Phone Interview Guide That Helps You Get the Next Interview

Posted August 26, 2019

While you're searching for a new job and have applications in circulation, you must be ready for a phone interview at the drop of a hat.

Many employers use a phone interview to talk about their open position with a potential employee, to figure out if the applicant is a solid fit and to determine their interest in the job. Phone interviews tend to narrow down the number of candidates who will be brought in for face-to-face interviews. If out-of-town applicants will be invited to come in, phone interviews can also minimize any expenses associated with bringing in these applicants. Also, a phone interview may be the only interview format for remote workers.

Below is a short guide that can help you ace your next phone interview and move on to the in-person interview.

Always Be Ready

On most occasions, the interview time will be set in advance. However, you should be ready for an unexpected phone call. If you have active applications out there, be in the habit of answering the phone professionally, especially if an unfamiliar number pops up on your caller ID. It's also a good idea to have a professional-sounding outgoing voicemail message.

If you are expecting a call, pick out an area to take the call that has good signal reception, or better yet, take the call on a landline. The space you choose should be quiet enough to hear clearly and allow you to devote your complete attention to the call.

Obviously, if you are currently employed, don't take a phone interview call while at work.

Do Your Homework

Get to know as much as possible about the company, the industry and the open position. Look at the official company website and social media profiles. In addition to learning hard facts and details, try to get a sense of what the company culture may be like. Keep a recent company blog post or social media post top of mind to mention in the interview, as a way to show you’ve done your due diligence. Try to develop a few questions you have about the company or job.

Also, look up your interviewer on LinkedIn and look at their profile for anything you might have in common, including the schools you attended, previous employers and personal interests. Because people want to showcase their professional selves on LinkedIn, looking your interviewer up isn't exactly 'cyberstalking'. Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to bring up any information you find there.


It's always a good idea to treat a phone interview just as you would an in-person interview. That means, it's a good idea to practice. Try to recruit a practice partner who will challenge you, not just lob softball questions for which you have memorized responses.

Bring Your A-Game

When hiring managers call candidates for a phone interview, they want to hear a happy, passionate and well-spoken person on the other end. If you're applying to a job you truly want and you've done your homework, it will be easy to project passion and knowledge. You can present a happy demeanor if you simply go in with the right attitude and smile when you talk.

Let Us Prepare You for Your Next Phone Interview

At Ambassador Personnel, we connect folks to best-fit job opportunities and then coach them through the application process. Please contact us today to find out how a full-service staffing firm can help your next job search.