10 Phone Interview Tips to Reveal Top Candidates

In the fiercely competitive job market, phone interviews play a pivotal role in swiftly evaluating candidates. They serve as a key tool for employers to efficiently assess applicants and decide on the next steps in the selection process.

Today, Recruitery will provide a comprehensive guide on conducting effective phone interviews. We will explore the definition and significance of phone interviews and delve into 10 phone interview tips to reveal top candidates. 

Concept of Phone Interviews

Phone Interviews

A phone interview serves as the vital introductory dialogue between a job candidate and a hiring manager. This initial step in the hiring process aims to screen candidates, determining their suitability for an in-person interview.

Significance of Phone Interviews

Phone interviews are a critical step in the hiring process for several reasons. 

  • First, swiftly assessing a large candidate pool aids in narrowing down and focusing on the most promising individuals.

  • Second, using phone interviews to gauge a candidate's fit with the company's culture is crucial. It helps prevent the hiring of someone who may not thrive or find satisfaction within the company.

  • Third, these interviews provide valuable insights into a candidate's personality and communication skills, aiding in determining their compatibility with the team and work environment.

Specifically, phone interviews can help you assess the following:

  • Skills and Experience: Ask questions about past work and education to assess skills and experience. For example, ask about a project or how a particular skill/tool was used.

  • Cultural Fit: Inquire about values, work style, and interests to assess cultural fit. Questions might revolve around describing the ideal work environment or specifying job preferences.

  • Personality and Communication Skills: Assess tone, body language, and clarity to evaluate personality and communication skills. Note enthusiasm, engagement, and the ability to answer questions effectively.

10 phone interview tips to reveal top candidates

Here, we delve into ten comprehensive tips, breaking down each facet to ensure a thorough evaluation process:

1. Prepare Thoroughly

Phone Interviews

Before the phone interview, take some time to prepare. Thoroughly examine the candidate's resume and cover letter to grasp their skills and experience. Craft a targeted list of questions to stay focused and extract essential information.

2. Create a Positive Environment

Secure a serene spot, free from interruptions, to fully engage in the conversation with the candidate. Ensure your phone is charged and has a strong signal for a seamless interaction.

3. Ask Effective Questions

Pose questions to evaluate the candidate's skills, experience, and role fit. Examples include:

  • Describe a challenging customer interaction you handled.

  • Define your work style.

  • What draws you to this position?

4. Listen Actively

Phone Interviews

Attentively listen to the candidate's words and tone to gauge their skills, experience, and personality. Be ready to ask follow-up questions for clarification or additional insights.

5. Evaluate Communication Skills

Observe the candidate's communication prowess — their clarity, conciseness, and non-verbal cues like body language and tone.

6. Assess Cultural Fit

Ask questions that will help you assess whether the candidate is a good fit for your company's culture. Some good examples include:

  • What are your values?

  • What do you like about working in a team?

  • How would you describe your ideal work environment?

7. Check for Research

Ask questions that will show whether the candidate has done their research on your company and the position. Some good examples include:

  • What do you know about our company?

  • What are your thoughts on our mission and vision?

  • What are your expectations for this role?

8. Follow Up

Conclude the phone interview with gratitude, specifying when the candidate can anticipate your response. Optionally, share extra details about the company or the position for their consideration.

9. Take Notes

Take notes during the phone interview to help you remember the candidate's answers. This will be helpful when you are making your hiring decision.

10. End Professionally

Phone Interviews

Express gratitude for the candidate's time, outline the next steps in the hiring process, and encourage them to reach out with any questions.

* Additional Tips

In addition to the tips above, here are a few additional tips that can help you conduct a successful phone interview:

  • Use a professional tone of voice.

  • Dress appropriately, even though you are not meeting in person.

  • Smile as you speak. This will help you sound more friendly and engaging.

  • Avoid distractions. Turn off your phone and close any unnecessary tabs on your computer.


So, Recruitery has provided you with 10 KPIs we use to measure recruiting success. By following these ten tips, employers can enhance their ability to assess candidates accurately, ensuring a smoother and more effective hiring process. As the job market continues to evolve, leveraging phone interviews effectively becomes a valuable skill for any hiring professional.