Job Search Blunders: How to Fail Your Phone Interview

Phone interviews are an increasingly prevalent part of the job search process, and there are more than a few ways to screw them up. Follow these tips the next time you don’t want to get the job.

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Job searching today isn’t what it used to be. Networking is more important than ever and there’s actually a pretty good chance you’ll have to leap over several hurdles on your path to your next job. One of the most important is the phone interview. A critical time for both recruiter or employer and potential employee to see if the job is a right fit, they’re also pretty easy to screw up if you’re not on your A game.

Direct from the recruiter’s mouth we have these top tips on how to screw up your phone interview. Avoid these job search blunders if you’d like to impress. Follow them the next time you’re hoping not to get the job.

1. Call from the office you’re still working at. And be sure to mention how much you hate your current job. Nothing says dedicated employee like someone who searches for the next job on their current boss’ dime. Add insult to injury by talking about what a jerk your current boss is, and how that’s why you’re looking for a new opportunity.

2. Admit that you’re playing Angry Birds on your iPhone during the interview. It will demonstrate your quality multi-tasking skills and dexterity.

3. Smoke, chew gum, or do other disgusting things with your mouth that will – mark my words – be decipherable from the other end of the phone line.

4. Pick a spot with horrible cellular reception for the call. Do absolutely no recon prior to the call to determine if you’re in a good location – even better, call from the middle of the shopping mall. Be sure to point out the discounts you’re getting on your purchases during interview pauses.

5. Take the call from your car, while doing 80 mph on the interstate. Not only will you show yourself as a risk-taker, you’ll demonstrate your ability to get work done while getting to work. Bonus points for cursing at other drivers during the call.

6. Refer to yourself in the third person throughout the interview. It will demonstrate what a big deal you are to the interviewer, and they will, of course, be very impressed.

7. Provide only vague responses to questions. When asked about your skills, simply repeat words verbatim from the job description. Provide no illustrations to back up your answers, or demonstrate your ability to complete a project from start to finish.

8. Never admit you don’t know the answer to a question. Even if the interviewer asks a technical question, don’t admit you aren’t familiar with the concept or knowledgeable in that area. If you must, stammer and utter indecipherable statements for several minutes. Better yet, say “Hold on, let me Google it” and then search for the answer online.

9. Make the interviewer compete for your attention. This can be done in several ways but involves being in a crowded area or around other people. Play “hard-to-get” by responding to statements by colleagues or asking your mom what’s for dinner during the call.

Following these tips is sure to get you noticed during your next interview. Not interested in taking the hard way? Check out this advice on acing your phone interview.

Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves cybersecurity, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email editor@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.