Author Topic: Telephone Interviews  (Read 4560 times)

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littlelammoth

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Telephone Interviews
« on: Apr 03, 2013, 10:44 am »
I recently had a phone interview for a PA position and for the duration of my conversation with the PSM my phone was cutting in and out and I had to run around my house to keep from dropping the call. I also had to ask the interviewer to repeat his questions several times because the connection was so poor. This is a job I feel perfectly suited to and although the connection was horrible, I feel that the interview went well. I am still concerned that I came across as distracted and do not want to miss out on this opportunity because of a technical issue. Is this something that anyone else has had to deal with and how can I make sure that the problem with the phone does not ruin my chances of moving on in the interview process or potentially being hired by the company?

KMC

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Re: Telephone Interviews
« Reply #1 on: Apr 03, 2013, 11:09 am »
This is one of the major pitfalls of phone, skype, video, etc... interviews.

Did you have the interview scheduled at a time that you both agreed on, or did the PSM call you at a time that wasn't confirmed?  If the timing wasn't confirmed, I'd perhaps drop a quick note apologizing for the poor connection and offer (but don't ask him to) to schedule a second call if he'd like you to clarify any of your responses that may have cut out.

Chances are if he didn't understand your responses or needed further clarification, he would have asked during the call - so you may be OK.

Here's a quick and dirty five point blog post that can help with phone interviews in the future.  If possible, do your interviews on a land line.  If a land line isn't possible, then make sure you're in a location that you know from previous experience has good cell reception. 

If you did agree to the time beforehand and you were in a position with poor reception, then unfortunately that's on you and there probably isn't a whole lot you can do.  If you agreed that he'd call you at 4:00pm, then it's on you to be ready for the call at 4:00pm.  Being ready includes many things, and certainly includes a reliable phone connection.  I don't mean to sound bleak, and it's certainly possible others here will have some better advice on the subject.  Good luck, and I hope the challenges with the connection don't affect your ability to get this job!

EDIT:  Here's another bit from Lifehacker on phone interviews.  Can't recommend this blog enough!
« Last Edit: Apr 03, 2013, 11:16 am by kmc307 »
Get action. Do things; be sane; donít fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

Jessie_K

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Re: Telephone Interviews
« Reply #2 on: Apr 03, 2013, 11:10 am »
I have had similar things happen on phone/skype interviews.

My honest recommendation in the future would be to suggest trying to connect via a different phone if the connection is bad.  Or schedule a reschedule.

My recommendation for what to do in response to your current situation is to send an email thanking the PSM for her time, acknowledge to poor connection and let him/her know that you are available to answer any further questions via email or skype if they want to follow up.

If you end up in a bad connection again and there is no opportunity to reschedule or call via different phone, remain calm, speak slowly and don't let the technology get you frazzled.

ejsmith3130

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Re: Telephone Interviews
« Reply #3 on: Apr 03, 2013, 11:52 am »
A couple of years ago I had scheduled a phone interview on the same day as an audition in NYC. I knew that I got great reception in the city so I didn't think anything of it, and my audition would be over by the time I was expecting the call. Of course things never go as planned and we hit a huge snowstorm on the way in, and by the time I got on the ferry I was two hours late, so I got the phone call in the south dock for the ferry. Funny enough, in a city that has great reception I dropped the call for the interview. I was running around the area looking for service indoors (the snow was raging outside) and finally found some in the middle of the space. So I stood there and called back, having to navigate the telephone prompts to get back to my interviewer.

I apologised for the dropped call and then stood there for about half an hour for my interview holding my suitcase and stressing about the security guards with their dogs who were starting to look at me like I was crazy, but I knew if I moved more that a foot or so I would drop the call again.

In the end I did get the job, but my future boss let me know that she wasn't going to try calling me back- if I hadn't had the persistance to call back and make it work I would have been out of a job.

BayAreaSM

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Re: Telephone Interviews
« Reply #4 on: Apr 03, 2013, 06:10 pm »
My ASM and I interviewed a potential PA via Skype, since we preferred in person interviews and a video Skype call was the best we could get (he was out of state).

We did lose the video call several times, and eventually the building he was in lost power. However, that didn't stop me from offering him a job this season. Now he's my current PA.

Though yes, it is on you to make sure you have a good phone line/cell service for your connection, though some things may be out of your control - like your building losing power or being caught in a snow storm. Remain calm, be yourself, and things may just turn out for you.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Telephone Interviews
« Reply #5 on: Apr 03, 2013, 10:22 pm »
and there is the story of the stage manager who hangs up in the middle of the a phone interview or skype interview to see how the applicant handles the unexpected - do they call back?  do they sit there and wait?  how do they solve the problem?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

RuthNY

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Re: Telephone Interviews
« Reply #6 on: Apr 03, 2013, 10:42 pm »
Who did you do that to, Matthew?

and there is the story of the stage manager who hangs up in the middle of the a phone interview or skype interview to see how the applicant handles the unexpected - do they call back?  do they sit there and wait?  how do they solve the problem?
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

MatthewShiner

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Re: Telephone Interviews
« Reply #7 on: Apr 03, 2013, 11:19 pm »
Or who did I do that to?????  (Evil grin).

I won't tell people's interview secrets.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

bex

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Re: Telephone Interviews
« Reply #8 on: Apr 03, 2013, 11:57 pm »
I had a phone interview during the middle of a tornado warning. I made all the other interns (we were all crammed into the downstairs apartment's living room) be quiet and sat in the bathroom to talk.
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

brettnexx

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Re: Telephone Interviews
« Reply #9 on: Apr 19, 2013, 10:21 pm »
I had a skype interview setup (with only 1 hour notice) this past week. Well, I was in a place with shoddy wifi reception, so I wasn't able to connect with the SM and the Artistic Director. So what happened is that the SM called me, and had me on speaker phone, while he had the artistic director on skype, because we were all three in different cities. It was awful, I was not in the right frame of mind (near the end of a rehearsal day for another show, and lost focus because of the whole ordeal. I also had the ask the Artistic Director to repeat himself a few times.

However, almost as soon as I got home that day, I got the call for the job, so I guess it wasn't as bad as I assumed.

 

riotous