Phone Interview



Phone interviews are enjoyable most of the time. Sometimes they can be tough because you are not sure if the Interviewer is engaged.

The best thing to do is to let your personality come through. Be natural and focus on the people on the other end of the phone and NOT the phone itself.

Here are some keys to successful phone interviewing. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in getting to the next stage of the interview process… and the goal of BEING HIRED!



  • Get the invitation for an on-site interview.
  • Always be engaging.
  • Listen carefully to the questions.
  • Give clear, succinct answers to the question first and then give an explanation of your answer.
  • Be honest.


  • When job-hunting, don't have silly, stupid or long greetings on your answering machine or voice mail.
  • Ensure household members understand the importance of phone messages in your job search.
  • Do research on the job and the company you are interviewing for.
  • Practice with a friend or associate so you are prepared for the interview over the phone.
  • Make sure you are in a place where you can read notes, take notes, and concentrate.
  • Allow enough time to do the phone interview,
  • Keep notes or an outline in front of you to remind yourself of key points you want to cover with the interviewer. Do not sound scripted, however, you do want to get your information across.
  • Have your resume in front of you so you can remember dates of your experience and accomplishments.
  • Ensure a good phone connection and that you can hear and are being clearly heard.
  • Consider standing when being interviewed on the phone. You'll sound more professional.


  • Introduce yourself.
  • Always get the name(s) of the interviewer(s) and titles.
  • When asked, give a short overview of your career. Let them know why you are interviewing at this time.
  • Use people’s names when addressing their questions.
  • Be short when talking about your past experiences.
  • Speak positive about past employers.
  • Never divulge proprietary information from a past employer.
  • Some silences are good. If you've completed a response, but the interviewer hasn't asked their next question, don't start talking just to fill in silence. Instead, ask a question of your own or ask if they need more information. Often times they are making notes of your answers.
  • Don't breath hard, snuffle, sneeze, cough, eat, drink, chew gum or any other bodily functions.
  • If asked about compensation, it is OK to share what you were making. It is also OK to let them know you are negotiable and would like to meet the people and see the operations before you suggest a salary range. You would like this to be based on more information about what is required, learn more of the total compensation package and the cost of living for the area. The Interviewer will respect knowing what you are currently making and respect your choice to make a good informed decision … after all… they are considering you for a position that will make sound business decisions for them.

Create a strong finish to your phone interview with thoughtful questions.


If you are not given the opportunity to ask questions while the interviewer is asking their questions... then ask your questions at the end of the interview. Usually the Interviewer has a list of questions to ask in their allotted time. If you take too long with your answers you may not have time for your questions at the end of the interview.  

Have a SHORT list of questions that are important to you:

  • How long was the last person in this position?
  • What do you see are the weak areas for this position/department?
  • What do you see are the strengths of this position/department?
  • What are the objectives for this position?
  • What do you want your new person to achieve in the first 90 days?
  • When will I hear back from you?
  • Let them know you want this job.


You are being rated until the phone hangs up. Be sure to thank everyone. AND... remember to smile. The odds are strong that the person interviewing you will notice how much more pleasant your voice sounds when you're doing so.  

MOST IMPORTANT... PLEASE  answer the interviewer's questions!!!!

We have heard many times where the candidate never answers the question because they were not listening OR they were preoccupied with their own “head stuff”. PLEASE... remember to stay focused and help insure the interviewer gets your answers to their questions.


Please email a Thank You letter, addressed to the main person conducting the interview, to your Executive Recruiter to forward to the Client Company.  If you are not using an Executive Search firm, please email the Thank You letter to the person conducting the interview. 

We wish you the best with your interviews.

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