Author Topic: Phone Interview Tips: What You Need to Know  (Read 205 times)


  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 72
Phone Interview Tips: What You Need to Know
« on: August 16, 2020, 11:33:58 AM »
Preparing For a Phone Interview

Phone interviews are used by companies to help them screen candidates more efficiently and are usually the very first step in the hiring process.

The employer’s objective of a phone interview is to either quickly eliminate you as a candidate or move you forward in the hiring process. Since your primary objective of a phone interview is to move yourself forward in the hiring process, you must treat a phone interview as you would an in person interview.

Here are some phone interview tips to help you make yours a success.

Phone Interview Tips – Before

Collect contact information

Be sure you have the phone number and email address of the interviewer. They typically will call you at the appointed time, but if the call doesn’t go through or if you get disconnected during the call, you want to be able to reach them. Bonus benefit: you will have their information for your thank you and follow up after the interview.

Collect your tools and supplies

Things that you want to have in front of you: a copy of your resume and the job posting, (use a highlighter to highlight the areas that your resume and the job posting have in common—this will help you to remember the main points for you to make); a list of questions to ask; bullet points to help you with your elevator speech; paper and pencil for note taking.

Perfect your elevator speech

You should always have an elevator speech prepared whether you are currently job searching or not. Be sure that you have yours memorized and that it is interesting and relevant to the listener.

Determine your location

Conducting your phone interview on a landline in a quiet room at your home is always preferable. However, often times this is not possible because phone interviews usually take place in the middle of the work day when you can’t be at home. If this is the case, be sure you have a quiet, distraction free place where you have good cell phone service.  Never take the call at your job, you never know how much privacy you have. I sometimes recommend to my clients that they find the closest cemetery for a quiet, distraction free location. Unless you park beside a working grounds crew, cemeteries are always quiet and nobody will bother you there!

Take it seriously

Don’t treat a phone interview as if it doesn’t count. Just as you would for an in person interview, prepare for the interview and do your research on the company as well as the interviewer.

Take it seriously

Don’t treat a phone interview as if it doesn’t count. Just as you would for an in person interview, prepare for the interview and do your research on the company as well as the interviewer.

Prepare your answers for the most common phone interview questions

Here are just a few questions you should be prepared to answer:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Why do you want to leave your current position?
  • How did you find out about this position?

Phone Interview Tips – During

Watch your tone

Because a phone interview does not allow you to express yourself visually with non-verbal language it is important that your verbal language signals are on point. You don’t want to sound bored or disinterested. You want to sound confident and excited about the position. So, pay attention to your tone and inflection.


One way to sound interested and upbeat over the phone is to smile during your phone interview. When you smile as you talk, the inflection of your voice actually changes. This is partly due to the position of your soft palate when you smile and partly for psychological reasons. Try it and see.


If possible, try standing. Standing increases your confidence, your energy and the blood flow to the brain which helps you remain focused and think better.

Go hands free

Use a headset if possible. This will free up your hands for taking notes as well as for normal gesturing during conversation. Test your technology before the interview, be sure your mic and earpiece are functioning properly. Also, hands free does not mean you use a speakerphone!

Have a drink

No, not THAT kind of a drink! Be sure you have a bottle of water or even a cup of tea close by in case your mouth feels dry. And did you know that room temperature or slightly lukewarm water will help to relax your vocal chords so you won’t sound so nervous? That said, take a pass on ice water during your interview.

Ask questions

You should already have prepared a list of questions but two questions that you should always ask at the end of each interview is:

What do you like best about working at ABC Company?
What are the next steps in your hiring process?

Phone Interview Tips – After

Assess yourself

Immediately after your phone interview conduct a self-evaluation. At the bottom of your interview notes (write it down so you will remember it), answer the following questions regarding your performance:

What did I do well?
What did I struggle with?
What do I need to practice more for my next phone interview?

Send a thank you

Within a few hours of the interview, send a thank you note to your interviewer. Thank them for their time, express your interest in the position, and don’t forget to bridge your skills and value to the needs of the position.

Follow up

Within 3-5 working days, follow up with the interviewer and ask where they are in the hiring process.

Move on

If you don’t hear back from the company, don’t waste your time analyzing the reasons why not. Move on and work on other leads.

Those are my best phone interview tips. Use them to prepare for your next phone interview.
Assistant Administrative Officer
Career Development Center(CDC), DIU