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Nowadays, before you are selected for an in person interview with the company you’re looking to work for, the HR department wants to conduct a phone interview to see if you are worth moving along to the next stage in the process. Your resume earned you the phone interview; now it’s your chance to earn an in person interview. This shouldn’t be a hard test, but many people fail it for simple reasons. Here are some “Dos and Don’ts” to rock your phone interview.


  • Spend a few minutes researching the company. Go to their website and read up on their products, services, history, awards, growth and charitable contributions. If you don’t know anything about the company, why would you want to work for them?
  • Set a reminder in your phone, with the company name, the job you applied for and the person that will be calling you (if you know their name). That way you won’t be surprised when they call.  
  • Go to a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed or interrupted. While many people love kids and pets, no recruiter wants to hear crying babies and barking dogs while you’re answering their questions.
  • Speak with confidence and clarity. If the recruiter can barely hear you, or you talk too fast, it’s hard to take notes on your responses. If you’re applying for a Receptionist position, they will focus the most on your tone and attitude. Make sure it’s positive.
  • Ask the recruiter if there’s any additional information they need from you before ending the phone interview
  • Thank the recruiter for their time and ask them what the next step in the process is.
  • Be surprised when someone calls you to conduct a phone interview. That shows you didn’t care enough to remember.
  • Ask what company they work for and/or what position you applied for. You may have applied to multiple companies, but at least keep track of what companies called you back and the jobs you applied for.
  • Be rude or disrespectful. This is a companies’ first impression of you. If you act like this in a phone interview, don’t be surprised if you aren’t selected for the position.
  • Drive during the phone interview. Your focus should be on the road. There are too many distractions, including road noise, speaker phone issues, as well as having a weak connection (or being disconnected because you don’t have any service.)
  • Talk F.O.R.E.V.E.R. Thirty to sixty seconds is plenty. Short, sweet, and to the point answers are perfectly fine. If you think you’re talking too much, the recruiter probably feels the same way.
  • End the interview without asking any questions. Doing so shows that you aren’t interested in the company and the position that you applied for.

Be yourself, prepare, and show the recruiter you want the job. If all goes well, you’ll earn an in person interview. Read up on job interview tips here.


Author: Nick Stafford, Talent Acquisition Specialist