5 Tips to Make the Most of a Phone Interview

The phone interview is typically the first, and a very important step in the interview process with a company. Phone interviews are typically much shorter than a formal, in-person interview, and can save all parties time by ensuring a candidate is a potential fit. In an Interview Success Formula article, 7 Tips to Stand Out in a Phone Interview, Alan Carniol explains how essential the phone interview can be. Below are Barton’s top five tips on how to increase your chances of moving to that next round!

  1. Remember what jobs you are applying too

Recruiters understand that candidates may be applying to more than one company. However, they do expect that you are aware and have some recollection of applying to the job at hand. Whether you keep a basic list, an extensive Excel spreadsheet, or just save some emails, keeping a running record will help you from being caught off guard.

  1. Make sure you are in a place with no interruptions

Although this tip may seem obvious, it is very important to make sure you are in a quiet area with no interruptions for the phone interview. Recruiters may be more understanding if the interview happens on a whim, but for a planned interview they will expect you to make proper accommodations.

  1. Be prepared

Another tip that may seem like a no brainer but must be mentioned is to be prepared. For a phone interview, candidates should always have a copy of their resume as well as a copy of the job description on hand to reference. Barton’s Director of Talent Acquisition said, “When interviewing a candidate over the phone, I expect thy have done their homework on the company and the position.” This also means you should do your research on the company as a whole. While recruiters are happy to answer questions, they also expect you to have a general knowledge of the company and the position.

  1. Be aware of your pace and tone

It is very common for candidates to feel anxious during a phone interview. This can cause the candidate to speak in a flat, unenthusiastic tone, or talk much too fast. Try to relax and speak in an upbeat tone to express your interest in the role. “Communication is an essential key to success in our business. If someone sounds nervous in a phone interview, I assume the same would happen when speaking with a client,” says Jon Retchin. Studies show that smiling helps your tone, even when on the phone.

  1. Ask about next steps

At the conclusion of an interview, it is best to ask the recruiter about next steps. This may not only give you an idea of what they thought about you, but will hopefully give you a timeline for the rest of the interview process. This way you know what to expect in terms of a follow up.

The phone interview is a very integral part of the interview process, especially for positions that will require you to be on the phone regularly. Phone interviews allow the company to get a feel of how much of a fit a candidate may be for the role. It also allows the candidate to get a better idea if this is a role and company they truly want to be a part of. The phone interview can allow candidates to expand on themselves more than what can be included in the confines of a resume. If you utilize Barton’s five tips, you will be able to heighten your chances of moving on to an in-person interview, and get one step closer to securing that job offer!

By Casee Laznick
Casee Laznick Talent Acquisition & Social Media Specialist