Telephone Interviews

After submitting his or her résumé, a proactive Veteran seeking employment will want to make sure that they are ready for an interview when the employer calls. Many will start by shopping for new interview clothes, or by taking their good suit or dress out of the closet, making sure that it is inspection-ready for any upcoming interviews. While this preparation should be carried out, the current interview process may vary from the way things used to be done.

Veterans who are seeking employment and have submitted their résumés should be prepared for an interview at moment’s notice. In days past, once a résumé was submitted, an employer reviewed it and set up an interview. But today, for many employers, the call back itself has become part of the interview.

The telephone rings. An unknown voice provides an introduction and begins the conversation with “After reviewing your resume, I’m pleased to inform you that you were selected to be interviewed. Do you have the time to answer a few questions right now? ”

This can be a moment of excitement or a moment of panic for a job seeker. You never know when a recruiter might call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk. Phone interviews, or any conversations with prospective employers for that matter, should be taken seriously. Here are a few tips that will make your phone interviews more successful:

  • Smile; it will come through in the sound of your voice.
  • Stand, or at least sit up straight, at a table or desk. The posture will help your tone.
  • Have a copy of your résumé and cover letter available and close to the phone.
  • Treat the phone interview just as you would a face-to-face interview.
  • Write down the name of the interviewer and the time and the date of the call. Refer to these notes in follow up communications.
  • Practice answering common questions.

Just like with military training, being prepared is half the battle. So consider having natural responses to questions similar to the following:

  • Are you currently employed?
  • Why are you leaving your current (or last) position?
  • What is your desired salary or pay?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Describe your management style?
  • Will you relocate?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • When can you start?


Veterans have so much to offer employers that they should have no problem meeting a hiring manager’s or recruiter’s expectations. By being prepared, you give yourself a leg up on the competition, which could include other Veterans as well.