A phone interview is a screening process that is normally conducted by the HR Manager to select qualified candidates for face-to-face interviews.

*YOUR JOB = to secure a face-to-face interview by selling yourself to the company*


“Must Do” steps to take to prepare for the phone interview

  • Study the company website in-depth
    • Read every page you possibly can
  • Search the internet for pertinent information on the company
    • i.e. news articles, promotions, new senior associates joining the firm, mergers, acquisitions, etc.
  • Study the job description
    • Look for keywords/ key phrases they may ask you questions about (i.e. certain skills they are looking for, qualifications/ licenses needed, etc.)


How to control your environment before and during the phone interview

  • Eliminate noise
    • TV, children, music, dogs barking, etc.
  • Conduct your phone interview in a quiet place
    • Do not drive your vehicle, go to a restaurant, airport, or any public place during your interview
  • It is recommended to use a land line for best reception
    • If you will be using your cell phone, make sure you have good reception
  • Have your laptop with you with your resume available for easy access
    • This make is easy if the employer requests you to send them another copy
  • Use your laptop or a notepad to take any notes the employer may give you
  • Ready yourself as if you were having a face-to-face interview
    • Wearing pajamas or sweats during a phone interview can be distracting, making you feel too comfortable or even tired
    • Dress up, fix your hair, shower, do whatever it is you would do if you were meeting someone in person


How do you want to be perceived on a phone interview?

  • Be articulate in your speech and knowledgeable of the company
  • Be honest and sincere
    • Express to them how interested you are in the company and the position
  • Be friendly, enthusiastic, and positive
    • Let them know that you are a fun person to work with and a fun person who can get the job done
  • Be aware of your voice tone
    • If you had a bad day, it will be heard in your voice
    • Take some deep breaths before the interview to calm yourself
    • Do some basic exercises, do the hokey pokey to make yourself laugh, get encouragement from a friend or significant other – do what you can to clear your mind of the negatives


Do’s and Don’ts of a successful phone interview

  • Keep your answers brief and to the point
  • Listen carefully to what is being said
    • Take notes with your laptop or notepad, if necessary
  • Do not elaborate unnecessarily
  • Do not talk over the interviewer or interrupt
  • Do not bad mouth your previous employer or co-workers
  • Refrain from sharing too much personal information


What to say to secure an invitation for an in-person interview

  • “Thank you for your time. I really enjoyed our talk. Based on our conversation today, I am highly interested in this position.”
  • “What are your thoughts about us getting together for an in-person interview?”
  • “What needs to happen for me to get to the next step?”
  • “When will you be making your decision on bringing people in for an in-person interview?”


Appropriate follow-up after the phone interview

  • Send a “thank you” email
    • Send this email as soon as you can while you are still fresh in the interviewer’s mind
  • Reiterate the reasons why you think you are a good match for the position
  • Express your interest in meeting with them soon


What questions to ask if you are invited for an in-person interview

  • Who will I be interviewing with?
  • What time should I arrive?
  • Can you tell me something about their management style and personality?
  • What is your dress code?
  • What is the company culture?
  • Where is the interview being held?


What to take with you to the interview

  • Clean resume that matches the one you sent to the employer
  • Portfolio or examples of your work that is pertinent to the position
  • References
    • Make sure all references are up to date with correct information