Phone screens are quite common during interview rounds as hiring managers select final candidates for IT job opportunities. With new information technology, IT recruiting firms may even vamp up their interview procedure with an innovative type of screening known as the Skype screen. If you are a prospective candidate, read on for information and tips to make the most out of a Skype screening.
Prior to the interview, check your audio equipment and microphone. Though most laptops come with standard webcam features, you may want to invest in newer equipment so your IT staffing interview runs as smoothly as possible. Check your network connection for a clear signal and send all attachments to technical recruiters prior to the interview. Have the attachments and your resume open and ready at the start of the Skype call for quick access.
Dress the Part
Just because the interview is in your home, candidates should not become too comfortable. Opt for an entire suit rather than a dressy shirt and casual pants while maintaining a business attitude. Use a professional Skype handle versus personal accounts. Remember to smile and have natural facial expressions during the conversation with IT recruiters. Also, the camera is where you will be making eye contact, so do not become distracted by staring at yourself while speaking or watching your IT recruiting audience.
Beware of distractions
Interviewing in the privacy of your own home is a luxury, but remember to keep it a formal interview. Ask family members and roommates for privacy while keeping pets out of the picture. Use a blank wall or cleared space for your background. IT headhunters will find it hard to believe you are organized if they spy a cluttered background or mess!
One of the best reasons to conduct a Skype interview is to record and review it after. Take notes on areas of strength and room for improvement. The Skype interview may help candidates of technical recruiting firms better communication skills as you become more comfortable with the experience!
Technical recruiters search the web for candidates from sites such as Monster, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn. When the resume of a prospective candidate catches their eye, they add it to their database and try to contact him for IT jobs. If an IT recruiter found out a contractor’s resume was falsified and skills were exaggerated, would he give the IT professional a second chance? The answer is typically no, but some IT recruiters may be more understanding. If you are lucky enough to find these rare recruiters, here is how to make penance…
Admit Your Fault
Covering a lie with another lie is a slippery slope that should be avoided at all costs. Come clean to your technical recruiter by admitting your faults and taking responsibilities for your actions and its outcome. Explain why you lied and the truth. It might be difficult to admit you were wrong, but IT recruiting companies will respect you for owning up to your mistake.
Take the Next Step
Apologize to the IT staffing agency and all parties involved. If your recruiter is still willing to work with you, send over a corrected resume with the accurate dates of employment and your skills. When you apply for other positions in the future, explain your gaps of employment or your level of skill so technical recruiting companies and hiring managers are not mislead.
Don’ts of Lying
Never justify deceit with dishonesty because you will lose track of your deception and truths. Also, never blame others for your lies. Only you can control your actions and by blaming another party you are showing IT staffing companies that you have no responsibility.
Remember that you can always prevent the effects of a lie by starting with the truth!
As IT recruiters, we’re constantly meeting with prospective candidates and IT hiring managers. Typically our first interaction with each is a handshake. As we’ve all been told, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Therefore, here are some tips to make sure you put your best foot forward from the very start:
1. Make sure you greet and introduce yourself briefly before extending your hand for a shake.
2. When shaking the hiring manager’s hand, make sure to stand up if you’re not already standing. This is a clear sign of respect.
3. When shaking the hiring managers hand, look him or her in the eyes.
4. Try to have a firm grip but not too forceful. The hiring manager does not want to know how strong you are but how qualified you are for the IT job.
5. Only use one hand. Shaking with both hands is a bit excessive. The hiring manager will find that you are being too personal.
6. Sweaty hands. If the hiring manager’s hands are sweaty, do not wipe your hands immediately. Most likely they are aware of their hands and it will embarrass them if they see you wipe your hands. When you sit down find a moment when you can wipe your hand without being noticed.
7. More importantly, make sure your hands aren’t sweaty!
For more tips and advice, contact one of our IT recruiters today. They’re IT staffing industry experts and will help prepare you for your next IT job interview.
In the IT staffing Industry, there are many techniques aimed at helping a candidate land an IT job. As a prospective candidate, you should utilize all of these “tricks of the trade.” One “trick” our IT recruiters recommend is trying to schedule an informational meeting with a potential IT hiring manager. Most managers and executives like to talk about how they got to where they are. It gives them a chance to look back on their IT career and see what got them there. Another great way to learn more about that IT job you hope to have one day is shadowing an executive or manager for a couple of hours or a couple days. You would of course first have to make sure they feel comfortable with this. They can tell you, the job seeker, what technical skills you need to know and the different tasks they handle throughout the day. So when you can’t find too many IT job opportunities, try getting to know IT managers and executives. Not only will you likely learn something about the IT industry, you’ll make an important contact as well.
This summer we hired 3 interns to help us out with recruiting information technology candidates. We went through the interview process and identified the right candidates for our IT recruiting internship program. They seemed to be a good fit with our company culture and appeared to have the drive/motivation. Looking back, we were right. Each has proved to us they have the skills and qualities to be a successful recruiter in the IT staffing industry.
Now that the summer is coming to an end, our interns chose to tell us about their experience working as an IT recruiter for one of the fastest growing IT staffing companies in the country.
He summarized his experience like this:
1. People Skills
Having people skills is a factor that helps talking to prospective candidates about the different IT job opportunities you have available. An IT recruiter needs to know how to connect with a candidate on a personal level to make them feel comfortable and willing to listen to what you have to say.
2. Cold Calling
An IT recruiter will receive many applications to job postings, but in the end, you will need to go digging through a resume database for some candidates that fit the IT job description
3. Phone manners
IT recruiters need to work on their phone manners, especially when you are constantly working with prospective candidates. Acting in a professional manner will always help keep the candidate interested and comfortable.
4. Hard Work
In order to succeed you need to put in the time and effort. Nothing is free in life and you need to work hard to get the results you want. Finding the right candidate is not as easy as picking a name out of a hat. An IT recruiter has to search through databases and applications to find candidates who will fit the IT job description, as well as the culture in the company.
Overall, our IT recruiter interns felt that they learned valuable lessons from working in the IT staffing Industry.
Over the last few years there has been a lot of development in video chatting. More companies are rolling out programs that will allow you to call friends through your computer and see each other’s faces. This concept has also been applied to many conferences within businesses as well.
So why has it never filtered into the Human Resources departments or IT recruiting companies? For a hiring manager it could be a good way to gauge the personality and professionalism of a prospective candidate rather than just listen to them over the phone. Listening to someone’s voice is a lot different from just seeing the person body movements and facial expressions. Those are very important to understanding the prospective IT job candidate better.
From an IT recruiters’ perspective this can also go horribly wrong. First, their internet connection could be weak and cause a lot of freezing during the interview. A hiring manager would find this annoying especially if you will need to reconnect with them every so often. In addition, the candidate would need to tidy up the location where they are planning on interviewing. Most importantly, there can be many interruptions. Unlike being on the phone, the hiring manager will be able to see or notice interruptions from your body language and facial expressions.
The main difference with a phone interview and video chatting is that you need to sign on in order to video chat. A candidate could just not sign on due to forgetting about the interview. With a phone interview you can call them and either speak to them or leave a message. Either way, you can contact them regardless of whether you have a strong signal or not.
There are many things that are left to chance with video chatting that can cause the candidate to lose the IT job or the hiring manager to become fed up with the candidate. This could cost IT staffing companies placements or candidates themselves could miss out on a golden opportunity.
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.