Career Advice
May 17, 2022

How To Ace The Initial Phone Interview

How To Ace The Initial Phone Interview

How To Ace The Initial Phone Interview


Researchers estimate that about 79% of Gen Z and 61% of millennials will look for new jobs this year. So if you’re trying to get hired, you’ll have a lot of competition. To stand out, you need to ace every step of the hiring process, from your cover letter and your resume to your interviews.

One of the first steps you’ll encounter during the hiring process is the recruiter call, which is also known as the phone interview. The recruiter call is a phone conversation designed to assess how well your experience aligns with the requirements of the available position. Companies use phone interviews to narrow down their talent pool and determine which candidates are worth interviewing in person.

So to help you stand out, we’ve provided a few tips to note.

Research The Company

You’ll make a better impression on your recruiters if you prove that you have the company’s best interests at heart. Prove your passion for the role by doing thorough research on the company's product or service offerings, key clients, important players in the organization, relevant news and events, and the company’s vision and mission. Understanding a company’s culture can also help — recruiters want to find candidates whose personality and values already align with the company.

You can also do research on other employees’ experiences. The anonymous reviews posted by current and former employees on Glassdoor can give you a clearer picture of what it’s like to work at your target company. However, be sure to read each review critically. Some companies pressure their employees to leave good reviews, while other reviewers with personal vendettas tend to exaggerate their negative takes.

Craft A Career Story

Interviews are an opportunity to present yourself as a person rather than a list of accomplishments, traits, and skills. Common interview questions, such as “tell me about a challenge you overcame,”will prompt you to illustrate how these traits and skills contributed to your accomplishments. By bringing your experiences to life through stories, recruiters get a clearer picture of who you are.

But you can also apply storytelling to questions that don’t specifically ask for stories. The ever-famous “tell me about yourself” question is a great place to do so. When crafting a career story, weave in the details that go beyond your resume, such as your goals, motivations, and beliefs. Creating a unique narrative will make it easier for recruiters to understand how well you’ll fit into a certain position. For example:

When I started out, I was a freelance copywriter that created marketing materials for e-commerce clients. However, after partnering with an eco-friendly fashion brand, I developed a passion for sustainability. I now write articles that educate people on what they can do to save the planet.

The anecdote could have just as easily said “I’ma writer that found my niche in sustainability.” However, saying that won't give the employer any hint of your personality or beliefs. By giving your anecdotes a human touch, you can better connect with your recruiter.

Practice With A Mock Interview

Once you’ve figured out exactly what you need to say in your interview, figure out how you’ll say it. Build your confidence by staging a mock interview. One of the best things you can do is make a list of common interview questions. Once you’ve written down your answers, try saying them out loud. Practice enough, and by the time you get to your interview, you will be fully prepared and confident.

Since it’s a phone interview, finding the right one is key. Try not to sound too scripted. Be confident, but not aggressive or self-important. Show that you’re enthusiastic, but don’t appear too overeager.

Because it’s the first human interaction you'll have with your company, the phone interview is one of the most important parts of your hiring journey. To make a good first impression, candidates need thorough research, preparation, and practice.

Written Exclusively for by Olivia Hampton

Olivia Hampton

Olivia Hampton is a freelance copywriter aiming to build a career in the digital advertising industry. Outside of work, she's a big fan of yoga and wellness.