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Turn a Phone Interview Into an In-Person Interview

Telephone interviews are typically screening interviews, but you can try to bring it to the next level: an in-person interview. Companies use phone interviews to determine if you’re worth the investment of time that a regular face-to-face job interview requires.

In most cases, you aren’t going to be hired for a good job until you get in the same room with a person who has the authority to hire you. That’s why even in a formal telephone interview with a screener you should keep pushing for an in-person interview.

You might be able to score a face-to-face interview by holding back on a few key questions to give the decision-maker a reason to see you. Decide in advance which likely important questions you’ll use to leverage a meeting with a hiring authority, who typically is the manager to whom you would report.

You might say something like this in response to a question:

With my skills in management, it’s one that I feel I can’t adequately answer over the telephone. Can we set up a meeting so that I can better explain how my qualifications dovetail with your stated requirements? I’m free on Tuesday morning. Is that a good time for you?

Whenever possible, avoid answering employment questions on a mobile phone; they have a propensity for audio mishaps. (“Can you hear me now?”) Say you’ll call right back on a landline.

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