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Phone interview

Aparna Sharma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 12, 2003
Posts: 30
Hi everyone,
I just had a phone interview. I was expecting technical questions left-right-n-center. Anyway, all he asked(there was only one manager) was about the projects I had done.
I have 2years of experience , mainly in Java/J2EE. I am glad that ordeal is over. This was my first phone-screen.
This is after 4+months of searching(replying to online job posts).Hope somthing good turns out , i.e, hope I land the job!
Just wanted to share this,
Good Luck to all,
Aparna


Aparna Sharma<br />SCJP 1.4 (yippeeee!)
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
How long was the interview time? Did you pray before and afterward? This may sound superstitious, but as I get older I see the common trend in whatever you do in life. If the Lady Lucks smile upon you, everything will go smoothly at the first try. If she is not, it always seem you missing out something. Even though you prepare and carefully check things afterward.
Good Lucks,
MCao
Alenka Shtykel
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 24, 2003
Posts: 16
I had three phone interviews so far. First one was very nice. I felt very comfortable talking and my interviewer sounded friendly. In this case, I actually got called to on-site interview. Second two were not so nice. One of them called when I least expected it.. and talked to me for like 5 minutes very fast. I didn't even have time to catch my breath. The other one was not bad, but the guy didn't sound supportive at all when I was telling him about my projects. He was just not responding to me. So, several times there was this "dead silence". At times, I didn't know if I should stop talking or continue because I couldn't see the guy's face. So, that's a tough part about telephone interviews. However, on the other hand, you have some advantage. For example, since interviewer doesn't see you, you can have your resume in front of you and any other information which might help you during your interview. I wish you the best of luck!!!

Sincerely,
Y. Shtykel
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
Since both of you on the same topic, this is the trick I learned.
1. Stand up while talking on the phone.
2. Never use speaker phone.
3. Look up to an imaginary point at your eyes level and up.
4. Have a glass/bottle of water nearby.
5. Do not read off your resume because the other end also have your resume on front.
6. Do not read off textbooks because written language and oral language at twisted tong sometimes.
7. Have a cheat sheet available with you at all time -- memorize at best.
8. If you are fresh out of school, never give out your cellular phone.
9. If you are not so fresh, use your cellular phone -- Create an availability and busy illusion.
I don't understand why companies love to hire busy people. If you are way too busy with your current company, why do you looking for another job? Not only recruiters want you, other companies in the industry also desire you.
Good Lucks to both,
MCao
Sreedhar mar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 15, 2003
Posts: 34
Please tell me abt 'cheat sheet'?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Good advice Matt. I'd also add
10. Smile. Even though they can't see you smile, it improves your tone and helps give you a brighter attitude while on the phone.
--Mark
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Matt Cao:
Hi,
How long was the interview time? Did you pray before and afterward? This may sound superstitious, but as I get older I see the common trend in whatever you do in life. If the Lady Lucks smile upon you, everything will go smoothly at the first try. If she is not, it always seem you missing out something. Even though you prepare and carefully check things afterward.

I've probably done about 40 or 50 phone interviews in my life. I prefer them to face-to-face, especially for a first interview. For whatever reason I find it easier to control the agenda over the phone.
Prayer? Well yes. It helps to be calm and centered, and prayer (or meditation) helps you do that. I usually eschew a cheat sheet because it can be a distraction. The thing in a phone interview is to give the impression of quiet and calm competence. Confidence yes, boasting no.
When asked a question I usually respond by telling a short story in which I handled a situation 'similar' to what is being touched on by the question. Usually the answer is closely related to the topic of the question, but sometimes not. I don't lie but sometimes the answer is changing the subject from something I'm weak in to a strength. Or from a detail I don't know into a answer about how I solve problems.
Be proactive, or at least sound like you are. Go out of your way to be friendly, to make contact with the interviewer. I usually ask about the 'challenges' the organization faces, and respond by telling them how I could (help) meet some of those challenges. I used to ask about 'problems' but found that to be a loaded term in some cases. Some people don't have any 'problems' to solve, but if they don't have challenges to meet then why are they hiring?!!!
Don't lie. This is an absolute rule in any interview. Changing the subject is legitimate but if the other party won't allow the subject to be changed tell them what you know. If it's nothing, tell them that. You'll get points for honesty if nothing else. It's better to admit ignorance than to pretend knowing. Most people realize that you can't know everything.
Keep in mind that what the other guy is looking for are solutions to some of his or her challenges. If you can convince them of that the details of whether you know the details of taglibs (or whatever) will not matter that much.
[ November 07, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]

SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Good advice Matt. I'd also add
10. Smile. Even though they can't see you smile, it improves your tone and helps give you a brighter attitude while on the phone.
--Mark

Absolutely. It helps to like the person on the other end of the conversation. There is always something to like, and that liking seeps through. I usually enjoy a phone interview, even the failed ones. And I always learn something from an interview.
[ November 07, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Originally posted by sreedhar marouthu:
Please tell me abt 'cheat sheet'?

Hi,
Cheat Sheet is nothing more than a page of your notes taken from reading textbooks, class notes, internet surfing, and specific company website info. It helps you to concentrate on your resume, not to wander too far from the topic of the interview. Break the ice to build the conversation is one thing, joker is another. No one wants to hire a joker. There is a major different between friendly and joker.
Regards,
MCao
Aparna Sharma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 12, 2003
Posts: 30
Hi all,
I used info from the valuable members of JavaRanch to prepare for my first phone interview. I got call for the next round of interview n test. Thank God. This is anxiety I'd like to suffer.
Most help I got from HotJobs career related articles, acetheinterview.com site and http://www.geocities.com/korayguclu/docs/INTERVIEW_V010502-00.htm.
Another useful site that I am going to use to prepare for the next round is http://www.indiana.edu/~libpers/interview.html
Yes, I believe in prayer & I did pray a lot.
my humble Cheat sheet:
be prepared.
find out key words from your resume and prepare for questions based on that.
know n prepare for the most general technical questions on Java, JSP etc.
I wrote down questions and answers and polished my respones in several passes.If you can say your prepared text, that will be great.
Background question is a sure-fire thing. make a write-up which includes everything you want to project , like ,
years of experience
education
strongest skills
strong skills
also-know skills
Thanks and Regards,
Aparna
Bhushan Jawle
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2001
Posts: 249
Doing an interview on cell is a bit dicy affair.
We interviewed a guy on his cell, unfortunately the voice quality (may be due to bad reception)at that point was bad and it was quite a frustrating experience for us as signal/noise ratio was quite low.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
Well, it is the interviewee fault. He/she should've known never used the "el cheapo" phone or give away phone. I hope Nextel paid me for this. The only phone that is truely meet the definition of wireless phone is Nextel phone. It looks just like a cellular phone but actually is a satellite phone. You can use anywhere on the world. Only Nextel have such services so far.
Regards,
MCao
[ November 12, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
Raja Sagar Panamgipalli
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 13, 2003
Posts: 109
Hi Guys,
Wat are you guys talking about..phone interview...
well i was wondering how does one go abt applying for such jobs and where?
Plz kindly provide the same infoemation or anylinke would suffice..
Thanx in advance..
regards
Sagar


SCJP 1.4<br />SCBCD 1.3
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
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