You have heard it one way or another: prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.

Here is the set-up.  I have candidates schedule their own phone interview.  So they are actually choosing the day and time we talk, not me.  Next, the system immediately send them an email confirming the phone interview date and time.  Lastly I send candidates a reminder email the day before or early the day of the phone interview which includes:

  • The day and time of the interview.
  • A link to our benefits information.
  • A multi-page pdf on the position and the company.
  • My telephone number and asking them to call me if they don’t hear from me.

All this PLUS I tell them the first two questions I am going to ask them.  Talk about a soft-pitch.  And yet, time and time again I get people who are not prepared in the least.  No really, they suckith.  Here is just a sample of the crap I hear come out of their mouths along with what I am thinking:

  • Now is not really a good time – YOU scheduled the interview you idiot!
  • What position was this for? – Do you not know how to read?
  • What company are you with? – You are as think as I dumb you are.
  • What do you all do? – Oh, do you live in a cave with no internet access?

Let’s look at the dating analogy.  You have a date set up with a person.  They have told you they will pick you up including where and when.  You have told them what you like to eat and that you have celiac disease.  So what happens next? You call them 10 minutes after they were supposed to pick you up.  The say “oh, crap.  I totally forgot!  I am at a cocktail party, I will be right over.”  You are gratous and you wait.  They show up and say what was your name again?  Then they proceed to to take you to a bakery for dinner.  So, how are you feeling right now?

There are not many, if any, companies that you cannot do quite a bit of research on before a phone interview.  In fact, it is a good idea to start a folder (electronic or paper) on each company you apply with.  Yes, I know you have applied a lot of places!  At the least paste the job-posting and any relevant internet links in each folder so you can find them quickly.

If you have a set day and time for a phone interview there is absolutely no excuse for you not being prepared.


Job interviews are like first dates.  Good impressions count.  Awkwardness can occur.  Outcomes are unpredictable.