The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

August 23, 2019

Tips for Impressing During a Phone Interview


Having a phone interview is an exciting first step in the process of landing your dream job. It gives you and your potential employer the opportunity to get to know each other before meeting in person. One would think that the pressure grows greater as you progress further into the interview process, but the phone interview is your chance to make a great first impression. To ensure that the call ends with an offer to meet in person, follow the tips below.

1. Do prior research and take notes

Before you get on the phone, read up on the company, specifically looking for their mission and vision statements as well as their history and major accomplishments. The more informed you are, the better you’ll be able to tailor your answers to what best fits the company and their goals.

2. Have the job description printed out

Although you may think opening the job posting on your computer is sufficient, printing it out actually provides many benefits. Not only will you not have to worry about technical errors, but you can make notes next to any responsibilities or requirements that are mentioned in the conversation.

3. Smile, even though they can’t see you

It might feel silly at the moment but smiling while you’re talking will subconsciously help you convey your passion and excitement for the position. Your interviewers will be able to hear how enthusiastic you are, and you will feel more confident in your answers and the interview overall.

4. Take a second before answering each question

After each question, pause for a few seconds to compose your thoughts. Rushing to give an answer often results in not paying attention to the full question. In addition, since they can’t see you, you can quickly write down the main points you want to touch on, so you don’t forget.

5. Speak calmly and clearly

Because they can’t see you, your verbal communication skills hold much more weight. Don’t rush through your answers, even if they say it’ll be a quick conversation, and make sure to enunciate. If they don’t hear part of your answer, they won’t have a clear idea of who you are and what you can do.

6. Have two or three questions written down

Hopefully, this won’t be your only interview, so you’ll have more opportunities to ask questions later. Keep these questions light and refrain from asking about salary or benefits. Furthermore, focus your last question about what the next step in the interview process will be, to show that you are interested in moving forward.

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