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Telephone interviews are a common part of the hiring process for many companies, regardless of their size. It serves as a precursor to help narrow a larger field of qualified candidates into a smaller, more manageable group, or it can simply increase hiring efficiency.

While much of the preparation for a telephone interview is the same as an in-person one, it can be harder to gauge your level of success. Phone interviews lack the visual feedback one gets when meeting face-to-face. There are ways to help improve your odds of making it to the next round, even with the shortcomings associated with a phone-based initial introduction.

To help you land an in-person interview based on your phone meeting, here are some tips for managing the process.

Don’t Ignore Preparation

Your first step is always research. Learn about the company’s products or services, take the time to review mission statements, read recent news and familiarize yourself with the general corporate structure. Then, go over your own work history, open a copy of your resume, and create a list of your major career successes.

This ensures you have a strong foundation from which you can pull while the interview progresses.

Limit Distractions

When it comes time for the interview to begin, make sure you have a suitable space for the interview. You need to select a room that limits outside noise, including sounds created by children or pets. Turn off any electronics that may produce sounds including televisions and music players. Also stop any fans or other devices that may cause excess noise.

If possible, consider using a landline for the call, as these generally provide better sound quality than cell phones. And, no matter what, avoid using speaker phone if other options are available.

Ultimately, you want to make sure that you are easy to understand during the interview as well as ensure you can hear what they are saying to you. Spending half of the interview asking each other to repeat yourselves won’t make the best impression regardless of your qualifications.

Actively Listen

When it is your turn to listen, it is important to avoid doing anything else. Don’t review email, scan websites, type on the computer or do anything that isn’t directly related to your interview. Instead, focus on what is being said and use interjecting listening sounds to confirm you are hearing the interviewer properly. You’ll also be more aware of cues that it is your turn to speak, avoiding the embarrassment of having to ask them to repeat themselves because you weren’t fully engaged.

Smile When You Speak

If you want to make sure your voice maintains a positive tone when it is your turn to speak, make an effort to smile as you respond. The act of smiling can change your mindset, and this can be reflected in your voice. The tone, volume, cadence, and speed of your speech can all be affected when your mindset shifts.

When you smile, your body is telling your brain that an experience is positive. This can ease some of the anxiety associated with interviewing, whether over-the-phone or in-person and may make the process go smoother.


While following the tips above may not guarantee an in-person interview, they can help you complete the process more effectively. If you are looking for new employment opportunities or are interested in additional interview tips, the recruiters at The Squires Groups are available to help. Contact us and see what opportunities are available in your local area.

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