Phone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews. They are also used as way to minimize the expenses involved in interviewing out-of-town candidates. Here are some tips for successful interviewing over the phone.

  • The same preparation rules apply for a phone interview as a face-to-face one.
  • Select a quiet, private room to take the call. Turn off the stereo, computer, and the TV. Close the door.
  • Unless you are sure your cell phone service is going to be perfect, consider using a landline rather than your cell phone to avoid a dropped call or static on the line.
  • Dress as though the interviewer could see you. This will help you focus and feel more confident - which will come across in your voice.
  • Stand up while talking. You will feel more alert and be able to speak with more energy.
  • Convey enthusiasm through your tone of voice. Remember, they cannot see you to read your body language, so your passion needs to be heard in your voice. Also keep in mind that a smile can be heard!
  • Speak slowly and enunciate clearly. Many phone interviews are conducted via speakerphone on the interviewer’s end which can make it more difficult to hear. Do not be afraid to ask them to repeat a question if you are not sure you heard it correctly.
  • Use pauses after a question is asked and when you are finished speaking so that you do not interrupt anyone.
  • Have notes and your resume in front of you to keep examples and your experiences fresh in your mind - make sure to bullet ideas to common interview questions so as not to sound scripted.
  • Print off and highlight key phrases from the job description and their organizational literature or website for quick reference.