Recruiters reveal 5 phone interview mistakes to avoid


After you’ve fixed up your resume using Clark’s guide and applied for a few jobs, you’ll hopefully get a call from a potential employer to schedule a phone interview.

These phone screening interviews can be as short as 15 minutes and are typically handled by HR professionals.

Read more: 5 strategies to help you get the salary you want

Never make these mistakes during a phone interview

The phone interview is all about determining which candidates will be granted in-person interviews. Here are some questions you should be prepared to answer, according to Robert Half:

  • Tell me a little bit about yourself.
  • Why do you want this job?
  • How would you describe your work style?
  • What is a typical day like at your current job?
  • What reasons do you have for leaving your current job?
  • What skills have you learned recently?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • How do you see yourself contributing in this position?
  • What do you hope to get out of this job?
  • What questions do you have for me?

Since many of these questions are the same ones you’ll likely be asked during an in-person interview, you must be prepared.

The experts at the jobs site asked HR pros to tell them about some of the worst mistakes job applicants make during phone interviews. Here are the ones that stood out to us:

1.  No barking dog or screaming kids: Identify a quiet place to conduct the phone interview, even if that means leaving your house and going to the car. Just be sure to check the phone connection!

2. Do not skip the Q&A: When your interviewer asks if you have any questions for them, come up with something! If you don’t, they may get the impression that you’re not interested in the job.

3. Do not ask about money yet: It’s a good idea to ask questions, but don’t ask about money at this point in the process. However, do be prepared in case the recruiter brings up the topic. Here’s a sample response to the salary question.

4. Research the company: The HR rep will know if you’re Googling while talking, so do your homework on the company ahead of time! Write down some of your key talking points to provide clear and concise answers.


5. Avoid filler words: If you say “uh,” “um” and “like” all the time, know that those verbal habits become more pronounced over the phone. Try a mock phone interview with a friend to build confidence.

By avoiding these phone interview mistakes, you could very well make it to the next round! Here are some tips to ace your in-person interview, including the #1 thing most job applicants overlook.

Read more: Career expert reveals 9 secrets to resume success

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