Performing a phone interview may be necessary at times depending on the situation and the position being filled. In cases of remote workers, outsourced skills, or for branch locations where there is no trained interviewer, this type of interview is both understandable and appropriate. However, if the position is either higher level or customer-facing, a face-to-face interview is much more desirable if at all possible.

In cases where a phone interview is indeed required, preparing for the interview should be much more focused on the questions to ask and the answers desired. The lack of face-to-face interaction will detract from the ability to get a complete picture of the applicant because of the inability to assess body language, dress, and behavioral actions. Questions should be similar to in-person interview questions, but can be tailored to require more verbose responses in order to gather more information from the applicant. Asking the applicant open-ended questions, such as "Tell me about a time that you..." or "What are your thoughts on...", can allow them to speak freely and provide more complete answers. This can also give the interviewer information that they can expand on in further questioning.

One possibility that can overcome some of these shortfalls is to hold a video-conferenced interview rather than voice only, if the applicant has access to this. Your company could also arrange for facilities to accommodate this need in cases where it is possible. Most modern computers have the capability for video conferencing or video chat in some form.