Phone Interview Questions and Tips
There are three basic types of telephone interviews:
- You initiate a call to the hiring manager and they are
interested in your background. The call from that point forward is
- A company calls you based upon a previous contact. You will
likely be unprepared for the call, but it is still an interview.
- You have a pre-set time with a company representative to speak
further on the phone. Also an interview.
Just in case you thought you did poorly in an interview, read these
35 anecdotes are from executives who
actually conducted these interviews.
1. "... said he was so well-qualified that if he didn't get the job, he
would prove the company's management was incompetent."
2. "... stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application."
3. "... brought her large dog to the interview."
4. "... chewed bubble gum and constantly blew bubbles."
5. "Candidate kept giggling through serious interview."
6. "She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at
the same time."
7. "Balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few
minutes later, wearing a hairpiece."
8. "Applicant challenged interviewer to arm wrestle."
9. " asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the personnel executive
was qualified to judge the candidate."
10. "... announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger
and French fries in the interviewer's office."
11. "Without saying a word, candidate stood up and walked out during the
middle of the interview."
12. "Man wore jogging suit to interview for position as financial vice
13. "Stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by
having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm."
14. "Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific
15. "... wouldn't get out of the chair until I would hire him. I had to
call the police."
16. "When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap
dancing around my office."
17. "... had a little pinball game and challenged me to play with him."
18. "... bounced up and down on my carpet and told me I must be highly
thought of by the company because I was given such a thick carpet."
19. "At the end of the interview, while I stood there dumbstruck, went
through my purse, took out a brush, brushed his hair, and left."
20. "... pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me.
Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him."
21. "Candidate asked me if I would put on a suit jacket to insure that
the offer I had made was formal."
22. "Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too much."
23. "While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant took out a
copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest
at the centerfold."
24. "During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate's
brief case. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and said he had to
leave for another interview."
25. "A telephone call came in for the job applicant. It was from his
wife. His side of the conversation went like this: "Which company? When
do I start? What's the salary?" I said, "l assume you're not interested
in conducting the interview any further." He promptly responded, "I am
as long as you'll pay me more. "I didn't hire him, but later found out
there was no other job offer. It was a scam to get a higher offer."
26. "An applicant came in wearing only one shoe. She explained that the
other shoe was stolen off her foot in the bus."
27. "His briefcase opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled,
revealing ladies' undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume."
28. "He came to the interview with a moped and left it in the reception
area. He didn't want it to get stolen, and stated that he would require
indoor parking for the moped."
29. "He took off his right shoe and sock, removed a medicated foot
powder and dusted it on the foot and in the shoe. While he was putting
back the shoe and sock, he mentioned that he had to use the powder four
times a day, and this was the time."
30. "Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but the
unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one."
31. "He whistled when the interviewer was talking."
32. "... asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my
desk. When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now and
wanted my phone number. I called security."
33. "... she threw-up on my desk, and immediately started asking
questions about the job, like nothing had happened."
34. "Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he said that if
he was not hired, the bomb would go off. Disbelieving, I began to state
why he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police. He
then reached down to the case, flipped a switch and ran. No one was
injured, but I did need to get a new desk."
35. "... asked if I wanted some cocaine before starting the interview.
Next: Mock Interview