Interviewing job candidates over the phone has become increasingly common in recent years. In fact, the phone interview is often the first step that employers take to vet a potential candidate. What mistakes might you be making that are costing you the opportunity for an in-person interview?


Being in a Noisy Environment

This is quite possibly the most common mistake of all, and it can really hurt your chances. The last thing you want is for things to become derailed because of noisy traffic in the background; your dog barking or your kids yelling. Make sure to identify the quietest location in your home and conduct your phone interview from there.

Be sure your pets and children are in a different room so you can speak with your interviewer distraction free. Also, check to ensure you’ve got a solid phone signal beforehand.


Being Unprepared

One of the key advantages to interviewing over the phone is you can discretely access key materials such as a company’s website, the job description and your personal notes. This is incredibly beneficial because it enables you to approach the interview with more confidence, and you can instantly reference any materials you need.


You might be surprised at how many candidates fail to properly prepare. Here are just a few suggestions to ensure you’re ready to go once your interview begins.

  • Have a tab open on your computer to the company’s website
  • Have a tab open to the job description
  • Have your resume in front of you (either on paper or online)
  • Write down critical questions you plan on asking your interviewer

Using the Wrong Tone of Voice

During a traditional in-person interview, recruiters can assess your attitude and personality by analyzing several visual cues such as your body language, posture, eye contact and so on. But it’s far more limited during a phone interview. If you use the wrong tone of voice, it can hurt your chances of making a positive impression.

For this reason, you need to be acutely aware of your tone of voice and do your absolute best to come across as being warm, engaged, enthusiastic and confident. So how can you accomplish this?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Speak slowly and enunciate
  • Try to remain calm
  • Rehearse answers to potential questions ahead of time
  • Smile during your interview – This will change your tone of voice and help you project friendliness and enthusiasm
  • Never interrupt the interviewer


Being aware of some of the most common phone interviewing mistakes is the first step to avoiding them. With a little preparation and foresight, you’ll put yourself in a position to impress your interviewer and it will go off without a hitch. For help with preparing for a phone interview, contact us today.

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