What To Expect In A Phone Interview


  1. Usually one interviewer only – not a group
  2. Hiring manager “trying to eliminate you”
  3. Varying “interviewer styles” (ex. casual or formal)
  4. Basic questions about your personal life
  5. Housekeeping questions (ex. availability, travel, etc.)
  6. Potential salary expectation discussion
  7. A few “odd-ball” questions
  8. Hiring manager expects focus – no distractions!
  9. Back and forth dialogue – pause and listen.
  10. Standard job interview questions
  11. No “next interview” promises

The last point is key. It’s quite rare that you will get an offer of an in-person interview at the end of your phone call. But don’t be discouraged!

The general practice is for the hiring manager to assess all of her phone interviews and create a short-list of candidates to be brought in for in-person interviews.

If you’ve followed our tips, you’ll surely be getting another call from her to be brought in.

OK, so how do you prepare for this bold new frontier of employment screening? Luckily almost all of the standard rules from in person interviews still apply, so the basic prep work is essentially the same but there are some tips specific to phone interviews than can really be of help:

8 Phone Interview Tips

  1. Take it as seriously as an in person interview
  2. Focus and cut out all distractions
  3. Do some research before the interview
  4. Listen and don’t dominate the conversation
  5. Prepare your own “cheat sheet”
  6. Slow down and take your time
  7. Be ready for common phone interview questions
  8. Send a thank you email
  9. (BONUS) Direct them to your personal website

See below for our instructions on each tip!

 1. Take It As Seriously As An In Person Interview

THIS IS AN INTERVIEW! Treat it like one! That means be ready! Make sure you’re well rested. The last thing an interviewer wants to do is feel as though they’re interrupting something else you’re doing, or worse, woken you up.

When your interview is first scheduled, make sure you set aside time BEFORE the interview to prep for it.

If it’s an early morning interview, make sure you’re “going” before the phone rings.

Get up, get moving.

Get your vocal cords warmed up. Brew a cup of coffee or tea and be ready for your day. Brush your teeth!

Speaking of getting up and going…that means changing out of your jammies too.

But they’re so comfortable!

No. No. No. No.

This is just as much a mental game as a physical game and dressing the part (even if they can’t see you) can really help you kick your mind into the right frame to get you the job. If you’re slouching around and being lazy, it will come through in your interview…even if you’re trying your hardest to fake it. Trust us, interviewers will know…