How to Not Fail a Phone Interview Part 2

Today is the last day in my career as a Recruiter. Or maybe it’s not, but with my current company it sure is. I thought, what a better way to reflect on the past 2 years of recruiting than with some priceless anecdotes about my phone interviewees. Last summer I wrote about some pretty memorable moments, and you can read about them here!

Sometimes I just worry about people. I mean, I’m just like really?! Sometimes I just have to cut them off because I just think they might have better luck being a cat sitter. If you avoid any of these topics or statements in your next phone interview, then you just might have a shot!

1. Don’t make jokes about crack. Don’t even say the word crack.

This one applicant was blabbering on so much that I actually stopped listening and started going through my emails and then all of a sudden he said, “It was like they were on crack and were like dude, do you want some crack?” Yup. That got my attention.

2. Don’t tell me about your entire week.

“I was in 2 car accidents this week and I am 25, about to get kicked off my parents medical insurance, so I’ve been rushing around all week to get in to see my doctor.” And also that you’re worried your dad is going to spank you when he gets home because you dropped his TV. Like what? How? Huh? Okay guy….we’ll call you.

3. Don’t tell me about your height and weight.

I really don’t care. I promise you. Especially when you’re using it to explain how fit and active you are. I’m not recruiting for a basketball team.

4. Don’t proceed to tell me how much you dislike your job, when it’s exactly the job you just applied for.

Try back pedaling out of that one! I hate it when I have to point out, “Well everything you just said you hate about your current job is pretty much right along the lines of the position we’re looking to fill…” awkward pause.

5. If you’re going to brag, make sure it’s brag worthy!

I think my favorite statement to date is: “I’m not trying to brag, but I work really well with old people.” WHAT?! (This was for an IT position that literally had nothing to do with old people).

6. Try not to come across as lazy.

Like saying you really like driving because then you don’t have to walk anywhere. Doesn’t exactly scream go-getter, ya know?

7. Don’t just fill out applications without at least coming up with a canned answer as to why you want the job. 

“So what interested you in our IT Field position?” “Uh well it’s IT.” And then crickets. Really?! That’s all you’ve got for me??

8. Don’t ever include emoticons anywhere. 

This one isn’t so much about phone interviews. More about the rejection process. I send emails because rejection is hard and it’s easier to read than hear it from me. At least I think so. One day I got an email response of just this: 


Really? I can’t even respond to that or help you. 


There you have it. Some more of my most memorable phone interviews. Ah, I will definitely be missing those random and entertaining conversations! But it’s time for bigger and better things!

14 thoughts on “How to Not Fail a Phone Interview Part 2

  1. Hilarity… I always write what i plan to say down before phone interviews, that way i make sure i don’t fall into the trap of trying to sound clever. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

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