5 Phone Interview Tips to Get That Job

phone interview tips looking at phone

Learning about different phone interview tips is just as much understanding the interview process, as it is understanding the phone interview process. Everyone loves landing an interview because it means that your resume (and other credentials) left enough of an impression that someone liked you – they really liked you! 

What does the phone interview process look like?

Many companies like to take their time in finding, vetting and hiring talent. While some may be in a rush, due to a sudden departure or an emergency, many like to take their time when it comes to finding their “unicorn” (the perfect candidate). This means that they might want to take multiple steps, using phone interviews, in-person interviews and other means of interviewing to find exactly the right person. After all, hiring is an investment with real financial consequences. If a company hires the wrong person, they could pay the cost for years! The phone interview is typically the first step, after submitting your resume, in the interview process. It’s an opportunity for a talent acquisition specialist or a supervisor (depending on the size of the company) to do some primary vetting to figure out if you’re a fit for the role. Nothing fancy, just the facts! 

Why do I need phone interview tips?

Everybody could use some phone interview help, but why is that? A lot of people don’t like talking on the phone, so that is often reflected in how you act on the phone. After all, if it makes you uncomfortable to speak to someone you can’t see, that will become apparent in your voice — which is something you definitely want to avoid. The following are 5 helpful phone interview tips that you can use to improve their performance the next time a potential employer comes calling…

It’s Not Just You – It’s Everyone!

Consider the fact that even though your interviewer might do phone interviews for a living, that it’s not something they’re quite comfortable with, either. Don’t just think about how awkward you are on the phone, but take the opportunity to acknowledge (to yourself) that it’s not the most comfortable thing in the world for anyone – it’s something you have to do. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t get too frustrated (or down on yourself) if you’re not performing. This is an introduction and will be based more on substance than on style (the style can be saved for an in-person rendezvous). 

phone interview tips where not to sit

Shh…Find A Quiet Space

Try to avoid having a phone interview in a train station, a cafe or outside, in general. Find someone quiet, peaceful and somewhere that’s both of things specifically for you. Take about fifteen minutes before your interview to quiet your space, and to find somewhere that is comfortable. Maybe it’s in your favourite chair, maybe you have a few candles lit, whatever sets the mood for making you the MOST employable you can be.

Avoid Ramblin’ (Man) 

The worst thing you can do during a phone interview is not know when you should stop talking. When an interviewer asks you a question, don’t beat around the bush, just answer the question. The best phone interview tips are the ones which acknowledge what a phone interview is: it’s an opportunity to get to know you and to quickly align your skills to the job posting. This isn’t the time for you to get into long-winded answers, especially because the person on the other line is going to be furiously typing down notes. Save their time, and save your breath. Answer questions quickly, concisely and with purpose.

comfortable at home phone interview tips

Ask (Your) Important Questions

The phone interview is your chance to ask any of the questions you might not be comfortable to ask during an in-person interview. This is your chance to ask about vacations, holiday closures, benefits and anything else that you might not be able to shoehorn into your interview. Chances are that the person on the other line is a talent recruiter, so not only will they have this information, they won’t judge you for asking!

Take Next Steps

Make sure that you always know what to do after the conversation ends. If that means sending your resume, references or links to your online work…just know what you need to do! Identifying next steps is probably going to be outlined to you anyways, but asking about it shows to the interviewer that you’re legitimately interested in the opportunity. Don’t wait — ask right away!

These phone interview tips are meant to make you more comfortable when it comes to speaking on the phone with talent recruiters and other interviewers. Chances are the phone interview is going to be the first step in a long process (before in-person and eventual job offer), so you’re going to want to make it count! Impress the person on the other line, and follow these tips today.

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