Tips on Phone Interview After In-Person Job Interview

by Leyla Norman; Updated September 26, 2017

A follow-up phone interview is your chance to demonstrate again that you are the best person for the job. During a phone interview, your voice must convey the enthusiasm and interest for the position that you would normally convey with body language on an in-person interview. While phone interviews are typically performed as a way to screen potential employees, a second phone interview has different questions and expectations.

Preparation

Write down as many notes as you can about your first interview. Recall who your first interviewers were, what was discussed (job details, your background, possible salary) and information on the next steps in the hiring process. Keep these notes with you during the phone call. Look at them to remember key information you learned during your first interview.

Provide more In-Depth Examples

Focus on what you did poorly in the first interview, such as not having enough examples to back up your claims. Think of new accomplishments and new examples of your work for the second interview. Research the company more thoroughly as well as the industry to be better prepared for the second interview’s more in-depth questions.

Avoid Distraction

Find a quiet place in the house to conduct the interview. If you are at work or in another location where you cannot do the interview at that time, tell the interviewer you are glad she called, but let her know that you would like to schedule an alternate appointment to do the interview.

Targeted Questions

A second interview may involve questions about salary and benefits. The interview may also focus more on specific job responsibilities and requirements. You will be asked how you fulfill those requirements by providing relevant examples. Also be prepared to ask questions of your own, such as “How would you describe the working environment here?” or “Has the company gone through lay-offs recently? If so, why and in which departments?”

Extra Tips

Wait a few seconds after the interviewer stops speaking to be sure he is finished before you begin your answer. Use a landline whenever possible, and disable call waiting to avoid interrupting calls. Listen to the type of language the interviewer uses. If she uses technical or industry terms, do the same. Use positive words to describe your capabilities and experiences, avoiding “can’t,” “haven’t” and similar negative words. Recap why you are a good fit for the company during the interview. Use pauses instead of saying “um” or “ah” when you do not know exactly what to say.

Put up a picture of your interviewer on your computer screen to look at during the interview to make it seem like you are talking to the person face-to-face. You could find pictures from LinkedIn, Facebook or the company’s website. Do not drink while you are on the phone, unless you move the mouthpiece away from your mouth while you do so. Do not eat while on the phone. Wear professional clothes and stand up during the interview.

About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.