Useful Phone Interview Tips

Phone Interview Tips

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Everyone wants to get their dream job, and nothing is more exciting than getting a response from your application. Getting an opportunity to interview is the first step to achieving one’s professional goals and ambitions. 

Most recruiters choose to shortlist the first round of candidates through telephonic interviews rather than a face-to-face meeting. Recruitment is a time-consuming and lengthy process, and companies like to use different ways to optimize the process. 

Phone interviews are tough because a candidate has little time to impress the recruiters and get shortlisted for the second phase. To make a lasting impression, it’s essential to prepare for a phone interview. 

Phone Interview Tips

Interview Tips
Photo by RODNAE Productions

Phone interviews are considered an efficient way of lightening the workload and getting through the recruiting process faster. It’s essential to be prepared well to pass the preliminary screening process and get one step closer to becoming part of a company. 

Here are some useful phone interview tips for individuals looking to have successful phone interviews. 


Phone interview tips

Prepare and practice

Preparation is the key to ensuring that a job interview, whether it’s on-site or by telephone, goes smoothly. It helps in building confidence and makes it more likely for the candidate to succeed. It’s crucial to be familiar with the company and job posting before the interview because that information is valuable.  

Recruiters want to check the genuineness of your interest in the job and they always ask the reason for applying. If you are not prepared you will end up giving a fake answer that does not sound honest at all. To build a rapport over a phone interview, you need the right words and information to give perfect answers to job interview questions and make a lasting impression. 

To get rid of the nervousness you can also practice responses before the interview. You can find the most asked interview questions on our website. You can use the common questions to practice for the interview. Usually, the most common questions are the hardest to answer, and preparing ahead gives a confidence boost. 


Have a strong start

Giving a job interview in person offers an opportunity to make a good first impression with a firm handshake or a pleasant greeting. These small gestures can have a huge impact on getting the attention of the interviewer. However, in a telephonic interview, the interviewee is at a disadvantage because there is no face time. 

Making a strong impression on the phone can be challenging as you need to do it without using body language.  It’s essential to show enthusiasm by thanking the interviewer for the opportunity. Let them know that you have been looking forward to the opportunity as it will let them know you are a professional and are serious about the job. 

The tone of the voice is critical for getting the enthusiasm across. The voice should not sound bored and fed up. Make sure that you keep the voice upbeat and honest. A genuine tone is effective in getting the attention of the interviewer. 


Keep a conversational tone 

Starting strong is critical but maintaining the tone throughout the interview is essential as well. Many people lose their enthusiasm towards the end. You have to be careful about the way you sound while talking, so the listener gets engaged in the conversation. 

Firstly, avoid non-descriptive answers that are too short. The interviewer judges the interest of the candidate through their answers. The answers let them know whether you are a suitable fit for the company culture or not. Confidence is good but avoid being overconfident because it makes you sound cocky. 

Maintain a slow pace while talking. Speaking too fast becomes a hindrance to effective communication. Use tiny pauses after making your point but make sure that the pauses are well placed and not too long, as it breaks the rhythm of the conversation. Maintaining a slow pace ensures that the listener can understand what you are saying. A conversational tone is the best choice for giving effective telephonic interviews. 

Keep away from humor and sarcasm because both of these things do not work in an interview over the phone. Conveying humor or sarcasm requires the help of body language and gestures which is not possible over the phone. If the interviewer says something funny you should respond by laughing. 

Be a good listener 

Good communication includes listening and speaking skills. Many people who feel they are great listeners only excel in delivering messages. However, while giving an interview, one has to be a good listener along with being an effective speaker. 

The interviewee must be respectful of the time limit of the interview because it’s not like you have the whole day. Pay attention to the questions and listen carefully the first time because asking to repeat the questions in a limited time is not going to leave a good impression. Not listening can lead to giving an irrelevant answer which is not going to put you in the good graces of the interviewer. 

Never interrupt the interviewer in the middle of the sentence. Let them complete the question before answering or asking your queries. Wait for the pause from the interviewer and then start talking to ensure that there is no talking over each other. If there is any talking over each other, you should stop and allow the interviewer to finish their point. 


Get rid of distractions

Phone Interview
Photo by Samson Katt

To show professional behavior, make sure that you choose a location where there are no distractions. There should be no background noise because it can be too distracting. It’s better to use a landline as compared to a cell phone because it offers a more stable connection. There can be the issue of poor reception with cell phones while landlines have no such issues. 

Avoid using Bluetooth devices and speakerphones because they can distort the connection and make it hard for the listener to understand you. 

Keep a glass of water nearby in case you need it. If your throat gets dry in the middle of the interview, you should not be scrambling to get some water in the middle of the interview. Such scrambling will not go unnoticed and leaves a bad impression. Whatever you need for the interview make sure you have it nearby. 


Take advantage of being unseen 

Telephonic interviews have a lot of disadvantages, but that should n0t make you overlook the advantages it has to offer. Take full advantage of the fact that the interviewer cannot see you. 

You don’t need to get dressed up for an interview on the phone. To stay relaxed you can simply give the interviews wearing casual clothes. 

In face-to-face interviews, you don’t get a chance to take a peek at your notes and have to rely on memory. Giving an interview from the comfort of your house allows you to have the notes, questions, or resume right in front of you for consultation. 

Giving the interview on the phone does take the pressure off your shoulders to some extent and offers a relaxing environment. You don’t have to be conscious about making eye contact or maintaining a proper posture.


Ask questions 

A phone interview may sound less formal than the one on-site, but it’s crucial to be just as prepared for it as a face-to-face interview. Having some questions prepared beforehand about the company or the position that you are applying for showcases your interest in the job and helps get better insight into the job.


Be aware of the time limit

Phone interviews are not long, so there is limited time to give your answers and ask questions. Be prepared for the fact that you might run out of time and not get an opportunity to ask questions. 

If the interview time is over before you could ask questions then you should ask for their email address and ask if you could send in your queries. Always remember to thank them for the opportunity and remind them of your interest in the position. 


A high note ending

Ending the interview properly is just as important as a strong start. It’s essential to remind the interviewer that you are looking forward to the next step of the recruiting process and having a face-to-face meeting. You should ensure that you make an effort to make it to the on-site interview. Also mention that you have learned valuable information about the company and the post in the interview and it has increased your interest as well. 


Be prepared for worst-case scenarios 

Preparing for an interview is crucial, and one part of preparation is being ready for worst-case scenarios. There are a lot of things that are unlikely to happen, but you cannot rule them out completely.

Expecting the unexpected prepares you mentally to handle such a situation in a better way and provides a better opportunity to salvage the situation.   

Final Thoughts 

The majority of companies start their recruiting process with phone interviews. They use the call to discuss the job opportunity with a potential employee. It gives them an idea of the suitability of the candidate for the post and judges their interest in the job. Phone interviews are preferred by organizations because they are a quick way of the initial screening of candidates. It’s efficient and saves a lot of time for both the recruiters and the candidates. 

Before getting on the telephone to give an interview, it’s important to get familiar with phone interview tips and techniques that will give you an edge over the other candidates. 

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