Amazingly many people see a phone screen with a recruiter as just a formality  – “It used to be a tick-box exercise, but  not any more ” says Fleur Holland-Haque: Operations Director at  Burns Sheehan Recruitment .

Fleur is talking with Lynn Wade: The IT Career Coach, about how to pass a first phone  interview or screen.”What once was a quick IT tech or sales screen, now also looks at ‘cultural fit’ – Do we like you?  Do you really want to work with us, or are we just another employer?”

Fleur has  3 Key recommendations to stand out from the IT crowd:

Competition in business


1. Show Enthusiasm!

2. Show Professional Interest!

3. Show Off your Phone Skills!




With over 10 years experience in resourcing, both in-house and agency side, Fleur has observed how the importance of telephone screening for IT jobs has grown significantly in that time. Any candidate who still approaches the phone screen as a tick box exercise is unlikely to pass through to the next stage.

Fleur has 3 Top Tips to make sure you get  there:


Tip 1: Show Enthusiasm!

” My number one tip is to show enthusiasm, lots of people don’t. They seem to think that the interviewing only starts once they meet the hiring manager. Many of our clients trust us to make judgements about fit – we work hard to understand and meet our clients expectations. Candidates should be, and sound, engaged to get to the top of our lists.”

  • it’s a conversation, so don’t sound like you’re reading – practice out loud what you want to say
  • adopt your tone to the person whose interviewing you –  look to match energy levels and tone of voice


Tip 2: Show professional interest, and courtesy

Candidates who stand out have researched the company they have applied to, and their  interviewer. They can demonstrate professionalism by being prepared:

  • Check out LinkedIn, Glassdoor and the hiring companies  and agencies websites
  • Google the potential employer so you know what’s hot
  • Research your interviewer on LinkedIn and see what you have in common to build rapport around


Tip 3: Show off your phone skills

Many IT colleagues, clients, and suppliers ,work from home or remote offices. Conference calls are central to much of the IT industry. Being good on the phone is a core competency for all but the skunkiest developer!   – especially if your  new job will include phone support.


Follow these 3 tips at your next interview : Use the phone screen to show off your telephone skills,  be prepared, and above all – show enthusiasm!


Fleur Holland-Haque is Operations Director at Burns Sheehan, the leading London based IT Recruiter. Fleur can be contacted at  Find out more at

Lynn Wade: The IT Career Coach has hired and managed some of the best in the business! Lynn coaches people and teams to be the best they can be. email