Tips for a Successful Phone Interview

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Kristy L. Stewart, SPHR 6 years, 6 months ago.

  • Author
  • #157488

    Allison Primack

    Phone interviews can always be tricky because it is harder to read the other person, and get a feel for how they react to your responses.

    What are your tips for a successful phone interview?

    I’m interested in responses both from the interviewer, and interviewee side!

  • #157498

    The benefit to phone interviews though are cost savings and in most cases you have a great defense against complaints of discrimination as you are making your decisions without seeing the person. I do phone screens every week, it’s a large part of my job. I find the biggest risk is when you go face to face later on the person presents differently, probably due to nerves. But with the right questions I fully believe you can get great insight even over the phone. The key is question selection.

  • #157496

    Doris Tirone

    Do your homework before the day of the interview. This is true whether face-to-face or over the phone but the opportunity to have notes at one’s fingertips while on the phone really offers a great advantage to the applicant in easing one’s nervousness. Here are some random techniques I often use:

    1. Treat the phone interview as if you WERE face-to-face. Put up a mirror in front of you, if it helps to see someone while you’re talking.
    2. Dress for the interview, even though you can’t be seen! Don the type of clothing you would normally wear in a face-to-face meeting; this will help put you in the right frame of mind to put your best food forward.
    3. Write down the names of all the people in the interview room and refer to each interviewer by name to ask questions and/or to get them to respond to your questions? For example: I had this X-Y-Z experience. I’m sure you’ve experienced this too, right Jane?
    4. Write down the questions you want to ask about the organization in advance of your interview and pepper them in during the meeting, when possible.
  • #157494

    Corey McCarren

    I just try to be as friendly and vibrant as I can be – without overdoing it. I want my personality to show as well as it can over the phone. I used to hate phone interviews, but after I’ve gotten a little bit better at them I don’t mind them as much.

  • #157492

    Allison Primack

    Thanks for all the responses so far! Have you ever been surprised by the employee you end up with after a phone interview, or do they seem the same in person as they did over the phone?

    Are they any questions you include or exclude purposefully if you are doing a phone interview instead of an in-person interview?

  • #157490

    Lindy Kyzer

    Here’s an article I wrote about phone interview epic fails – my favorite was the guy who admitted to playing angry birds during a phone interview (true story)! I think the main problem is distractions and concentration, especially if you’re doing the interview at home. I think a lot of recruiters are using Skype for call so they can get that face-to-face interaction, as well.

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