Six Phone Interview Tips to Get You to the Next Round

By Shelbie Jones| February 11, 2019

On average, every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. 2% of those resumes will be called for an interview. If you’ve made it this far, congrats! You’ve got one foot in the door, but in order to get all the way through to that in-person interview, you’ll most likely going to have to pass the phone interview first. The phone interview is an opportunity for recruiters to establish whether a candidate is as good as they say they are on paper. Equally important, it’s a chance for you to learn more about the company and the role to know whether it’s the right fit for you.

Acing a phone interview depends on what you do before, during, and even after that brief conversation. In this blog, our BDO Digital recruiter Shelbie explains how you can nail your next phone interview.

Research the company and the Role

If you haven’t already, it is crucial that you research the company by this stage. The phone interview is more than just a means to discuss your qualifications. Recruiters are also trying to determine whether you are genuinely interested in the job. Doing your research prior to the interview shows that you’ve put in the effort to learn more about the organization and it makes for a more interactive interview process.

Prepare Questions

An interview is just as much for you as it is for the recruiter/hiring manager. Make sure you ask the right questions to understand the role and responsibilities of the new position completely. Not only does this give you a better idea of what to expect if you were to accept the offer, but it shows the recruiter that you’re genuinely engaged in the conversation. Finding a candidate who is the “right fit” should be just as important to us as it is to the person we’re hiring.

Choose your Location Wisely

Recruiters understand it might be difficult to find a private place to take a phone interview during the day, which is why you typically get to choose a time that works for you. Make sure you choose an interview time that allows you to get away from distractions for at least 30 minutes. You don’t want to strain to hear each other over background music or a bustling street, so make sure you choose a quiet place away from distractions. If you’re using a cell phone, you’ll also want to pick a spot with good reception, and don’t forget to fully charge your phone to avoid unexpected interruptions.

Be on time

It seems obvious, but the number of times I’ve found myself waiting on the line for a candidate to call back tells me that it needs to be reiterated: don’t be late to your phone interview! Being punctual shows that you have good time management skills and sends the message that you have mutual respect for other’s time – these are fundamental skills that every recruiter is looking for. You only have 30 minutes to sell yourself, so don’t waste valuable seconds by leaving the other person hanging. That being said, a good recruiter will understand that life sometimes gets in the way. If a situation arises where you may be late or needs to reschedule, don’t hesitate to send your recruiter an email to let them know.

Get your point across quickly

Because a phone interview is usually 30 minutes or less, you don’t have a lot of time to get your points across. Be detailed yet efficient in your answers so you’re not spending valuable time on things that don’t showcase what makes you the ideal candidate for the job. Getting back to our first point (research the company and the role), it’s important you really understand the responsibilities of the job ahead of time so you know what points you want to make. This will help you streamline your answers to talk about the qualities and skill sets that are going to be most alluring to the recruiter.

Send a ‘Thank You’ email

The interview doesn’t end after you hang up the phone. You can still remain top-of-mind with your recruiter by sending a ‘Thank You’ email. This is a way to show your appreciation for the phone interview but also capitalize on the points that you covered during the conversation.

While interviews can be nerve-wracking, remember that the interviewer is just as invested in your success as you are. Practice these tips to increase your chances of making it to the next round, and once you’ve made it, check out our tips on preparing for an in-person interview and what to consider before accepting the job offer.

When it comes to IT consulting, our people are our greatest asset. Whether you’re applying for a job with BDO Digital or elsewhere, do your best to showcase who you are and how you’ll be a great fit for the role and the company.