Are you prepared for a phone job interview?

phone job interview behavioral interview tips

A phone job interview is a prescreen a hiring professional conducts, to determine if they will process your application to next step of the interview process. Meaning, they will or will not invite you to an in-person interview, which is naturally the next step.  This is a way for an employer to filter out unqualified job applicants.

A phone job interview is a good sign that they liked what they saw on your resume and are interested in learning more about your qualifications.  The phone interview is just as important as a face-to-face interview.

Depending on a company’s hiring strategy, a recruiter will call you from an agency, that was hired by the company to locate a job candidate. When a recruiter calls you, you will be put through their screening process to determine if they should present your resume to the client (the hiring company).

If you are contacted directly by the company for a phone job interview, chances are they are interested in you, but are “fishing” to learn more about you and your goals. 

A phone interview is an important first contact of communication, as this prepares you for an in-person interview.  Sometimes there will be more than one person on the call. 

During a phone job interview, managers will ask themselves  "Can this candidate do the job?" and you will be asking yourself "Can I or do I want to do this job?"

Phone Job Interview Tips

A phone interview is a great way for you to practice answering questions in person, but on the phone. This is your chance to learn more about the company and position, as they are learning more about you. 

This is a perfect opportunity for you to use the What To Ask in an Interview Guide and Form, which is included in the Chronological package. The guide includes detailed questions and space to take notes for each question. 

You don’t want to say "no", when they ask (and they will) “Do you have any questions for me?” 


Here are a few phone job interview tips and techniques:

Have your resume, job description and What to Ask in an Interview guide and form in front of you

This is important, because they will ask you “ So can you do...?” or "What is your experience with...”  They are asking you these types of questions because they are looking for specific experience and qualifications that are listed in the job posting.  You can comfortably reference your resume and job posting.

You are so excited to get a phone interview, that you forget your name. So of course you may not remember everything you included on your resume that is referenced during the phone job interview.

  • Dial in 5 minutes early
  • Have 2 pens, just in case one runs out of ink
  • QUIET ROOM: Be in a quiet place.  Be in a place where you can hear them clearly and not to be interrupted by pets, kids, talking, or other noises that may distract you.  This is important, as there may be a work at home opportunity in the future.
  • DATE NOTES from the What to Ask in an Interview guide and form. You want to do this, because they may ask you for a second phone interview or for an in-person interview.  You will need to reference what was discussed in the first phone interview.
  • THANK YOU: Always thank the people (or person) interviewing you.  This will show your professional character.  You want to say something similar to “Thank you for your time in interviewing me for the position, I appreciate it”.  Say this with a smile and they may be able to see and feel your smile through the phone. 
  • ASK Questions:  When they ask you “Do you have questions for me?” Don’t say “no”. This could appear that you are not interested or don’t know what to ask, which may be true.  You want to use the What to Ask in an Interview guide and form. There is always at least one questions. 

One of the most important questions you can ask, after all other questions is:

“After speaking with you, I am interested in this position.  What are the next steps in the interview process?”



A phone job interview is only a scary process if you are not prepared.  To get the What to Ask in an Interview Guide and Form, visit the Chronological Resume product page.  You can do this! 

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