First impressions count right? If you’ve been looking for work lately you’ll know that the phone interview is a common step in the recruitment process. Your ability to blitz the phone interview can make or break your application progressing to the next stage of the recruitment process. “Blitzing it” is a big deal. We read your resume; we hone in on all the important information – where you have worked, who for, how long, what were your responsibilities. However, there is only so much information we can extrapolate from a piece of paper. This is why the phone interview is so imperative.

As a recruiter I’ve had them all. The good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve had wonderful phone interviews with potential job seekers. We have talked in depth about their work history, delving deeper into their resume, finding out what motivated them to apply for the role I’m recruiting for and getting to know their skills, attributes and values. This all helps me match you to the right role. On the other hand, I’ve had extremely poor phone interviews. The job seeker has been vague, unenthusiastic, misleading and/or distracted. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out who I asked to come in for a face to face interview and who was crossed off the shortlist.

Want to blitz your phone interview? Here are my top tips on how to blitz your next phone interview…

Be honest – If a recruiter or hiring manager calls you to conduct a phone interview and it is NOT a good time to talk, it’s ok to be honest and let them know it’s not a good time. You are better off asking to reschedule than trying to juggle it when you are in the middle of something else. We’re not going to penalise you for asking to reschedule. We want your full attention so you can answer our questions and that way we can get a better understanding of your skills and what you are looking for. Conducting a phone interview whilst you are distracted; clanging pots and pans around while trying to cook tea for the kids or driving with them in the background is probably not the best setting to be trying to blitz a phone interview. If you can’t give us your full attention we are left wondering how committed and serious you are.

Be yourself – The number one piece of advice I could give you would be to be yourself. By being yourself the conversation will flow much more naturally. There is no point trying to be someone you’re not. We want to hear your personality shine through the phone. Answer the phone with a smile on your face, you’d be surprised how much of a difference it does make.

Be specific – I’m going to ask you a lot of questions, and I make no apologies for that. I want to know as much as I possibly can about you, your skills and your experience. I’m going to ask you specific dates that you worked for a company (a month and year), you’ll have to get specific on the tasks and responsibilities that you performed in that role and I want to know about your challenges, achievements, what you loved and what you hated. If you are not prepared for those questions or are vague on your responses then you’re not doing yourself justice and potentially shooting yourself in the foot. Being specific on what type of roles you are looking for is also crucial. The dreaded sentence “I’ll do anything” isn’t going to help us help you find a job. Being specific is.

Be open – Be willing and open to participate throughout the interview. We are going to ask you what type of roles have you been applying for, what has caught your eye on online job boards, what other interviews you have had previously and if you really wanted that job. The reason we do this is because it helps us understand you. That way we are positioned to best help you, it helps us understand and get a feel for the jobs you are attracted to, what interests you, what organisations/industries appeal to you and what type of roles you think you’d enjoy. It’s also important to be open to feedback from us. We can offer you advice and info on how you can make sure your resume is top notch or how you compare to other candidates in the market and differentiate yourself from them. Our feedback is about helping you so you can land your dream job.

Ever heard the expression “you get out what you put in”? A phone interview is a great example of this; the more information you provide us, the more in depth you are with your information and the more motivated you are, helps us make you more “marketable” to our clients. This will give us an overall picture of who you are as a person, what you are looking for, what you have done in the past, and what makes you tick. If you follow these simple tips you will stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of progressing to the next step. Good luck!


Amber Allen has built a successful career on providing exceptional customer service and building mutually beneficial relationships. As the Temporary Recruitment Strategist at Inspire HQ she has a passion for helping people love what they do. In the changing world of work; where businesses need the flexibility to scale their workforce and employees seek greater flexibility, Amber’s passion, initiative and problem-solving skills ensure she gets the outcomes her clients need and want.

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