Phone Interview Tips

Phone Interviewing Tips


Many companies use phone interviews to pre-screen candidates before setting up in-person interviews. This is very common practice so students, be prepared!


Phone interviews my nature can be awkward and a bit unnerving. Why? Think about it. Your interviewer has nothing to go on but your resume and the sound of your voice. There is no warm handshake, facial expressions, or professional appearance they can see. So then, how do you go about presenting yourself in the best possible light so you nail it and get a second interview? Follow the tips below and be sure to see your Career Coach to help you prepare.


  • Find a quiet place with no distractions. (roommate noise, barking dogs). Put a “do not disturb” sign on your door.


  • Place the job description, your resume, and a notepad with questions in front of you. This way you can easily walk interviewers through your resume if asked and address how your qualifications meet the job description.


  • Be ready a few minutes before the interview to answer the phone. Even though the interviewer tells you it’s a “chat,” be prepared for a professional interview.


  • When you answer the phone call, answer with a smile. You’ll telegraph your enthusiasm this way. Smile during the interview too. Since a phone call is low mediated, you’ll have to work extra hard to demonstrate interest in the position. Your voice is telling.


  • It’s okay to take a moment before you respond to a question. When responding, slow down. Try not to speak too quickly.


  • Avoid the temptation to keep talking when there is dead air. Interviewer(s) could be taking notes.


  • Keep answers concise, but don’t be too short with your responses either. You may be asked to elaborate if you don’t give enough information. Your response should be in the 1.5 to 2 minute range.


  • Research the company beforehand and be prepared to ask good questions at the end. Think about what YOU want to know, not what you think they want to hear. Avoid asking the common question, “Why do you like working here?” Employers hear this a lot. Be unique, be memorable!


  • It’s okay to stand up and move during your interview, especially if you’re prone to the jitters.


  • Dress up! You will be surprised at how dressing professionally will change your mindset. Professional dress equals professional attitude. Try it. You have nothing to lose.


  • Be sure to jot down interviewers names so you can send thank you notes.


  • Send thank you notes (email is ok) within 24 hours.


Be sure to make an appointment with your career coach to review the above and practice your responses. You’ll be happy you did!

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