Friday, February 02, 2007

Phone Interview Gone Bad

I just completed a phone interview that I thought went bad. I have not heard anything yet. It has been four business days. Do I contact the interviewer? -- Larry

by Gautam Ghosh, Human Resources and Organization Development Consultant

Hi Larry,
Whether you contact the interviewer would depend on the asnwers to the following questions:

1. How many interview rounds are there?
2. Is the organization looking at lots of other people to interview?
3. Is the next interview going to be conducted by a senior person?

The reason I outlined the points above is that all of these have an impact on whether you should contact your interviewer. If you have approached the organization through a third-party recruiter, then you could get the answers through that recruiter. If you’re not going through a third-party recruiter, then you can try to access the answers by searching the Internet using keywords like “company X interview process.” You can also check if the recruiters who represent the firm have any webpages or blogs where they have spoken about the organization’s interview process. And, of course, if you have any friends who work at the organization, ask them.

If the organization is screening lots of people through telephone interviews, then four days is too short a time for them to have come to a shortlist of candidates to call for the next round of interviews. In that case, Larry, you should wait at least ten working days before contacting them.

Similarly, if the next round, which I assume is going to be an in-person interview and assessment, is slated to be with one of the organization’s high-ranking leaders, then contact the organization after a period of ten days.

However, if you know that only a few people are being considered for the role, and the next round is just around the corner then contacting the interviewer after four days is a good idea.

The key point for all job seekers is to utilize the interview to ask the recruiter how long the process will take and to gather information about the three points I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Susan Ireland’s Two Cents
Larry, you mentioned that you felt your phone interview went badly. Take a look at How to Prepare for a Phone Interview by S. Thompson. I think you’ll find some good pointers for your next go-round.

Job Lounger, do you have a question? Email it to me and I’ll post your question and an expert’s answer here in The Job Lounge.

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