Phone Interviews: How to Make a Good Impression


The popularity of candidate screening via telephone interviews is on the rise. It’s only rational that before inviting a candidate to an interview, hiring managers like to get in touch and check his or her qualifications through a phone conversation. This kind of interview is less time-consuming and it gives enough information for the recruiters to be able to decide whether they want to proceed with the candidate’s application. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for phone interviews, and make a good impression during the conversation.


A phone interview is no less serious than a conventional one – prepare for it just as you would have for a real conversation at the company’s headquarters. Research the organization and people who will be interviewing you, check what the company has been up to recently and make ample notes.

Prepare For Questions

Check what kind of questions the recruiters are likely to ask you and prepare your responses. If your job relies on the knowledge of foreign languages, for example, expect the hiring manager to test it by asking you to switch the conversation into a different language. Have your list in front of you during the call to help you to clearly formulate your answers. Prepare some of your own questions to ask, as well – recruiters will appreciate how well prepared you sound.

Pick a Good Spot

This might seem trivial, but it’s one of the most important things to consider. Talking with the recruiter at your workplace is just plain rude, and home can be off limits too – a barking dog or crying baby is not going to work in your favor. Talking in a spot outside might cause some background noise, so do a test call from various spots and ask your friends to assess the call quality. A perfect place for a phone interview is quiet and preferably with a table.

Dress Smart

Appropriate clothing can affect your chances of proceeding in the recruitment process. If you roll out of bed in your pajamas, you’re more likely to sound informal and unprofessional. For Skype interviews, a smart and professional outfit is a must.

Listen and Take Notes

Listen carefully to what the recruiter is saying and if something catches your attention, take notes. Speak clearly and in a professional manner – don’t use slang or colloquial speech! When the interviewer is speaking, don’t interrupt them. If you need a moment to think before your response, say so – don’t ‘umm’ and ‘ahhhh’ your way through the interview.


This might seem strange – unless it’s a Skype interview, no one will be looking at you, right? But trust me, your smile will resonate and set the tone of your interview.

Kelly Smith works at CourseFinder, an Australian online education resource. She also provides career advice for students and job seekers and works as a freelance writer.

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