As a staffing firm, we’re all about phone screens. It allows us to know right off the bat if you’re what our client is looking for. We understand it can be nerve-wracking so we decided to help you out. With these tips and best practices, we know you’ll be ready for that call.

Before we help you prepare, we want to explain why we need the call in the first place. The short answer is that it saves our recruiters’ time and resources. We know that although this may be efficient, these interviews can sometimes put a candidate at a disadvantage because they don’t have the opportunity to impress us. But, that’s why our tips are about how to improve your phone interviewing skills and increase the chances of being called back for an in-person follow-up, which is what you want!

But don’t underestimate the phone call. Trust us, it’s important. You need to be prepared because we’ll know if you’re not. Most hiring managers do so many calls in a day that we often look for that one candidate who wakes us up and for that you have to be awake and prepared.

  1. Research the company! You want to know and learn everything you can about the organization and be prepared to answer any questions about them. This is important because if you know the company, you can tell us why you’re a fit!
  2. Now research the person you are speaking with. You want to look up the person you are scheduled to speak with on LinkedIn, Google, and the company website, if available. This will make the call personalized and you may even find some common ground with the recruiter.
  3. This is an obvious one but find a quiet place. Make sure you’re somewhere that you won’t be disturbed for the duration of the interview.
  4. Always confirm the logistics of the call. Make sure you know the exact time of the call and who is calling who. It could help to schedule a calendar invite with the subject line: “John to call Sam” so that there are no confusions.
  5. Many candidates think that the hiring manager and recruiters will ask questions based on your resume. Some do but that doesn’t mean reference your resume isn’t a good idea. It is! You want to have a copy of your resume printed out or on screen in front of you to reference during your conversation so that the hiring manager or recruiter knows what job or position you’re talking about.
  6. Always take notes. We know this is tough while you’re also talking about yourself but just keep a paper and pen nearby and jot down notes when the hiring manager is talking. You will definitely want to refer back to them when it is your turn to ask questions.
  7. Remember when we said you need to wake us up and in doing so, be awake yourself? Even though the interviewer cannot see your face and your facial expressions, here’s what you can do:
    • Stand up! You will be able to project your voice better and articulate. This keeps you engaged.
    • Smile. We can sense it because your voice will sound more enthusiastic.
    • If your interview is in the morning, wake up earlier. You want to give yourself time to wake up so that you’re ready. We can sense a sleepy voice. Get some coffee, grab some breakfast, go for a run, or take a shower. Any of these will help!

There you have it! 7 tips for your phone interview. What we want you to remember is that a phone interview is a stepping stone in obtaining a new position. The initial stage is one of the most important because it’s your first impression! Make it a good one.