Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a Phone Interview

More and more corporate hiring managers and recruiters teams are picking up the phone in order to conduct their first round of interviews.  It is much more cost efficient for a company to screen a candidate over the phone prior to meeting them in person.  This means that a phone interview is your first chance to make a good impression.  Alternatively if you under perform in a phone interview you’ll quickly find your potential job opportunity disappears.  Here are a few tips to land that next interview after your phone interview!


Before every interview you need to conduct research on both the organization and the position.


For a phone interview, like any interview, you should prepare and practice responses that relate your background to the job description.  Be sure to have your resume and the job description easily accessible during your phone interview enabling you to respond quickly to technical questions.


The room you choose to conduct your interview in should be quiet and able to be closed off.


When candidates standup during a phone interview, you’ll sound more energetic to the hiring manager on the other line.


Have a glass of water ready in case you get a cough or your mouth gets dry.


Speak even slower than you would in person as it is more difficult to communicate with somebody over the phone and there is bound to be more ambiguities.


Don’t interrupt the interviewer, this can be tricky over the phone because you cannot read their facial expressions so use caution and pause for a few seconds before responding to any questions.


Give short and distinct answers, if you expand too much you’re likely to loose the attention of your interviewer.  At the same time try and allow your personality to come through at least a little bit to differentiate you from the other candidates.


Close the interview by asking the hiring manager what the next steps are in the interview process and if they have any concerns about your background. You do not want the hiring manager leaving the interview with any hesitation moving you forward to the next round.


Take a few notes about what you talked about and remember to send them a thank you note.  Failure to do this may counteract an otherwise good interview.


Good luck in your next phone interview!