9 Phone Interview Tips that will Advance You to a Face to Face Interview

Below is a transcript of the video of everything I say in this video.

If you have a phone interview coming up, then I’ve got some great strategies that I want to share with you in this video.

Now, the reason that you’ve got a phone interview is because your employer is pre-screening you; which means, it’s a nice way of saying they really don’t want to waste their time interviewing you in person. They kind of want to try you out on the phone first.

That way they can talk to you, they can see what you sound like and they can ask a few questions that are going to help them to quickly qualify you as to whether they want to meet you in person or not and discuss the job at hand. So, that’s what a phone interview is.

Sometimes they can last five minutes, sometimes they can be more like 20 minutes or they can go on for a full hour; it just depends on how the conversation goes and what their intent is. But usually, within five or ten minutes on the phone, an employer could qualify somebody for as to whether they want to meet them or not. So, I’m going to help you improve your phone interview skills. So, let’s get started.

PHONE INTERVIEW TIP #1

Alright, first thing is be enthusiastic.

You need to be enthusiastic on the phone because they can’t see you, they can’t see your hand gestures, and they can’t see your face, your facial movements, your eyes or anything. They don’t even know if you’re looking at them.

So, that’s the whole point of the phone interview. You have to communicate all of that enthusiasm in your voice and you channel it through the phone to the other end. So, they can hear that you’re alive and breathing on the other end and that you’re the kind of person that they want to meet. So, you want to be enthusiastic.

So, would you be enthusiastic on the phone? Well, one thing is you can smile. When you smile, they can hear a smile through the other end. You might be able to hear me in this video, obviously you see me, but if you’re just listening, you can hear that I’m smiling right now. Because I’m having a good time making this video and I’m communicating that through this video. So, smile is definitely going to help you.

A great way to remember that is just to draw a smiley face on your paper; take some notes, put a smiley face on there and look at that when you’re talking to them and that’s just going to be your reminder to smile when you’re on the phone.

PHONE INTERVIEW TIP #2

Next one is change your state.

Now, what the heck do I mean by change your state? Well, we generally have two states that we’re in. We’re either in a passive state, where we’re kind of just talking like this and everything is smooth that everything is normal or in a more active state and we’re more excited our blood is flowing, where our posture has changed, we’re full of energy, we can hear voice fluctuations when we talk.

So, a good way to get yourself in the change your state from a passive to an active, you can very simply do this. I mean, one way is to do jumping jacks; you can just do them up and down. Another way, which is a little safer if you don’t want to do the jumping jacks, is to just sit in your chair. Just sit down, put your arms like this and breathe in and out, putting your arms up and down repeatedly.

Do that for a couple of minutes and you’re going to start feeling some tingling going on and you might even feel a little bit dizzy, so do that when you’re sitting down; that’s going to change your state. It’s going to get your blood flowing, it’s going to get you a lot more active, it’s going to change your voice and you’re going to sound crisper, you’re going to sound more confident.

Now, another thing is to change your posture.

If you look at me when I make this video, if I turn sideways, you can see that my back is sitting up straight. And you want your back to be sitting up straight when you’re talking to them on the phone. This is going to help your voice, it’s going to make your voice resonates stronger, it’s going to come through clearer and you’re going to sound like you’re alive on the other end and that’s the kind of person that they’re going to want to meet. So, change your posture.

Now, naturally, when you change your state from a passive one to an active one, that’s almost going to inherently change your posture.

Another thing to do is change your voice.

Now, if you can hear me in this video; I don’t always talk like this. I don’t always talk full of excitement and stuff like that. But I’ve changed my state from a passive one to an active one so I can communicate my message to you a lot better. And you might actually believe some of the things that I’m telling you in this video because of the enthusiasm that I’m conveying or I’m teaching, using these techniques.

Now, when you change your state and you change your posture, that’s almost inherently going to change your voice. Now, when you get on the phone, I don’t want you to talk to them like this, I don’t want to talk to really fast, but I want you to have some life in your voice so that they can hear you, they can feel you and they can decide that you’re the kind of person they want to meet; the kind of person that they want in this position; someone who is full of energy.

Now, don’t overdo it either. But don’t show up and talk like this, “Hi, my name is Don and I want to talk to you about the position”. Say now, “Hey! My name is Don and I’m really interested in this position! I would love to hear more about it!” Something like that. I mean, who’s the kind of person you would want to meet? Number one or number two? Exactly.

PHONE INTERVIEW TIP #3

Dress professionally.

Even though this was a phone interview and they can’t see what you’re doing, now for the Skype interview, that’s another story; definitely just professionally. But for the phone interview, you’re just going to talk to them on the phone like this. Still put on and put on a nice suit. That’s just going to make you feel better. It’s going to make you feel more professional and it’s going to help you deliver a better interview. Trust me on this; it really is.

Have a list of questions for them.

