Phone Screen

Objective: Convince the employer that you have enough of the skill sets they require to get an interview with them.

Phone screens are short (30 to 60 minute) conversations with a mid to senior level developer that lets the company weed out weaker candidates quickly without incurring the time and financial expense of bringing them in for a full interview.

They usually consist of a quick introduction to ease any nervousness you may have, usually allowing you to talk about some of the projects you've done or prior work experience. This is then followed by the interviewer asking a few simple technical questions, usually regarding technologies on your resume to make sure you're not padding anything. Rarely is there a coding question, but if so the solution is usually trivial. Afterwards, you're invited to ask some questions about the company and the work conditions there.

Try to use a landline, not a cellphone or VoIP phone because the call quality is going to better and you don't have to worry about dropped calls. However, if you have to use a cell phone, find a quiet place with good reception and it's usually just as good.

It helps a lot to be excited - employers don't want to waste time screening people who don't really want to work at their company. Plus, enthusiasm is contagious, just don't overdo it.

Let the screener talk, it's tempting to interrupt if you thought of something but it shows respect and you may get additional information that is helpful.

If you're successful in the phone screen, you'll be requested to come in for an interview.

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