5 Tips for Acing Your Phone Interview

Phone interviews can be a stressful process no matter how much experience you have and can be daunting for even the most senior professionals ? but they don’t need to be.

To ace your interview, it will take more preparation than just expecting a phone call. After holding thousands of hours? worth of phone interviews, here are our PNG team’s top tips to acing your phone interview: 


Extra tips:

Prepare questions

There is always the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview so remember the interview is a two-way process; you need to be sure you want to join them. Try to concentrate on issues, which are both important to you and indicate an interest in the company. Write your questions down prior to the interview and take them with you. Some questions that you can ask:

  • Who will I report to?
  • Will there be any interaction between other people?
  • How many other people are there in the department/team and what do they do?
  • Competition in the marketplace?
  • What are some of the more exciting projects?
  • How is outstanding performance rewarded?
  • What specific skills/expertise do you feel are most important for the job?
  • What is the most vital function of the job?
  • What does the team like about working for the company?
  • How will feedback be given on my performance and what frequency?
  • What criteria will there be for evaluation?
  • How many managers in the company have been promoted from within?
  • Do you work mainly on your own or in a team?
  • How are people selected for promotion?
  • What skills do you believe are necessary to become a successful manager?
  • If I perform well in the company what opportunities are available?

Speak clearly

The important thing is not to panic if you are facing a bad line. Speak slowly and don’t be afraid to pause. You’re not expected to be superhuman. Get used to stating the obvious – but sound enthusiastic.

Always answer in sentences. The more questions you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to, the more questions you’ll have to answer! If you can answer questions intelligently with relevant answers, the less time there is for the interviewer to ask you something awkward! Try to think of it as a short conversation.

No matter how chatty or informal the interview appears to be, it does have a specific purpose. It’s a business conversation and should be treated as such.

Remember; never speak too quickly or too quietly. If people keep asking you to repeat what you are saying then you are probably not giving a very good impression. You may be the ideal candidate for the job but unless you can communicate that, you won’t stand a chance. And make sure you don’t interrupt!

What about Skype interviews?

Skype or other teleconferencing interviews are quickly gaining popularity, so here are a couple of tricks to keep up your sleeve to make sure you put your best foot forward:

  • Pick your venue carefully (make sure the room is tidy and quiet)
  • Test your equipment ahead of time to avoid technical glitches
  • Try to look at the camera, not the screen (this is the best way to give the illusion of eye contact)
  • Make sure to leave a brief pause after your interviewer has finished speaking to avoid accidentally interrupting them.
  • If your connection is unreliable and your call continues to freeze, ask your interviewer if you can turn off your video connection and continue a voice call instead (in our experience, this often helps with connection issues)


Remember, your phone interview can be the first step towards your dream role, so don’t phone it in! Do your research, prepare and give the interview the same level of attention and care that you would a final interview.
For further career advice, interview tips and free candidate resources, head to www.peopleconnexion.com/candidate-resources


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