Are Your Phone Interview Skills Sharp Enough to Impress?

by Beth Tucker

The phone interview is almost always the first step in every interview process today, regardless of the type of position you are interviewing for says Beth Tucker, President and Founder of KNF&T Staffing Resources, Boston MA. 

More and more Hiring Managers are using the phone screen as the first step in the interview process to save time and qualify candidates. The key to success with a phone interview is to be prepared and treat it like a traditional in person interview.  By following the tips below you will position yourself to be asked back for the second interview. It doesn’t matter if you are interviewing for an administrative position, financial services, Human Resources, IT or Marketing postion.  Good phone presence will help you take the next step forward!

  • Be sure and schedule a time when you have access to a land line and are in a private and noise free setting.  Too often cell phones are unreliable and interrupt the flow of the interview. Barking dogs in the backgound never help!
  • When you are preparing, think about the parallel skills you have developed  in your previous positions and/or school that fit the job description. Find the oppportunity to present them to the interviewer which will help convince them that you have the tools to successfully perform in their position.
  • Do your homework!  Research the company, the industry and review your interviewers on LinkedIn.  Have a list of questions regarding the job, the company etc.
  • Make sure your articulation and voice tone suggest a positive can do attitude!
  • At the close of the interview, ask the employer if there is anything about your background that needs further explanation.
  • Make sure you close the phone screen by thanking the interviewer for their time and asking what the next step might be.

The phone interview can be challenging because you don’t have the ability to read body language or facial expressions.  Have you had a difficult phone interview?  Do you have a success story you can share?  Please comment below or provide additional tips that could help other candidates.

Beth Tucker is the co-founder and president of KNF&T Staffing Resources. She can be reached at

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