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Phone interviews are frequently a first step in the interviewing process. In these times of corporate frugality, companies often opt for an initial phone interview for the screening of potential candidates. These phone conversations are normally your first contact with a company, therefore your first impression. Make your impact!


Here are a few useful hints to help you through the process:


  • Work with your Executive Search Consultant to set up a specific time for the call. This will allow you to be fully prepared to conduct an effective interview.


  • Treat the phone interview just as you would a personal, face-to-face interview. Just because it is over the phone does not mean that you should take it lightly or take it less seriously!


  • Make sure the phone you plan on using for the call is of high quality. Avoid portable and/or cellular phones.


  • If you have an answering machine/voice mail, please make sure your recording is both courteous and professional.


  • Make sure family members know how to answer the phone and take messages in your absence. Keep a note pad by the phone for messages and reinforce how important their cooperation is to your search success.


  • Be aware of any potential distractions, i.e. radio, television, background conversations, etc. Plan to sit in a quiet room/area where you can speak and think in a productive manner.


  • If you have the “call-waiting” feature on your phone, it is best not to interrupt your conversation to answer a call.


  • If you have a bad connection and/or have difficulty hearing the other person, offer to call them back.


  • Be fully prepared with your notes in regard to:  1) the company, 2) the position, and 3) yourself (résumé). You will then be able to come across as an organized and articulate interviewee.


Again, do not take this step in the interview process lightly. This is a great opportunity to sell yourself and to find out more about the position. Last, but certainly not least, the phone interview is the opportune time to set up your face-to-face meeting. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR THE APPOINTMENT! Have your calendar at hand so you may suggest dates that would be convenient to interview. GOOD LUCK!

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