“Ring, Ring, Ring!” – Top Strategies for a Phone Interview

More and more employers are choosing to narrow down their candidate pools with phone interviews. Whether you’re interviewing for a temporary position or a direct placement opening, you are likely to encounter a hiring team that wants to start out with a phone interview.

Phone interviews are quite different than face-to-face interviews. Some candidates think they are easier, less nerve wracking and more relaxed. Others, however, find phone interviews to be more intimidating, since you can’t see facial expressions or gage body language. This can make it challenging for applicants to get an idea of how the interview went and where they stand.

Candidates should take phone interviews just as seriously as in-person meetings. Regardless of whether a job seeker finds them less stressful or more intimidating, you need to be prepared. These tips for phone interviewing can help applicants make it through the first round of cuts and keep the job door open.


When a potential employer emails you to set up a phone interview, be sure to look at your schedule first and choose the best time for you. You want to avoid a phone interview that occurs when your kids are home or you’re in a loud, public place. Make sure there are no potential conflicts that could arise. If none of their times are convenient for you, offer a couple of alternatives.


It’s harder for your personality to shine during a phone interview. It’s up to you, the candidate, to plan for opportunities that allow the interviewer to get a good sense of who you are and how you can contribute to the workforce culture. If you’re interviewing for an administrative professional job, be sure to offer up examples of how you deal interpersonally with others. If you’re hoping for a customer service position, tell them about times you helped diffuse and pacify clients who were upset or dissatisfied.

Listen and Pause

During a phone interview, it’s hard to tell exactly when the interviewer is finished with a question or comment. Listen carefully and wait for a decent pause before responding, just to make sure the interviewer is truly finished talking. Even when accidental, cutting off someone on the hiring team is likely to plunge your resume to the bottom of the stack.

Practice Makes Perfect

Do your research on both the company and the job description, so you can be prepared for any question they fire at you. Many HR managers ask general hypothetical situations, such as “How would you handle working under a manager who is younger than you?” Prepare and practice several times before your interview, so that you aren’t caught off guard by unexpected questions.

Are you looking to boost your interviewing skills so you can land the job of your dreams? At Pascoe Workforce Solutions, we place candidates with various companies looking for accounting, legal and administrative professionals like you. We listen to your needs and wants, so we can get the right match for your skills, experience and goals whether as direct hire, temporary or temporary-to-hire. Call us today!