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8 Tips to Nail Your Phone Interview

Phone interviews are often the first step of the hiring process for potential new employees, especially if the first step is a conversation with a recruiter. While it may seem like a phone interview will be an easy way to “sell yourself” to the new employer, it might actually be even more difficult to make yourself stand out since the person on the other end can’t see how professional you dressed, how you carry yourself, body language, and so on. So, if a phone interview is your first step, here are eight tips for nailing it and getting yourself a face-to-face with your potential new employer.

  • Take it seriously!

Don’t try to multitask during a phone interview; treat it as if it was in-person. If it’s in the morning, be sure you’re well-rested and have your thoughts together! If it’s in the middle of the day, try to find a quiet place to talk. If you’re needing to drive while you talk (which we don’t recommend because you likely won’t be as focused as you should be), try to at least find a place to pull over during the conversation. 

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  • Eliminate Distractions

 If you’re distracted, it becomes pretty apparent to the person on the other phone. If you’re at home, turn off the TV or the music in the background. If you’re doing the interview from home, it’s a good idea to let others in the house know you’ll be on the phone for a little while to eliminate those distractions as well.

  • Do Your Research

You {hopefully} wouldn’t walk into an interview with zero knowledge on the company. Don’t do that for a phone interview either. Check out their website, and even take a second to check out the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile so you know a little bit about them – and thanks to those alerts about people viewing your profile, the interviewer will know you put in the effort. The more you know about the company, the more tailored your answers can be. For example, if they ask you about your values – you’ll get some check marks in your favor if they align with the company’s values that are likely posted right on their website. 

  • Have Notes

This is a great benefit to phone interviews – you can have a sheet of paper in front of you with all the points you want to make to keep your thoughts organized! Having a copy of your resume in front of you can help as well for referencing dates and other details that might slip your mind when you’re put on the spot. 

  • Don’t Do ALL the Talking

Yes, you’re the one being interviewed, but it’s also great when the interviewee has some thoughtful questions to ask their potential new employer. This might mean taking notes throughout the interview and looping back to some questions that arose for you along the way, or they might be questions you had from the moment you saw the job posting. 

As a side note, when you are talking, smile! The interviewer will be able to hear that through the phone ☺. 

  • Take a Deep Breath and SLOW DOWN!

This tip applies to in-person and phone interviews alike, but especially to those on the phone because you lose the ability to read lips and body language, so words are all that’s left! Take time to pronounce words correctly and think through what you’re saying. Plus, to avoid interrupting the interviewer, let there be a second or two pause after they finish asking a question and when you start to give your answer. 

  • Send a Thank You Email

Seriously, thank you emails and notes seem to be a thing of the past, so when employers and recruiters get them, it’s a rarity and an instant feather in your cap. So, take that extra five minutes to craft a short, to-the-point, gracious thank you email to the interviewer for their time!