How to
Succeed in Phone Interviews

Handle phone interviews professionally and confidently. Often this is the key first step in the hiring process and with the right interview preparation you can move successfully to the next stage.

Companies use interviewing over the phone to narrow down the initial pool of job candidates to a more manageable number for a face-to-face meeting. It is a way of checking that the candidate lives up to their resume and to test the waters.

These interviews offer a number of advantages to the organization:

  • minimal cost to the company
  • a relatively quick process and involves less effort than face to face evaluations
  • a standardized list of key questions can be used
  • can be delegated to a more junior employee
  • screens out obviously unqualified or unsuitable candidates
Girl on phone

How to Handle Phone Job Interviews

These job interviews require particular skills from the candidate.

  • The very first step is to make sure the interviewer has all the necessary contact details for you. Your resume and job application should include accurate contact information for you. List the numbers where you can be reached and indicate what time of day you will be available. If you are going away and not going to be contactable for a period you should highlight this on your resume. Make contacting you as easy as possible.
  • The interviewer cannot assess the appearance or manner of the candidate, they can only listen to your voice, to your answers and to the energy and attitude that you convey. Your communication skills are essential to success in this type of interview.
  • Few people get hired only on the basis of this initial screening. The standardized key interview questions are designed to determine whether it is worthwhile to continue the process with the candidate.
  • To present yourself in the most positive manner requires good organization and preparation beforehand. Thinking that you can "wing" the call will usually end in a poor result.
  • Some people find this sort of interview easier than others, however it is simple to develop good telephone job interview techniques and skills that will set you up for success.
  • A good idea is to carry out a practice interview on the phone with a family member or friend. You can adapt the mock job interview for this purpose and ask for honest and constructive feedback. This will help to build your confidence and ensure that you are ready for the real thing.

The call may consist of a few quick questions or it may be a much longer evaluation. Whatever the format the candidate needs to successfully get through it to advance to the next step of the hiring process, the face-to-face job interview. 

Ace the Telephone Interview

Phone Interview Questions

Phone Interview Tips


Skype job interviews demand specific interview techniques.

Skype Interviews

Find out more at Skype Interview Tips

Make this type of job interview work for you and progress to the next stage of the hiring process.

Online Interview Questions

Job Interviews > Interviews by Phone



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