In the IT Recruitment Industry, there are stipulations when it comes to teaming up with a well known IT staffing company. Depending on the type of position, and situation, most clients expect IT staffing firms to maintain some level of confidentiality when it comes to filling one of their IT jobs. There are a number of reasons for this, there might be someone currently in the role that is being replaced (due to performance, attitude, etc) or the client might simply not want people to know they are actively hiring.
On the other side of the hiring process are the candidates. Many IT recruiting companies keep the name of their end client confidential to prospective candidates. The reason IT staffing firms do this is to eliminate the risk of a candidate just submitting him or herself directly immediately after they get off the phone with the IT recruiter. Although most people who never do this (ultimately it would likely just hurt their chance of landing the opportunity), IT staffing companies protect themselves just in case.
Not many job seekers go straight to IT staffing agencies and a good portion of them may not even know these companies are even out there. Therefore, the IT staffing industry as a whole needs to collectively educate job seekers to reinforce the facet that IT recruiting agencies are seen as a viable means to land their next IT job.
IT recruiters understand that hiring managers are typically very busy and do not want to commit to a face-to-face interview unless he or she knows the candidate is a solid prospective candidate. Especially in the information technology industry, where resumes often list a plethora of technologies, it typically takes some digging to find out if the candidate truly has an in-depth understanding of each. Therefore, many IT recruitment companies are pushing clients to begin the IT job interview process with a phone interview. As professionals become more and more busy in the work forces, this is becoming a popular first step with any IT job hiring process.
There are some drawbacks with phone interviews. For one, obviously there is no face-to-face interaction. The hiring manger is not able to gauge a person’s reaction to comments or questions. Additionally, they cannot analyze a person’s professionalism (dress, etc). Finally, it adds another layer to a potential lengthy hiring process.
However, overall, IT recruiting firms are finding that clients are moving in this direction and prefer starting with phone screens versus personal IT job interviews. Therefore, our IT recruiters have come up with a list of tips for candidates starting the interview process with a phone screen:
- Research the company thoroughly. Make sure you understand what they do, write down any questions that you might have. Print out the job description and study it thoroughly so you understand what they’re looking for.
- Look the IT manager’s profile up on Linkedin so you have some insight into his or her background.
- Be polite, talk slowly (but not obnoxiously so) and clearly.
- Call the manager by his or her full name unless they tell you otherwise (don’t assume they go by Mike” if their name is “Michael”).
- Try to take the call from a landline. Even in today’s cellular era, mobile phones can be unreliable. IT recruiters or hiring managers could become frustrated if there are static, delays or dropped calls. This could have an impact on whether you move to the next phase of the IT job interview process.
- Print your resume. Make sure to keep your resume near you on print or on your computer screen. If you choose to use your computer, make sure to shut down any programs such as AIM or Facebook so as not to distract you from the conversation.
- Take notes. IT recruiters always recommend you write everything down so nothing is forgotten. If you pass the phone screen, they are very likely to ask you similar questions or comment on some of the answers you gave.
- Sell yourself. Explain why you are the right fit for this role.
- End the conversation with an inquiry about next steps. IT recruiters always recommend that you find out a timeline in which you’ll hear back, or whether there is a time in which you can follow up directly.
- Send a brief “Thank You” email to the manager for his or her time. Reiterate your interest in the IT job.
Phone screens are important to keeping you in the game when hiring managers are narrowing down on candidates for IT jobs. If you still feel uncomfortable with phone interviews, give one of our IT recruiters a call.