Phone Interviews: The Do’s and Don’ts Every Job Seeker Needs to Know

Ahhh, the dreaded phone interview. I am sure there are many different opinions both positive and negative on phone interviews. Personally, I am not the biggest fan, however, increasingly more employers are requesting phone screens with candidates before inviting them in for on-site interviews. I’m sure many of you are thinking, phone interviews are great! I can sleep late, forego brushing my teeth and hair while still in my warm, cozy pajamas in the comfort of my own home.


Think again, the number one mistake candidates make while conducting a phone interview is sounding bored, tired and disengaged.


Check out a few of my do’s and don’ts on how to complete a successful phone interview:



Treat a phone interview as you would a face to face interview. You would never show up for a face to face interview without having taken a shower or brushed your teeth, would you?

Put in some effort, get up early, perhaps a quick workout, take a shower, do your hair and put on nice outfit. You will feel more confident about yourself and confidence often exudes enthusiasm which every employer wants to hear in a potential employee.



A tip I reiterate to all of my candidates when preparing them for a phone interview is, to make sure you are in a quiet area with good service at the time of the call.

Seems obvious, right? Well, I cannot tell you how many times I have had a client call me with feedback after a phone screen stating my candidate sounded like “he/she was in a train station” or “the call kept cutting in and out.” I have had excellent, qualified candidates miss out on countless job opportunities because of this. It is your responsibility as the job seeker to make arrangements and take the call in a quiet area where you will have good, clear service.



Stand up! The human body is designed to stand, not to sit. Standing helps improve your mood and energy levels. I know the couch may be tempting but you are already at a disadvantage losing the aspect of eye contact and a hand shake. If you are standing you will feel energetic, sitting down you will feel sluggish which the person conducting the interview may hear in your voice.



Don’t be afraid to smile or laugh! Most people spend the majority of their week at work with their co-workers. Employers want to know the person they are potentially hiring is going to get along with the rest of the team. I know interviews can at times be tense and serious, but do your best to show your personality and don’t be afraid to smile and laugh!



The bottom line is, there is a reason employers ask for a phone interview in the first place. Instead of spending the time and resources needed to bring you in for a face to face interview, they want to first make sure you are as qualified as your resume states you are.

This is likely going to be your first interaction with the company, its imperative you make a great first impression!


Christie Brady

Christie is a Recruiter located in our New York City location. Are you in NYC and looking for new opportunities? Connect with her! 

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