Phone Interview Tips

Mary Gormandy White
Telephone Interview
expert checked

If you'll be speaking with a hiring manager via telephone, then the following phone interview tips can help you make a positive impression.

Types of Telephone Interviews

Many companies conduct pre-employment interviews via telephone at various stages in the screening process.

Initial Pre-Screening Calls

It's quite common for the individuals responsible for coming up with a short list of potential new hires to conduct initial screening interviews by telephone. During this type of conversation, the interviewer focuses on determining whether or not the candidate has the basic skills and qualifications necessary to proceed with the interview process as well as discovering whether or not the person is truly interested in the job. This type of telephone interview is generally very brief, leading to a scheduled face-to-face interview for the best qualified candidates who are interested in pursuing employment with the company.

Formal Telephone Interviews

In some cases, in-depth interviews are conducted via telephone. This is common when the company is interviewing candidates who need to relocate in order to take the position, or in cases where the hiring manager is located in a corporate office setting rather than at the actual site where the job opening is located. After all, companies aren't likely to go through the expense of bringing in out of town applicants to interview until they have narrowed the list of possibilities down to just a few final candidates. First, and sometimes second, interviews are frequently handled by telephone.

Interviews for Virtual Workplaces

In some cases, companies rely solely on telephone interviews. Many companies are now hiring people to become members of a virtual workforce that provides services for the organization from their own home offices or satellite office locations around the world. For these types of employment situations, it's likely that the entire interview process will be conducted by telephone.

Three Key Phone Interview Tips

If you have the opportunity to participate in a phone interview, then the following tips can help you to put your best foot forward.

1. Proper Preparation

Proper interview preparation, regardless of the interview form, involves conducting research about the company and the particular type of job you are applying for. If the interviewer asks you why you have chosen to seek employment with the company, you should be able to give sound reasons based on facts that can be found on the company's website. Further, if the interviewer asks you to describe what duties you expect to perform in the position, you should be able to demonstrate that you have a basic understanding of the responsibilities commonly associated with the job title.

You should also spend some time practicing how you will respond to interview questions that you are likely to be asked. While it's impossible to know exactly what questions an interviewer will ask, it's a good idea to review a list of common interview questions when you start looking for a new job. That way, you can be prepared to provide coherent, effective responses that present you in the best possible light.

2. Convey Professionalism

phone interview

Whether you are participating in a pre-screening, formal, or final interview telephone conversation, it is essential that you come across as a competent professional throughout the interaction. When you are interviewing face to face, your attire, demeanor, and nonverbal communication can help reinforce positive traits to employers. On the telephone, the impression that you make is tied solely to your voice and language skills.

In addition to providing well thought-out, intelligent answers to questions, be sure to watch your tone of voice and grammar. Take care to project confidence in your abilities. Be sure to smile as you are talking. Even though the interviewer won't be able to see that you are smiling, it will be conveyed in your voice. This will help you come across as someone with a positive, upbeat attitude.

3. Control Background Noise

When you are participating in a telephone interview, it's essential to keep background noise to a minimum. This sends a positive message about the level of professionalism that you will bring to the job if you are hired.

Turn off the television and your computer, put the pets outside, and make sure that your family knows to be quiet and avoid interrupting you during the time that you are on the telephone. If you have young children at home, this may be a good time to ask a friend or family member to babysit or take them to a mom's day out program.

Telephone Interview Success

Remember that the ultimate objective of any job interview is to convince the person in charge of hiring that you are the right choice for the job. Whether you are sitting down across a conference room table from an interviewer or if the conversation is taking place by telephone, it's up to you to come across as a skilled professional who will be a valuable addition to the company's workforce. Follow these three important phone interview tips, and you will be on your way to enjoying a positive experience the next time you have an opportunity to speak with a hiring manager via telephone.

Phone Interview Tips