This past month, I finished a series of interviews with several companies. If you have never gone through the recruitment process, you will quickly realize that initial-steps are identical across companies.
What do I mean
In the typical recruitment process, initial-steps are submitting an application and the phone screen.
The phone screen is a phone call with a person from human resources whose purpose is to ensure that you can tell the story/narrative of your resume, actually understand the duties of the role, and know a little about the company (company’s “About Us” page & competitive landscape usually suffice). Most calls last between 10 – 20 minutes.
The next-steps can vary. There are three possibilities: you do not progress, you are scheduled for another phone-call/Skype-call, or are invited to interview in-person (always shoot for the in-person interview if given a choice). However, the process always begins with an application and phone-call.
Invest in the tech
Most people do (should do, at least) is memorize the resume and research the company. However, many people do not invest in the technology.
I bought a pair of Sony headphones with a mic for less than $20. These headphones have helped me pass numerous phone screens and made personal calls more enjoyable, too.
I am no audiophile or headphone aficionado. I cannot attest to their audio quality. They just fit what I needed at a good price point and are superior to the Apple earbuds. I am looking for an upgrade, which features noise-cancellation, for noisy-commutes and workspaces.
How and why they have helped
Two ears instead of one: When holding a phone to your head you can only use one ear to hear. On long conversations, my ear would get sore because I would have the volume slightly higher than needed to ensure I could hear clearly. Because the headset allows me to use both ears, I can listen more comfortably.
Better calling posture: It is unnatural to talk with a hand to your head. It is natural and recommended to use your hands during in-person conversations. Why would phone calls be any different? By using headphones, you will be able to convey your comfort over the phone. Also, if you need to jot something down during a call, you can quickly do that now without fumbling with the phone (the person CAN hear you fumble).
Be professional, comfortable, and standard by using headphones on your phone calls. It will give you polish that other candidates lack.