Phone Interview Do’s & Don’ts

February 20, 2018

Phone Interview Do’s & Don’ts

With today’s global economy, phone interviews are standard practice in the first stages of the hiring process. Time constraints and lack of nonverbal cues make them tricky to master, but The Overture Group has prepared a guide for the complete Do’s and Don’ts of phone interviewing.

Phone Interviewing Tips

Phone interviews can determine whether or not you are asked to do a second interview. To increase your chances of moving forward, you should take them as seriously as in-person interviews.

Recruiters may only spend 15 minutes on an exploratory call with you, so be prepared to bring up your goals and articulate your career ambitions. With the exception of an emergency, answer the call within two rings and answer by saying, “Hello! This is (state your NAME).”


How would you answer the question: What are you looking for? Focus on your top objectives for making a career move and do not fumble.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind while preparing for your phone interview:


  • Prepare by finding a quiet spot away from distractions. Background noise such as yelling or loud children/pets take away from your ability to leave a strong impression.
  • Dress professionally and smile as if the call was an in-person interview.
  • Sit up straight, or stand up, while you are on the phone. This will help convey your energy level through the phone.
  • Before the call ask a trusted source what they feel your top strengths are, or even outline five strengths you feel you possess.
  • Review the company and position objectives. Take advantage of the “invisibility” factor and have notes accessible.
  • Share how your past experiences relate to the current job description to stand apart from the rest.
  • Be able to concisely describe your current responsibilities, major accomplishments or projects you are working on.


  • Do NOT cut off the interviewer. Be sure to listen to their question fully.
  • It is acceptable to pause before answering. A pause is better than using the filler, “um.” Do not feel rushed. Talking at a steady pace is preferred.
  • If this is a scheduled phone interview, DO NOT ask what the recruiter’s name is or what the position is.
  • Don’t focus on the negative if you feel you are currently working in a toxic environment. Instead, share the type of culture and environment you work best in.

If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be sure to improve your phone interview performance. Contact the experts at The Overture Group to take your executive job search to the next level. We’re excited to help you prepare for your next career move!

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(630) 632-4738


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