Posted By: Eli Chavarria

If you have ever searched for a new role, the chances are, you have had your fair share of phone interviews. Though a phone interview might seem more efficient than meeting in person, the phone can be extra challenging if you believe you make a better impression during a face- to- face conversation. Whoever you are phone interviewing with, a recruiter or human resources team member, there is plenty you can do to be prepared and feel confident before your phone begins to ring!

Get your go-to's ready!

When you are preparing for a phone screen, do have ready:

  • Your phone
  • A phone charger
  • A glass of water
  • Your resume (and cover letter if you submitted on), in case the interviewer refers to something on it
  • Job description you are interviewing for
  • Pen and paper to take notes on (You could do a laptop, but it could be distracting)
Don't take your call when there is a lot of background noise. This includes a loud coffee shop, next to an open window with your neighbor mowing the lawn, or in your living room with the TV on. This can be distracting not only for you, but the interviewer on the other end of the phone. You want them to focus on what you are saying, not what is going on behind you.

Do prepare a few bullet points on the company. You should know:

  • What is their mission?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • What is new at the company?
Don't forget to look up your interviewer too! Things you can find from a basic LinkedIn search include:

  • How long they've been with the company?
  • What have they worked on?
  • Do you have any mutual connections?
Do have questions ready for the interviewer. At the end of the phone screen, you'll most likely be asked, "Do you have any questions for me?" Prepare a few in advance that you genuinely want to know about the role, the team, company culture, or whatever questions you jot down during the call.

Make your voice count

Without being face- to- face, you lack visual cues, a facial expression or body language, so your voice will be the key indicator of your social cues. Do smile. A common phone screen mistake is sounding tired, bored, or disengaged. Smiling, gesturing, or even standing up can help increase energy and enthusiasm into your voice! Don't interrupt the interviewer. Speak slowly and clearly when you do talk. Do keep your language professional. Practice your wording ahead of time. Try to avoid phrases like, "…so yeah…" and "like." Don't chew gum or eat during the call… this happens more often than you think. Do let your personality shine through. This will make you and the interviewer feel more comfortable.

Send a thank you note

Within 24 hours of your interview you do want to send a thank you note. Keep it genuine, sincere, and relevant to the conversation you had earlier. If you aren't sure what to say, there are templates online or you can use your recruiter to help look them over for you. Don't send without proofreading!

Interview Prep Questions
Why are you interested in this job? Why this company?
Think about your strengths and how they relate to this position. Draw some analogies between this position and your current/most recent one.
What do you like most about your job? Like least?

Think about what a typical day is like at your current/most recent job. Chances are you will be asked.

Think about how your bosses would describe you; how would you describe yourself?

Please describe this job as you understand it.

Describe your boss and how he/she manages

Tell me about someone you admire. Who do you admire most?
Tell me something about yourself that is not on your resume.

Questions for you to ask

What are your expectations of the person in this role?
Some challenges of this role?
What do you see as the most important qualities of the person hired?
What is the environment like within the firm?
What do you enjoy most about working there? What made you choose this firm?
How is success in this job measured by you? By the organization?

What do you think distinguishes this company from its competitors, both from a public and employee perspective?

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