Ignore Call Waiting and Other Tips for a Successful Phone Interview

As a Houston staffing agency devoted to matching talented candidates with top employers, Murray Resources sets up lots of phone interviews. Read on for tips on how to make yours a success.

Work with your recruiter to set up a specific time for the call. You certainly don’t want the call coming right in the middle of your P90X routine. “Gasp – hello!?” As your Houston recruiter, we can help you avoid that.

Use a landline instead of a cell phone. As much as we love our cell phones, it’s still safer to trust a landline for a call this important. And test it out beforehand if it’s been a while since you’ve put it to use.

Make sure your voicemail message is courteous, professional, and includes your name. Got one of those quirky “Hello? [Pause] Hello?” voicemail recordings? Change it. And double check your message either way. Some people unknowingly leave outdated or awkward messages on their phones for years.

If you have given your home line as your point of contact, be sure to let your household know that potential employers will be calling. Try to answer the phone yourself, but just in case you can’t, ask your family or roommate(s) to answer the phone in a professional manner and to pass along messages promptly.

Conduct the interview in a separate room in order to avoid any potential distractions. Make sure the caller hears nothing except your voice. Got a yappy dog? It might be a good time to give him a new chew toy. You can also create a calm signal to let your roommates know that it’s the call you’ve been waiting on, instead of the standard frantic hand wave/shushing motion some employ.

DO NOT interrupt your conversation to answer another call. Silence your other phones, and if a call does come through via call-waiting, creating that distinctive break in the conversation, either ignore it or make light of the situation – “I told the telemarketers not to interrupt this call, but apparently they didn’t listen. Sorry about that!”

Talk directly into the mouthpiece. Most of us have talked on the phone to someone who holds the phone at their neck. Please don’t be that person. And if you have a bad connection and/or have difficulty hearing the caller, either have the person call you back, adjust the phone, or ask them to speak louder. Either way, do not move forward in the conversation if you can’t hear what’s being said.

Be fully prepared with notes in regards to: 1) the company, 2) the position, and 3) yourself (resume). All the interviewer is going on is how you sound, so sound organized and well prepared.

Prepare (but don’t memorize) responses to 5-10 common interview questions. We’ve made this part easy. For sample questions, consult our Typical Interview Questions resource document.


About Murray Resources
Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency, providing quality professional-level placement services, as well as temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, payroll and direct hire administrative/clerical services.

Over the past 24 years, Murray Resources has developed a unique placement process to match candidates based not only on experience and skill set, but also on how well a candidate can put that skill set to work within a particular corporate culture. Murray Resources’ 95% Performance Evaluation Score represents one of the highest placement satisfaction rates in the industry. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009