Phone Job Interview

One of the types of interviews you may run across is the phone job interview.  A phone job interview is more common in the early stages of the interview process than it is in the later stages, though it might also be used if someone in the interviewing process is not in the same geographic location as you. 

Things you need to know about a phone job interview

Take it seriously!

One of the common mistakes people make is thinking that the phone job interview is just a ‘stepping stone’ prior to moving on in the interview process. Your interviewer won't appreciate your taking this type of interview lightly. 

The primary purpose of a phone job interview is to screen candidates.

Usually a phone job interview is one of the first steps in the interview process. As such it is typically designed to screen a large volume of potential applicants for their potential 'fit' for the role.

Other things to keep in mind are...

  • It is typically conducted by an HR professional or a recruiter
  • Phone job interviews average about 30 minutes in length or less
  • Phone job interviews tend to be more scripted than face to face interviews
  • This type of interview is often quite focused on your resume.

Phone Job Interview Tips

Find a quiet place where you can take the call

Interviews are hard enough without having unnecessary distractions while trying to think of your responses. 

Dogs barking, children crying, TV or stereo blasting away in the background, all of these things will not only distract you from doing your best in the interview, but will also make a poor impression on the interviewer. 

Be concise

In any interview it’s very important to keep your answers clear and concise, but this is especially important in the phone job interview. 

Because the interview is short, and the interviewer is likely processing many candidates, long rambling answers will really sink your chances of moving to the next round.

Be relevant

A very important step in preparing for your phone job interview is to read and understand the job description that you are applying for in advance. 

Your goal when you answer the interviewers’ questions is to tie your experience to the requirements in the application.

Know your resume!

More than any other interview, the phone job interview will more often than not be focused on what you put in your resume. 

It sounds simple but many candidates don’t spend enough time reviewing their own resume prior to an interview, and making sure they have relevant speaking points lined up for each of the experiences they have listed.