Tips To Turn Your Phone Interview Into An On-Site Interview

Before the on-site, face-to-face interview, you will most likely have one or more phone interviews. Phone interviews are very different from the onsite ones, and it’s important to be prepared for those differences and to make them work to your advantage.

Remember! The purpose of a phone interview is to be invited in for the on-site interview!


First things first! It’s essential that you have excellent phone connectivity. A land line is best. If you do not have access to a landline, make sure you have chosen a place where you will have great connectivity on your mobile phone, and absolutely no background noise for the length of the phone interview.

For some people, standing up during the call will help you keep your voice open and clear. And, smile while you speak. It makes the call more pleasurable for both you and the interviewer.


When your phone interview is being scheduled, it’s a good time to find out everything you can about the company and the position: is it a replacement role? Newly-created role? What is the role/function of the person who will be calling? How much time should you allot for the call? Your Recruiter will be able to share information and prepare you. If you are not working through a Recruiter, you may have little or no information other than the job description for the job you have applied.


Make sure you have spent time on the company’s website and know their business model. Have your resume and the company’s job description in front of you for the call. It’s helpful to highlight the similarities on both, and it makes it easier to locate details if needed. Let the interviewer lead the interview! This is where it becomes essential that you show excellent listening skills. Let the interviewer finish their question before you begin your response. You may be very anxious to speak, but you want to make sure you do not jump in too quickly and speak over the interviewer. Also, if you listen carefully, you will get the full question and be able to give a direct response.


This is key: answer the questions with a crisp, brief response. This is where the phone interview can differ from a face-to-face interview. You will not be able to read the interviewer’s body language or facial expression. If you continue and ramble, it may not serve you well. If you feel that you have more to offer, you may want to ask the interviewer if they want more information about that one thing. Once again, let them lead!


Phone interviews are a screening process and are not the entire interview. Many candidates become disappointed when the call ends, and they were not given an opportunity to discuss their entire background and experience or to know all the details about the open position. As the interviewer brings the call to an end, be sure to thank them for the opportunity, express your enthusiasm for moving forward and ask about the next steps. Know beforehand that your job is to make a good impression so that you will be invited in for the on-site interview!



Joanna King

Joanna’s clients range from Fortune 100 asset managers to start-ups and not-for-profit organizations. Joanna works across the lines of business and technology. Prior to joining Career Path Group, she was a partner in a leading Manhattan-based staffing organization. She says, “It has been my proven strategy to represent only those clients and candidates who represent best practices within their area of expertise. This holds true through the economies of change that drive our markets.”

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