Phone Interview


Telephone interviews are becoming more and more prevalent as the first point of contact for multiple reasons including the economy of time, money, and travel. Employers are choosing the phone over face-to-face to screen candidates and see if they sound as good as they may appear on paper. The good old telephone is often undervalued with the misconception that phone interviews are easy. Minus the added aggravation of selecting the right shoes or tie, everything else may matter even more.

As the single medium of communication, the telephone interview is more significant since there is no other criteria to critically evaluate such as body language or face-to-face rapport. So, simpatico on the phone is essential and challenging in its own right. If the phone interview is flubbed, there is no chance to correct it in person regardless of that killer interview suit.

USE A LAND LINE: This is very important. Do it ‘old school’ and be sure to avoid cell phone complications (dropped calls, echoing, interference, noise). Make sure the interviewer can hear your words, pitch and tone clearly.

ISOLATION: Be absolutely certain (with good planning and the enrolment of roommates or family) that you will be in a safe zone free of interruptions. Ideally, you will do it at home where you may speak freely without restraint (short answers) or worry that your co-workers or boss will hear. VERIFY PHONE NUMBERS.

BE READY: Be prepared. Ready yourself with your resume and the job description in front of you. This can put you at ease to know that you may access, recall, and reference.

ASSUME POSITION: Standing literally puts you ‘on your feet’. You may equally equip yourself by sitting up straight with both feet planted ‘to ground you’. The physical frame prepares the mental frame. Stay on your feet to sharpen your mind and voice.

FOLLOW THE LEADER: Remember that the interviewer is in charge of the process and time. Don’t dominate the dialogue. Be on point with your answers. Simply get screened in!

QUESTIONS: Direct only thoughtful questions that demonstrate your logic and appreciation for the interviewer’s time on the phone by asking questions that may not be found on the website such as: job particulars, expectations, or the company culture.

GET THE GATEKEEPER GREEN LIGHT: Don’t bore the screener. The interviewer may not be the hiring manager. All you need to do is highlight your communication skills and ability to fit in the culture. Avoid technical job minutiae details. HR may not be qualified to assess.

MIND THE GAP PLEASE: Be conscious to avoid ‘filler’ use in your language: “um”, “ah”, “