Interview Type: Phone

Phone interviews are commonly used to screen candidates to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews. Without visual and body language cues, telephone interviews rely heavily on the content in your answers, and your ability to project enthusiasm and interest in your voice.

Some Specific Phone Interview Tips Include:

Scheduling

  • If the employer calls you when you’re not expecting it to schedule the interview and/or to conduct the interview, it’s completely appropriate to ask to call back within a reasonable amount of time so that you can prepare.
  • When offered the interview, ask for the names and contact information of the people who are interviewing you since you won’t be able to exchange business cards.

Environment

  • Ensure a quiet environment, free from noise and distractions.
  • Have your “tools” by the phone; resume, cover letter, job description, pen and paper for notes, company research, a list of questions to ask, and water.

Dress

  • Groom and dress as you would for work to help project confidence.

Technology

  • Make sure your phone is fully charged and that you have good reception.
  • Don’t use speakerphone.
  • Turn off your call waiting.

Body Language

  • Standing will give your voice more enthusiasm and intensity, and smiling helps to project friendliness.
  • Speak slowly, clearly, and directly into the phone.
  • Check in with the interviewer. Phone interviews can sometimes be awkward and it’s difficult to discern when to stop talking. Make your answers concise and clear and feel free to ask “did I answer your question?” or “do you want me to speak more on this?”
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