Phone Interview Do’s

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A phone interview is a significant part of the interview process. Many companies are doing two or three phone interviews before giving you the chance to walk through their door for an in-person interview. Screening candidates via a phone interview is a money saver for out of town candidates and a time saver for busy hiring managers. Since phone interviews are a fact of job search life here are 15 Do’s for your next phone interview:


  1. Prepare. Do as much research as you would for an in-person interview.
  2. Use a Land Line. You never know when cell service is going to go out.
  3. Take the call in a quiet, closed door room. Distractions will ruin your interview.
  4. Don’t be late.
  5. Have your resume in front of you, and a pen to take notes to remind yourself of a point you need to make or a discussion you want to return to.
  6. NO smoking, chewing gum, eating or drinking, but do keep a glass of water handy in case you go dry.
  7. Smile. An easy way to bring energy and enthusiasm into your voice when you don’t have the ability to sell them on your in-person charisma.
  8. Speak slowly and enunciate.
  9. Be articulate through practicing your answers to typical interview questions. This helps to avoid “um”, “uh”, and “like” filler words.
  10. Keep your answers short. You won’t be getting any visual cues so err on the side of clear and precise answers.
  11. Don’t interrupt. It’s rude but easy to do in a phone conversation.
  12. Never put your interviewer on hold. Yikes!
  13. Prepare three questions to ask your interviewer. Make a note of others to ask as prompted by your discussion.
  14. Next steps. Always ask at the end of the interview what you can expect to happen next. Express your interest in the job!
  15. Send an email thank you note. See our slideshare on Thank you Note No-no’s.

One of your phone interviews might be with a visual. See our previous blog on 10 Skype Interview Do’s for help. Interested in talking about your job search? Contact the recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates.

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