8 Phone Interview Tips That Will Land You A Second Interview

By Jeff Gillis

Congratulations!

Your resume is stellar, your application was impeccable, you’ve caught a potential employer’s attention and now they want to get to know you better.

In years gone by that would have meant an in person interview but in today’s increasingly busy digital world, many preliminary and some final interviews are being held in a wide variety of mediums including on the phone.

A phone interview? As in, we talk on the phone and not actually in person? As in, they have NO idea what I’m actually wearing during the interview!? This is AMAZING!  

Great, right?

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Nothing like an interview for your dream job where you can lounge around in your pajamas, secretly watching TV out of the corner of your eye and, gasp, maybe even surf the web at the same time and update your status to “Kickin’ it in my footie jammies knockin’ out my interview!”

No…this guy isn’t ready for his phone interview!

Not so fast. Yes, it’s true, your future boss might not need to know that you’re on the other end of the line in your favorite Scooby Doo flannels, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t treat the phone interview as seriously, if not more seriously, than any other standard interview.

But..but…but…

No buts.

Just because you’re not face to face with a potential employer doesn’t mean it’s time to throw all our hard learned interview rules out the window.

A good old telephone interview might sound like the perfect opportunity to slack and kick back, but in actuality, you have to work even HARDER to make yourself stand out to a potential employer.

But before we dive into the actual tips for phone interviews:

Why do some employers ask for phone interviews in the first place?

    • In order to quickly eliminate you as a candidate. This is especially common in big companies. Instead of spending the time and resources needed to bring you in for an in person interview they’ll want to see if you give them a reason to cross your name off the list.
  • Interview candidates that are out of town or aren’t able to attend an in person interview for whatever reason.

The point is, this is probably your first point of real contact with the company. While you’re not going to land the job from phone interview (most likely) you certainly can lose it!

Unique as phone interviews are in the job hunting world, at their core they are still pretty similar to any other interview and should be taken just as seriously…if not more seriously.

More seriously? Is that even a thing?

You bet your Scooby Doo flannels it is.

You see, one advantage an in-person interview has is the employer gets to physically meet you…shake your hand, and see one on one just how the chemistry works.

All of these things, which might seem rather insignificant in the moment, are actually critical parts of any interview.

When you’re interviewing via phone, you’re going to have to work even harder to make sure you are coming off as personable, capable, and above all…the perfect candidate.

So how do you prepare for this bold new frontier of employment screening? Luckily almost all of the standard rules from in person interviews still apply, so the basic prep work is essentially the same but there are some tips specific to phone interviews than can really be of help:

8 Phone Interview Tips

 1. Take It As Seriously As An In Person Interview

THIS IS AN INTERVIEW! Treat it like one! That means be ready! Make sure you’re well rested. The last thing an interviewer wants to do is feel as though they’re interrupting something else you’re doing, or worse, woken you up.

When your interview is first scheduled, make sure you set aside time BEFORE the interview to prep for it.

If it’s an early morning interview, make sure you’re “going” before the phone rings.

Get up, get moving.

Get your vocal cords warmed up. Brew a cup of coffee or tea and be ready for your day. Brush your teeth!

Speaking of getting up and going…that means changing out of your jammies too.

But they’re so comfortable!

No. No. No. No.

This is just as much a mental game as a physical game and dressing the part (even if they can’t see you) can really help you kick your mind into the right frame to get you the job. If you’re slouching around and being lazy, it will come through in your interview…even if you’re trying your hardest to fake it. Trust us, interviewers will know…

Dress the part…get the part.

JEFF'S TIP

If you get a phone call out of the blue and you think it could be for a phone interview, I would suggest letting it go to voice message, listening to the message, prepare for the phone interview appropriately and then call them back ready to rock. - Or - If you do happen to answer the phone unknowingly, let the inter