How to Ace Phone Interviews

Phone Screens

Let’s face it. These days, 90% of office activities are handled online, via email, or on the phone; this includes job searches and interviews.

Employers are increasingly using Phone Interviews as a way to handle an initial screening of potential candidates. It saves time for both the employer and job seeker, and is a good way to get a sense of not only knowledge/skills, but also personality and communication skills.

Phone Interviews are also an excellent way to eliminate potential perception bias (age, race, weight, appearance, etc.), creating a more neutral platform for focusing on the things which matter in an interview.

With all that in mind, preparation for phone meetings are just as important as for in person appointments and many of the same guidelines and advice apply.

In-Person Interview Tips

Consider these additional rules when conducting a Phone Interview:

  • Whenever possible, keep a copy of your resume and the job description in front of you, because the person interviewing you surely will
  • Have the means to take notes during the conversation
  • Keep a glass/bottle of water at the ready to keep your voice strong and steady
  • Keep pauses to a minimum, but don’t step on the employers questions
  • Speak just as you would in an in-person meeting
  • Be somewhere quiet and with no distractions – you want to be able to concentrate on the conversation and not background noises
  • Most calls are about 20 minutes. Block off at least a half hour (5 min before/after)
  • Be sure to thank them for their time and inquire about next steps/timeline
  • Assuming the call was arranged via email, be sure to respond later in the day with a quick thank you