Don’t just get on the phone and listen to them and answer their questions; they want to hear from you too. The reason I want you to have questions is I want you to ask them questions about the job, the culture, things that are going to help you make a decision about whether this is the place you want to work at or not. I can’t imagine that you want to work every job that you get an interview for; I mean who does? You’re there to investigate them, you want to see if they have something to offer you, so that you can go in and work a job that you’re happy doing and they can have somebody doing work that’s happy there and can get things done and everybody’s happy. If one person in the agreement isn’t happy, then it’s just bad for everybody.

So, that’s why I want you to have good questions to ask. They can be simple; don’t ask detailed questions about their finances and things like that. Ask things that are going to help you make a decision as to whether you want to work there or not.

Ask them about the culture; what it’s like to work there, what could you expect out of the first three months. Ask them what some of the problems facing this position or their department are and then maybe offer some solutions if you can; that’s one way to do it.

I actually have a whole bunch of questions in the Complete Interview Answer Guide that will help you determine appropriate questions to ask. Let’s move on next one.

PHONE INTERVIEW TIP #4

When you’re on the phone with them, Never Interrupt.

Never interrupt them; let them talk. You can’t see any nonverbal cues from them; like that they’re done talking. So, listen to them and wait 2 to 3 seconds after they finish talking before you start talking; just put a little pause in there.

Now, if you’re in an interview one-on-one, you don’t have to do this because you can get cues from them to see that they’re done talking; maybe just something on their face that says they’re done talking. But on the phone, it’s a little bit different. So, wait for those verbal cues. When they stop talking, wait 2 to 3 seconds and then you can go ahead and start talking and you kind of just play Ping-Pong back and forth.

PHONE INTERVIEW TIP #5

Don’t be so eager to talk.

Sometimes we have a lot of energy in us and we just want to talk, talk, talk or we want to babble. Maybe they ask us a question about something and we digress and we start talking about this project and then we digress into another project and then we just start telling them a whole bunch of stuff they don’t even want to hear; that they never even asked us.

So, avoid that. When they ask you a question, give them the answer. If they want to hear more about you or from you about a certain question, they’ll ask you for more information; simple as that. That way you can keep your responses short. Because if one person dominates the question, like if they’re just talking for two or three minutes while at a time, it’s hard for the other person at the other end; either way, you or them, to follow their train of thought.

You need short conversation bursts of maybe 15 to 20 seconds. They talk and you talk, they talk and you talk; back and forth. That way, it makes a conversation and it’s a lot easier to comprehend and digest everything that’s going on with the conversation versus someone just talking to you the whole time. You get boring, they get bored and it’s hard to follow up the train of thought.

PHONE INTERVIEW TIP #6

Next one; Speak When Spoken To.

When they ask you a question, give them an answer and then stop; it’s kind of more of the same. Try not to volunteer too much information. The whole point of the phone interview is to be brief and to just do a quick initial gathering of information. So, they could find out a little bit about you, you can find out about them and then you can see if you want to go a little bit further with an in-person interview.

PHONE INTERVIEW TIP #7

Next one; Closing The Interview.

Now, you want to have something to say at the end of the interview to wrap it up rather than just saying, “Okay, goodbye”. I mean, how would that sound? Like, “Well, it was great meeting you Don” “Okay, good bye”.

Now, that doesn’t work. What you want to do is you want to have something prepared ahead of time that you plan to say when you exit the interview. So, you want to find out if you meet their needs; I mean, can you actually do the job.

So, you can ask them; it’s one question you can ask. You could say, “Hey, do you think that I’d be a good fit in this position?” or “Based on what you’ve heard from me today, do you think it’d be a good fit for this position?” and they’re either going to say “Yes” or “No” or “We’re not sure”.

Now, if they say, “We’re not sure” or “Maybe not” then that gives you the opportunity to turn things around. Because right there, they’re telling you that they have some concerns about what you can do for them. So, this is your big opportunity to say, “Well, wait a minute. I think you misunderstood something. I can do those things and here’s how I can do those”. So, it gives you another opportunity to sell yourself before they write you off.

Ask Them About The Next Steps.

So, after the interview, after you’re done talking, they’re like, “Hey, it was great meeting you”. You can say, “Hey, so what are the next steps? Are you going to have in-person interviews or are you going to continue with more phone interviews? What would be the next steps and when can I hear from you again?” Those would be great ways to follow up and close your phone interview.

Next one. Say Thank You.

At the end of the interview, thank them for their time say, “Thanks Mr. Jones it was great meeting you today. I really enjoyed hearing more about your company in the position and I hope that we can continue this conversation in the future” something like that.

And while you are interviewing with them, find out what some of their problems are and then try to recite those back at the end of the interview and say, “Hey, those problems that you’re having, I really think that I can help you solve those problems” or something like that. But first you have to find out what they’re struggling with and then at the end of the interview you can say, “Hey, these are things that I can help you with. I think it’d be a great asset. So, I look forward to talking to you again”. Make sense? I thought so.

PHONE INTERVIEW TIP #8

Next one here; Have a Smooth Voice When You’re Talking.

Now, when you when you talk for a while, you might kind of wear out your voice if you’re not used to doing that. So, I encourage you to have a glass of water next to you while you are doing the interview; just water, I wouldn’t do coffee or tea, just straight up water. And if you’re worried about your voice, you can take a medicated cough drop and this will kind of numb your throat a little bit and you’ll be able to get a little bit more mileage out of your voice than you normally would.

