How to Prepare for Phone Interviews

By Ian Acosta on August 21, 2017

As a means of performing introductory interviews or just to save potential recruits’ time on traveling, phone interviews provide the candidate an opportunity to showcase their talents and experiences all from the comfort of their own apartment.

Unlike traditional in-person interviews, phone interviews do not require you to meet in person with a recruiter at that stage of the game but just as much focus is required. The same preparation you would do for an in-person interview should be demanded and expected for preparing for an over the phone version. So, what’s the best way to prepare?

Here are some tips to help knock your phone interview out of the park.

Research the company

Much like in-person interviews, you will no doubt get asked about the company and position for which you are applying. Here is your chance to show what you know and knock it out of the park. Whether you realize it or not, you are on company time as soon as you enter the room. Take advantage of it and prove to them that they made a wise investment in choosing to spend their time with you by showing that you took the time to get to know more about them.

There is no better feeling than when you are able to confidently state what you know and have your interviewer on the other end of the line sound impressed as he or she continues your conversation. Also, if you want to potentially have a career there shouldn’t you take the time to research as much as you can anyway?

Expect the unexpected

No two phone interviews are exactly alike. Now, this tip might be a little tricky to prepare for because who can really expect the unexpected? However, put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and try and come up with some questions of what they might ask you and how you’d respond. This really goes a long way in helping prepare for as many different types of questions as possible and also will help in your preparation to try and view the interview process from the other side.

To research possible interview questions at a certain company, look on sites such as Glassdoor which has a ton of information on both the interview process and company culture written by people who were once in the same shoes you are.

Dress comfortably

No shirt? No shoes? No problem. The one positive to doing an interview from home is the freedom to wear whatever you’d like. So, dress comfy! Being comfortable and in the zone is just as important as the preparation that goes into acing your interview. Slip on some sweatpants, have your resume in front of you, and be prepared to kill your phone interview.

Practice proper phone etiquette

Obviously being respectful and conducting yourself with class is expected to be a given. However, what are some do’s and don’ts for phone interviews when speaking on the phone?

First off, answer the phone yourself. There is nothing more unprofessional than having a parent or roommate or friend (anyone that is not you) answer the phone when the recruiter is trying to reach YOU directly. Secondly, use the interviewer’s title when they talk to you initially (Mr. or Ms.). If they tell you to call them by a different name, go ahead but only after they give you the verbal permission.

Next, do not interrupt. It just makes the whole conversation and flow of the interview awkward and choppy. Wait until the recruiter is done speaking before you interject and say your piece.

Take notes

Feel free to jot down notes on the conversation you and your recruiter have. Be sure to have some shorthand note-taking abilities handy because you do not want to be transcribing the conversation word for word. If there was something you missed that the recruiter may have mentioned, just kindly ask them to repeat what they said.

Participate in a mock interview

Ask some of your friends who have participated in a phone interview before to replicate the experience with you. Schedule some time (about half an hour) to walk through a mock interview with your friends or family. Have them ask you some sample questions that you have thought of or have researched online.

What this will allow you to do is give you a trial run of how the conversation could go and gives you a chance to practice your answers. Furthermore, it gives you practice with talking on the phone. For some, talking on the phone is a nerve-wracking proposition. I can speak to my own experience by saying that the first time I had a phone interview I was completely frightened. I did not have much experience with speaking on the phone. Although with anything, practice makes perfect. Take the time to prepare and it will come naturally in no time.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format