News - Personnel Source, Inc

Planning a Job Phone Interview

Phone and video interviewing have gained popularity for job seekers and employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Real recruiters at Personnel Source have put together an easy guide here to help job seekers prepare for a phone interview.

There are advantages to phone interviews vs. in-person interviews. For phone interviews, you may have the convenience of keeping an interview “cheat sheet” in front of you. Personnel Source recommends that job seekers do a little research before an interview. This is a good practice whether you are meeting in-person or over the phone. Print out your pre-interview research or organize it in a folder on your computer. You will be able to use this as a cheat sheet during the phone interview!

Scheduling a Phone Interview

Ask if the recruiter will be calling you or if you are scheduled to call them. If you are expecting a potential employer to call, pay attention to how you answer your phone. The recruiter may be calling from a number outside of your contacts. Consider answering unknown phone numbers professionally. Greet the caller by stating your name, “Hello, this is [Your Name].” The interviewer may be wondering if they have called the correct number, so stating your name will help ease the conversation. When replying, use the interviewer’s name, for example say, “Hi [Their First Name], thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.” Speak slowly and smile!

Creating a Cheat Sheet for Your Phone Interview

Pull up the original job description and read it carefully. Be prepared to touch on some of the key skills mentioned in the job description. Have a copy of your resume in front of you as well; practice explaining challenging questions. Do you have a lack of work experience? Are your skills not perfectly matched for the position? Is there a gap in your past employment? Were you let go from a job? Skim through the company’s website. Keep the site open on your computer to reference during your interview. Why not? Unlike an in-person interview, you have access to all of those resources right in front of you so you can quickly reference them as you talk.

Minimizing Background Noise for a Phone Interview

Find somewhere quite for the phone interview. That doesn’t mean your car. If you know your dogs will be barking and construction is going on at your neighbors, book a private room somewhere quiet. Talk to a librarian to see if you can reserve a free meeting room at the library. If that’s not an option, coordinate with your family for at least 30 minutes of quite time at home. Don’t be afraid to reschedule if you need to.

What Questions Should You Ask in an Interview

Brainstorm potential questions. Ask about the dress code, start date, or what the next steps of the hiring process will be like, (if this has not previously been discussed). At the end of your phone interview, ask if they have any other questions for you.

What to do After an Interview

Write a follow up thank you email using proper email etiquette. Don’t be discouraged if you do not get the job. Keep an eye out for other job openings on the company’s website that you may be better suited for. Stay in touch with the company, checking in occasionally to let them know you are still interested in being considered for other positions.  

Contact us to learn more about scheduling phone and/or video interviews at Personnel Source.

Reference: Contessa. (2018, December 10). 15 Sneaky Phone Interview Tips to Get You to the Next Round. Retrieved May 10, 2020, from

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