Job Search: 3 Fails to Avoid During Phone Interviews

Author: Angela Campiere       

The passage of the old year into the new is a popular time for personal and professional reflection and goal-setting. As The Job Network notes, “find a new job” is a pretty common resolution. As you look ahead to new opportunities, be sure to stay on top of the latest advice about interview skills, particularly for those crucial phone interviews. Don’t let these faux pas take you out of contention:

Calling in late or, worse, missing the call altogether

The ultimate interview deal breaker, according to Glassdoor’s senior manager for talent acquisition, Jamie Hichens, is tardiness. Calling in after your agreed-upon interview time — or worse, not answering a recruiter’s initial call — will nearly guarantee that even the most stellar candidate will not get a job offer, job-search experts say. Hichens said being late to an interview with no explanation will knock 99 percent of candidates out of the running for the current — and likely any future — positions.


Participating in a phone interview, as opposed to an in-person interview, can make you particularly susceptible to external distractions, and even worse, the urge to multitask. “Prepare for the interview by securing a quiet space in advance, even if it means escaping to your car parked in the garage,” Chere Taylor of Fulcrum HR Consulting told Glassdoor. Limiting external distractions will help you focus on what’s most important — impressing your interviewer.

Losing focus

Another thing to keep in mind is keeping your answers focused. “The key to success during a phone interview is clear and concise answers,” Chris Dardis, who leads the HR consulting and HR executive search division of Versique Executive Search, told Glassdoor. “People’s attention spans tend to be shorter over the phone. You don’t want your future employer to lose interest in the conversation.” As with any interview, it’s a good idea to practice the answers to questions you think might be asked. That way, Dardis said, you can prevent rambling before it starts.

Another strategy to help keep you focused comes from The Cut: Print out a photo of your interviewer beforehand. Why? Because talking to someone (even a pretend someone) can help you sound and respond more naturally.

Whatever you do, hiring manager Emily Ceisel added, you want your interview to be the best phone call your interviewer has had all day.

Once you’ve aced your phone interview and scored a coveted in-person meeting, use these tips to turn the tables on your interviewer.

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