leaning down towards my shoulder. I guess I should include a headset on my Christmas list this year. Still, all this talking on the phone means that I’m spending a lot of time conducting phone interviews–and doing a lot of hiring! So, if you’ve applied for a job with Sodexo, it also means you should keep your cell phone charged!

Preparing for a phone interview is much like preparing for a face to face interview. In fact, your success on the phone has a direct relationship with your selection for a face to face interview. So, be careful not to slip into a casual approach to the interview since you’ll just be “talking on the phone.” Here are some tips for a positive phone interview:

  • Be on time.
  • If you are expecting a call from the recruiter, make sure you are in a quiet area free of disruptions or distractions. Turn off notifications on your phone for text messages and close your e-mail program so that you’re not tempted to lose your focus on the call.
  • Consider being contacted on a land line versus a cell phone to prevent those pesky dropped calls which can disturb the flow of the call.
  • Remember that your voice will be critical in demonstrating your eagerness, your excitement and enthusiasm. I can always hear a smile and hearing it is just as good as seeing it.
  • Practice! Just like you would practice for a face to face interview, practice answering questions you anticipate will come up during your phone interview. Get a friend to role play with you.
  • Prepare! Before your scheduled call, make sure you take some time to research the company and review the job description. Be prepared to talk about specific examples that show how your background matches the job requirements.
  • Ask questions. Prepare a list of questions you have about the company, the position and the next steps in the process. It’s just as important for you to ask questions as it is to answer questions.

One advantage to the phone interview is that you’ll be able to use cheat sheets. Unlike a face to face, you can have your resume, notes about the company, the job description and questions you would like to ask right in front of you. You will be able to speak to your background fluidly by referring to your resume for examples of projects handled or achievements in certain roles. You can even make a list of specific examples you would like to talk about. Don’t worry, this isn’t cheating! It’s how you can be better prepared to answer questions while you’re on the call.

There are more virtual recruiters out there like me, so don’t be surprised if during your job search one of us calls you about a job you applied for. And if we do, and you’re not prepared at that moment to discuss your interest in the job or it’s a bad time for you to talk, it’s ok to ask for an appointment at another time. Your preparation will set you up for success later.


Michele is a Senior Recruiter for Sodexo, a world leader in quality of daily life solutions that contribute to the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. As a former assistant director at the University of Maryland University College’s Career and Cooperative Education Center, she’s no stranger to students trying to plan their careers. During that time, she worked with non-traditional college students to gain school credit for on the job work experience. Michele also taught seminars on job searching, resume writing and interview techniques, and partnered with local employers to help students gain employment. At Sodexo, she has continued her interest in shaping student careers by serving as a mentor to an intern in the company’s Future Leaders Program. Michele began her recruitment career in 1999, joining Sodexo in 2008 where she recruits for a range of food, facilities and environmental services positions. Michele holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland College Park (go Terps), is a charter member of a Baltimore area Toastmasters chapter, and a Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) and Certified Diversity Recruiter (CDR). When not giggling with her two girls, Michele enjoys writing … and watching the Yankees win, much to the dismay of her husband. Join her on LinkedIn or just Network with Us at Sodexo.

Related posts:

  1. Communicating To Be Heard: Can You Hear Me?
  2. Ask Questions During a Job Interview
  3. Getting Hired: How to Successfully Prepare for the Interview Process

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