Alright, next one. Try to Avoid Saying “um” or “aw” or “you know”.

These are common filler words that we interject into things that we say and there’s actually a reason we do this. When you’re talking to somebody, you want to hold their attention for a longer period of time but you’re not sure what you’re going to say, so you stick in a filler word like “ummm” and that kind of holds their attention and then you continue on. But it sounds bad.

But just so you know the reason that your brain is sticking in those filler words in there to string together a longer statement so that you don’t lose their attention; but it just sounds bad. So, don’t stick those in.

It might take a little bit of practice, you can even try recording yourself; keep some video camera. Record yourself delivering some common answers to some questions and see if you don’t stick in those four words. Try to avoid them at all cost. They just sound terrible in the end.

PHONE INTERVIEW TIP #9

Take Notes.

Get yourself pen and a paper. I have notes here. When I make these videos, because when I go through them, sometimes more things pop into my mind while I’m making these videos here. So, I’ll go and I’ll write them down so I can circle back during this video and tell you more about those later.

So, I encourage you to do the same thing in the interview. Have a pen and a pad paper and write things down. First, you should have some notes to help guide you. Have some notes about some of the projects that you worked on; some of the things that you want to talk about. And then while there, while you’re going through the interview and they’re asking you questions, if more things pop into your mind, write those down so that you can circle back to them later in the interview.

And I also encourage you to have a pen and paper in a one-on-one interview as well. When you’re face to face, definitely always write things down. It just makes it a lot easier, makes it more professional and it helps you remember things that you might know but you might just forget, things that you want to ask. So, at the end of the interview, when they’re like, “Sir, do you have any questions for us?” you’re like, “Ummm, I’m not sure”. But if you would have just wrote those down, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Next one; at the end of the interview, you’re going to kind of have a sense as to whether you want to work for them or not. And maybe you don’t, maybe you’re like, “Whoa, this job takes 60 hours a week. I don’t want it or I have to travel” whatever. Maybe there’s something about it in the interview that you don’t like.

So, you have to weigh this out as to whether you want to proceed or not. So, if you already have a job and you’re just not interested in this one, then maybe just flush it down the toilet or if you’re not working and you’re still not interested in this job kind of hang on to this; don’t let it die. They might be interested in you. So, you might want to continue the conversation just to see where it goes. Because for one, this will give you an opportunity to continue in the interview process.

I mean, like I said, maybe they were interested in you, but you’re not quite sold on them. Go ahead, keep interviewing with them. One, this is going to give you practice. Two, it’s going to give you more opportunity to find out more about them. And maybe if they get down to the point where they’re like, “You know what? We would really like you to do this” and you say, “You know what? I’m just not sold on yet. I’m just I’m just not sold on it”.

They might be so in love with you that they’re like, “Maybe this position isn’t right for you. But what about if we offered you this position or we took away these things from this job that you don’t like?” So, now they’re customizing the position just for you or they’re creating a new one for you.

So, I encourage you after the phone interview, to entertain the offer. If they’re still interested in you, keep listening and let them work on selling you. Don’t just tell them, “No, I’m not interested” and walk away. I mean, unless you’re just totally dead set against it. But I highly recommend you stick around, just go through the motions. This practice is going to help you for future interviews.

When you keep entertaining the process, when you keep going through the interview process, this is going to help boost your confidence. This is going to make you feel better about yourself while you’re interviewing because people are talking to you and they’re interested in you and they like you. And how can that not make you feel good?

Do all those things and you’re going to be in good shape. I think that’s all I got for you today. If you would like a transcript of today’s session, I’m going to put a link in the description down there. So, just look for that and it will take you over to my site where you can get a full transcript of everything that I talked about.

That’s all I have for you today my friend. Thank you so much for watching this video or if you’re listening to this on a podcast, thank you. If you found it helpful, make sure to like the video, share with your friends and subscribe to my channel.

If you would like more detailed insights from me head on over to:  https://www.jobinterviewtools.com/top10/ and grab my Top Ten Guide to Answering Questions. It kind of looks like this if you print it out. It’s a free download. You can just grab that from my site and that will put you on the email list where you’ll get even more detailed insights for me delivered directly to your inbox. And these are things that I ordinarily share in emails. So, if you want to hear from me, go ahead and do that. I’ll also put a link to that in the description below

Stay on your game my friend. There is no one else like you and there will never be. This is your greatest advantage and the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thanks again for watching and I’ll see you in the next video.

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About The Author

Don Georgevich

Author of 4 top selling interviewing books, speaker, and job interview strategy coach. The one person everyone calls on before a difficult job interview.

2 Comments

  • Ibrahim Doude

    Reply Reply March 3, 2018

    Hello Don,
    Thank you very much for this very well demonstrated video, I really enjoyed listen and reviewing these questions because I really in need for my job interview.

    Thank Again!

  • zvodret iluret

    Reply Reply September 14, 2018

    Thank you for sharing with us, I think this website genuinely stands out : D.

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