5 Tips For Standing Out in a Phone Interview


Phone interviews are a cost effective way of screening candidates and determining whether to advance them to the next round of the hiring process. But they can be stressful for the candidate! Because you’re trying to communicate without the aid of nonverbal cues, you might feel anxious and defensive, especially during those awkward silences.

Here are five important steps to help you stand out and land a real-life interview.

  1. Get Organized

Request a specific time when you know you can chat without interruptions or distractions. Set up a quiet space with paper and pen, a copy of your resume, cover letter, and job posting to refer back to.

Use a landline if possible, and don’t answer your call waiting during the interview. Have a clock handy so that you can make sure you’re not rambling. Your first response should be about two-to-three minutes.

  1. Be Prepared

Research thoroughly about the company beforehand. Research shows that a candidate is truly interested in the opportunity. The more research a candidate does the better. Make sure you understand what the company does and the job description. Be prepared to explain how your skills and accomplishments make you a good fit. You might want to outline your responses to common interview questions in advance, but be careful not to read from a script.

As for salary, be prepared to discuss salary, but don’t be the one to bring it up. Know what you deserve to be paid and be ready to negotiate. They should know that you’re interested but still desirable.

  1. Keep Notes

Jot down the names and positions of everyone interviewing you, so you can give personalized replies. Repeat the question in the final sentence of your answer and use verbal cues such as “finally” or “ultimately.” Communicate thoughtfully and make sure you sound positive and interested. Listen carefully and never interrupt.

  1. Be Enthusiastic, Stand Up and Smile!

Answer the phone promptly and politely. Smile and exude friendliness. Even without being able to see you, the interviewer can detect your level of enthusiasm. Stand up or sit straight so you sound more confident. Speak clearly, slowly, and directly. Allow for silences and chances for your interviewers to take notes and absorb what you’ve said.

  1. End It with Affirmations

As the call is wrapping up, reaffirm your qualifications and interest in the company. Ask where you stand and what the next steps are. Ask for everyone’s contact information so that can send follow-up questions and thank you notes. Have a calendar ready and suggest a few days when you can visit for a next interview.


While on a phone interview, remember to be prepared with questions, take notes and be enthusiastic. For more information on landing your dream job at your dream company, contact us today.

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Written by

Ty Culver has extensive experience in the Talent Acquisition/Retention space. He has helped some of the most powerful companies in the market place enhance their employee experience and scale their teams. Ty specializes in Executive Search, Retention programs for Key People and Population Wellness. Ty has helped CulverCareers rise to the Top 1% of the industry and differentiate from the field with a holistic approach to Acquisition and Retention of People.

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