modern interview techniques

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 is the Client Development Director of CulverCareers focusing on talent acquisition and workforce solutions with a wide variety of local, national and global clients.

Ty has been working in various aspects of the industry for over 10 years and developed deep expertise in Executive Search, Executive Benefit and Talent Acquisition Programs along the way. He has a range of experience from SMB to Enterprise clients and hyper specific executive searches to high volume recruiting with companies in a dynamic state of flux.

Today, Ty leads a talented team of Talent Acquisition Specialists, Executive Recruiters and Client Success Managers at one of the most respected Recruiting Firms in the Nation, CulverCareers. While leadership is a key aspect of his role, Ty still enjoys working with clients on recruiting strategies, executive benefit solutions and workforce solutions to help clients build a holistic approach to talent acquisition and talent retention.

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