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5 Tips for a Successful Telephone Interview


There are 3 very important steps in the hiring process that any job seeker should always be prepared for. We’ve covered constructing the resume and preparing for the actual interview itself … Now, let’s go over the important things to always keep in mind when you receive that phone call from a potential employer.

In most cases, once an employer has reviewed your resume and deemed you a potential candidate, their next step in the hiring process is a telephone screen. This may be a very brief conversation, and often times the candidate does not realize how crucial a successful phone interview is to their chances of being interviewed and hired. In a telephone interview the employer cannot see you, so they are judging you solely on your voice, your demeanor, your answers to their questions, and the sounds they hear in the background.

Keep these 5 important things in mind when that phone call comes:

#1 – FIND A QUIET PLACE. When a potential employer calls you to discuss a job opportunity with you, make sure that you are in a quiet place where you can focus on the conversation. Although they are inevitable noises in our lives: dogs barking, cars zooming by, and babies crying in the background are unprofessional and will most likely give a bad impression.

#2- DON’T DO ALL THE TALKING. It is normal to think that your best way to ace an interview is to just keep talking and answer every question as completely as possible. This is not necessarily the truth. If you are talking, you are not listening. Let the interviewer get their whole thought out before you speak. It is also wise to wait a few seconds and think about your answer before speaking (this will cut down your “Umms” and “Well’s.”)

#3 – DON’T GET TOO COMFORTABLE. If you’re slouching down on the couch or being distracted by something while you’re talking … It will be obvious. Once you’ve found that quiet place to talk, be sure to sit up straight and speak clearly. If you’re physically being lazy, it will reflect in your voice.

#4 – ACT IS IF YOU’RE IN A FACE TO FACE INTERVIEW. Speak clearly; Speak intelligently; Be poised; Be upbeat; Try to avoid nervous behaviors; Treat the phone screen as if it were a face to face interview. This conversation is going to determine whether or not you will move on to the next step of the hiring process, so take it seriously.

#5 – LET THE INTERVIEWER KNOW YOU’RE SERIOUS. If at all possible, have questions for the interviewer when they ask you if you have any questions. One question that you should always ask at the end of the conversation is: “What is the next step?” Let them know that you’re serious about pursuing the job opportunity and that you’re ready for the next step.