Apr 23, 2022

How To Ace the Phone Screen

I'm going to tell you how to ace your upcoming phone screen for the big job. By acing the screen, you'll not only move onto the interview stage, but set yourself apart from your peers in the later stages of the interview process.

First impressions matter, and sometimes your strongest opener can be your most helpful closer. Unfortunately, too many people think this step doesn't matter to the extent that it does. When it fact... it matters... a lot.

To ace the screen, first off, understand what you're being screened for. In a 15-30 minute initial phone screen, an interviewer is going to assess you across two dimensions:

  • Functional role expertise: Can you demonstrate you have an understanding and ability to do the actual job that is needed to be done?

  • Competencies: Do your values align with the company's values? The most common I've seen for tech companies are centered around: critical thinking, effective comms, ownership, decisiveness, curiosity, self-awareness, and integrity. Look on the company website to find theirs.

Secondly, you should know the most popular questions you'll be asked. I've included the top five below.

  1. What are your career goals?

  2. What are the things you're really good at professionally?

  3. What are the things you're NOT good at professionally?

  1. How would your last three bosses rank your performance on a scale from 1-10 when we ask them?

  2. How will your peers you've worked with rank your performance on a scale from 1-10?

Your goal throughout is to keep in mind that all answers you provide should relate back to (1) functional role expertise and (2) competencies. Describe situations you've been in, actions you've taken, and results you've made. If you do those things, you'll ace it. Go get it.


product operator turned agent representing the best in tech to make them happier, healthier, and wealthier