Phone Interviews - What To Do & What Not To Do!

Posted on September 2020 by Sarah Di Pietro

If you ever been in the market for a new job, chances are you’ve had your fair share of phone interviews. And while taking a call can be a lot more efficient than going to all the effort of meeting in person, phone interviews can also be extra challenging if you believe you make a better impression face-to-face.

Follow these dos and don’ts and you’ll ace your next phone interview.


  • Do set yourself up for success. Prepare for the interview in the same way you would ready yourself for an in-person meeting. Review the questions and answers you'll likely be asked.

  • Do make sure your connection is working properly. Don't risk interrupting the rapport of your interview with a faulty connection.

  • Do speak up if you can’t hear. Don't be afraid to tell your interviewer you can't hear him or her. Speaking up is better than spending the whole interview missing questions. Don't take the fall out from a bad connection.

  • Do take notes. You can write down any information that you’ll need to have on hand later on for a thank you note or a subsequent interview and also any questions that come up.

  • Do get the interviewer’s email address. If you don't already have it, and follow up immediately.


  • Don’t take the call on speaker phone. it could make it difficult for your interviewer to hear you. Don't risk the chance of being misunderstood or losing a key answer to static. Consider instead wearing a headset if you want to take notes while you talk.

  • Don’t multitask. Don't make (or drink) coffee, have the TV on in the background, eat lunch, scan your Facebook feed, etc. Focus on your interview. 

  • Don’t talk too much. Avoid rambling; at a certain point, your interviewer will stop paying attention, will perceive you as someone who lacks the ability to listen well, and might get annoyed as you chop away time for other, more important questions and answers. Think of your answers like a great cocktail: you don't want it watered down. Keep it short and strong.

  • Don’t take the call in a public place. Make time for your interview. Only agree to take the call during a time and date in which you can sit down and focus in a quiet space - taking the call in a coffee shop or while on-the-go is not a good move.

  • Don’t wait to call in. Give yourself ample time to set up. Ideally, about 30 minutes before your call, you should be sure you have the right contact information, check your cover letter and resume is handy, and review both your application materials and the company's website to ensure the information is fresh in your mind.

Finally, good luck with your recruitment telephone interview!