Most companies conduct a phone interview to gauge applicants before deciding who they want to meet in person. You may think that not having a face-to-face interview would be easier, but in fact, it is quite the opposite. It is harder to convince people about your abilities over the phone compared to in person and your first impression matters as well. To ensure a seamless conversation with the interviewer, here are some of the common mistakes that you should avoid in a telephone interview.


Avoid describing long-winded answers

The key to answering questions during a phone interview is to be clear and concise with your answers. Interviewer’s attention spans tend to be shorter through a phone in general. You definitely do not want your potential employer to lose interest in the interview. It is best to practice answering questions that you think it’s likely to ask so you can prepare yourself ahead. This would effectively help you keep away from rambling about your answers.


Don’t go in unprepared

There are job seekers assume a phone interview does not require one to put in the effort to research the company and the job. Keep in mind that this is just as much as an opportunity for you to interview the employer as it is for him/her to get to know more about you. At the very least, check out the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile to get a sense of his/her work and personality. to find some relevancy about each other’s career.


Try to avoid talking over the interviewer

If you are eager to explain your point, at the very least wait for the interviewer to finish up his/her conversation before going back to you. Interrupting a person’s speech halfway can be seen as rude even if you are speaking over the phone. You may think you are trying to be assertive, but it can also be viewed as being aggressive and interviewers will notice it.


Don’t be late

As obvious as it can be, there are still people who can end up late for phone interviews. But if you miss the phone call, get back to your interviewer as soon as you are able to do so. Apologise quickly and briefly before asking if the interview can still continue on or a reschedule is required.


Do not skip the Q&A section

No matter how good the interview turns out to be, you should never wrap up the interview without asking the interviewer any questions. Chances are you may have painted yourself as uninterested in the role. Regardless, if you are keen on the job, you should think of something to ask your interviewer about the company and the position.


Avoid putting your interviewer on hold

Phone interviews tend to take 15 to 30 minutes at most, and there should not be any other matters that could disrupt your interview. Unless you are expecting an extremely important matter such as dealing with a family matter, inform your interviewer ahead so that they can be aware of the situation.


Do not multitask during the interview

Perhaps you may have a busy schedule that requires you to get things done as soon as possible. If the interviewer somehow notices that you are doing something else during the conversation, they would assume your interest in the position is not that important in the first place.


Never conduct an interview at a location with background noises

Despite being a common sense, it is best to set your interview in a quiet place with zero background noises. Anticipating any complication or any form of distractions, the better prepared you are in going through a successful session.


What are your do’s and don’ts during a phone interview? Leave us your thoughts on the comment sections below. Head over to and unveil your next job opportunity.

You Jing is a content writer who writes career and lifestyle contents to inspire job seekers and employers alike on their journey to work-life balance, empowerment and transformation in their career path.

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