7 Tips For a Successful Phone Interview

By Kristin Boyd on

Congratulations! You’ve been working with a recruiter and they’ve helped to secure a phone interview for you for a great job. Now what? Many times, the first step in the interview process is a telephone interview or “phone screen.” This typically is a brief 20-30 minute meeting conducted via telephone. Phone screens are a convenient way to break the ice between candidate and hiring manager in a low-pressure setting. You can get a feel for the role and company and the hiring manager can get an overview of your skills to see if it makes sense to move on to the next step in the hiring process.

While many consider the phone screen to be the easiest step in the interview process, you still want to make sure you are prepared to put your best foot, or voice, forward. Here are a few tips to make the most of your call.

1. Find a Quiet Place

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but often candidates think they can just pop outside their office building and field an interview call. However, you might find that wind, traffic or people passing by can create a noisy distraction. It’s best to find a quiet room where you can close the door and focus on the call.

2. Dress Up

Especially if you’ve been out of work for a while, spending your days in sweatpants and t-shirts may be comfortable but you want to project a professional image. When you dress up a little you will feel more prepared, more confident and that will shine through in your voice and phone demeanor.

3. Have Your Resume Handy

We’ve all had that moment when you’re a little nervous and forget a name or a date. Help reduce your jitters and be able to answer any questions about your job history by having a copy of your resume with you. It may help to write yourself a few notes of projects or key accomplishments you’d like to highlight.

4. Research The Company

Be sure to review the position summary and check out the company’s website for information about what they do. Ask your recruiter what key features they are looking for in a candidate. Have some questions prepared to ask the hiring manager – this helps show you are interested!

5. Be Yourself

Let your personality shine! Quiet any nerves you may have and project the best version of you. Show enthusiasm and competence by giving more than one-word answers to the interviewer’s questions. For example, if the hiring manager asks you about a particular skill, give an example of a time you employed that skill successfully on a job.

6. Ask For Next Steps

Did the call go well? Would you like to move forward in the interview process? When the call is wrapping up, thank the hiring manager for their time, let them know you are interested and ask what happens next. Sometimes, they will want to schedule a face-to-face interview right then and there!

7. Stay Positive

Remember, not every call or interview will go in your favor and that’s okay. Every conversation is a chance to practice honing your interview skills. Make a few notes on things that went well and what you might like to improve. The right opportunity will come along, and you will be ready for it!

These tips will help improve your interviewing skills. Interested in moving forward with a career in engineering? Get in contact with our staffing crew now!