Mastering the Phone Interview Process

A phone interview is often the first stage in the recruitment process.  It is an inexpensive method that can determine cultural and behavioral fit it is a time and money saving tool for the candidate and the interviewer.  But, there are a considerable number of pitfalls for candidates.  Here are a few tips that can help you create the best impression possible. 

phone interview tips

The Environment

Try to avoid conducting the interview in a busy, noisy environment, or in your car.  A private office where you will be uninterrupted is perfect.  If possible, use a landline.  Poor mobile phone reception is the reason why many phone interviews are not successful.


Learn as much about the company as possible.  You certainly want to be prepared for the questions “What do you know about XYZ company”, and “Why do you want to work here?”

Smile, and Stand Up

Look in the mirror and smile.  This can translate into feeling more confident and sounding more positive.  Stand up instead of sitting down.  Sitting down can make you feel cramped in and this can make your speech sound cramped in.  You’ll also sound more confident by standing up.  We also recommend walking around a bit, but not too much, to help keep the call going smoothly.

Voice and Tone

Do not sound monotone.  Vary your pitch and tone of voice.

Listening and Answers

Listen and wait for the interviewer to finish the question, and then proceed.  Don’t interrupt the interviewer.  Give short, concise answers, without sounding unfriendly or cold, of course.  Speak slowly and articulately.   One disadvantage of a phone interview is that there is no visual communication – there is no way to see facial expressions or body language – and it can be difficult to know when to stop talking.  Do not talk for long periods of time.  It is a good idea to pause after every three or four sentences to allow the interviewer to confirm they have heard enough or drill down further.  When you pause, ask, “Have I given you enough information?” or “Do you need me to proceed further?”


Good Luck!