Phone Interviews

Often times during the interview process for a job, the employer will request that the applicant be given a phone interview prior to an interview face-to-face. If you as an applicant are asked for a phone interview, it is important to prepare for it in the same way you would get ready for the face-to-face. Thus, before you take the interview, there are a number of things you can do to prepare, such as researching the company, creating a list of responses to typical interview questions as well as a list of possible questions to ask the employer. Also, be sure to have all the relevant info of the interview such as the date and time, and the person you will be interviewed by.

Below are a few more helpful tips to practice during and after your phone interview.

Practice Proper Etiquette

One aspect of the phone interview is to make sure you are practicing the proper etiquette. So, for example, if you will be around friends, family, roommates, etc. when the call comes in, let everybody around you know in advance that you will be having a phone interview at such and such a time in order to ensure your privacy is respected. When the call comes in, be sure to answer by stating your name in a positive, upbeat manner. This will signal to the caller that they have contacted the correct person. Also during your interview, always refer to the person by the title Mr. or Ms. so and so.

Woman in kitchen with laptop using cellular phone smiling

You may use their first name only if they tell you to. Furthermore, never interrupt the interviewer as they are speaking. Rather, be sure to write down ideas or questions, and when you get your chance to speak, you can then state any ideas or questions you may have. Additionally, should you find yourself at a loss for words at any moment in the interview, it’s okay to take a few beats of silence. But don’t wait too long. Dead air could kill the interview.

Choose A Quiet Space

Another crucial part of a phone interview is to be sure you are in a comfortable, quiet area during the interview. Choose a peaceful place you trust won’t provide distractions. At home, simply put the kids out, as well as the pets, and any other distractions such as a spouse or partner. Shut the door to your space and focus on what matters. Also, always have a copy of your resume in front of you, along with a quick list of your relevant abilities, skills, and qualifications that you believe are most pertinent to the job you’re applying for. Having crib notes for these topics will help you during the interview in case you get tongue tied when asked questions. Finally, always have a piece of paper and a pen next to you so you can take notes. Also, make sure your phone reception is of exceptional quality, or if you are interviewing over Skype, for example, be sure your internet connection is good. The last thing you want happening is for the interview to get cut short by poor phone reception or a bad internet connection.


One last note is, once the interview is up, be sure to first thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity to speak, also making sure to ask about the next steps in the interview process. If you do not know the interviewer’s contact information, such as email address, be sure to get it so that you can email a brief thank you note right after the interview. Sending a thank you note is a vital, though often overlooked, part of the overall interview process. By doing so, you can show your gratitude for having been given an interview, regardless of the eventual outcome. Furthermore, it never hurts to send a follow-up email a week or so after your interview, stating your continued interest in the position. This is a great way to remind the company about who you are, keeping you on their radar.