Hold the Phone! 15 Tips for Phone Interviews

November 3rd, 2010 | Interviewing | 4 Comments »


These days, your phone is your social lifeline to friends and family, so habit makes it easy to get on the phone and walk through the noisy TV room while nibbling on a sandwich or sprawl out on the couch and flip on the speakerphone. You probably have more commonsense than to fall into these habits when on the phone with a potential employer, but it’s not unheard of.

As more and more applicants overwhelm the inboxes of more and more employers, many hiring managers are choosing to conduct phone interviews as an easy tactic to sort through the hundreds of candidates for each position. Don’t get caught off guard by this increasing practice! Here are a few tips.

1. Don’t forget that 99% of all other interviewing tips still apply.

2. Choose a quiet room free of TV’s, children, traffic noise, wind blowing noise, alarms, etc.

3. Keep your resume, list of accomplishments, and job description close at hand for quick and easy reference.

4. Stand up, or at least sit up straight, to open up your lungs for the best communication.

5. Leave your pajamas in the bedroom, and dress professionally. Clothes have an immediate effect on how you feel, and this will be apparent in your tone of voice.

6. Put a smile on your face. This will also come across in your tone of voice.

7. Not sure what to look at? Try to find a photo of your interviewer from the company website or LinkedIn. You’ll be more conscious of the person you’re conversing with.

8. Or, look at yourself in the mirror while talking. You’ll be more conscious of what you’re saying and how you’re presenting yourself.

9. Remember than your tone and phrases cannot be interpreted by body language and hand gestures. For this reason, be careful of jokes and sarcasm.

10. You know better than to chomp down on a sandwich, but don’t forget to spit out your gum and save your cigarettes for later.

11. Pour yourself a glass of water beforehand in case your mouth dries out. Don’t gulp it too noisily though.

12. Beware of speakerphone or weak cell phone receptions. A bad or crackly reception will not work in your favor.

13. Be comfortable with the silences. Don’t fill them with um’s or ah’s. If you need a minute to think about your answer, say so.

14. First impressions on the phone are even more important than in person. Be enthusiastic and professional from the beginning.

15. The ultimate goal of a phone interview is to score a face-to-face interview, so don’t be afraid to ask for the next step at the end of the phone call.

Clare Saumell – Marketing Director at Ashley Ellis

Related Links

Before the Interview: 4 Tips to Triumph
The most important interview question: “Do you have any questions for me?”
Interview questions to prepare for

4 Responses to “Hold the Phone! 15 Tips for Phone Interviews”

  1. Jeremy Carlson says:

    Wow, I didn’t actually think this would be that informative of a post. These are really good tips for a phone interview. Thanks guys!

  2. rmpbklyn says:

    And I also recommend eat a few hours before, and don’t drink liquids an hour before, this way you won’t need to visit restroom.

  3. Larry S. Potter says:

    I learned a long time ago to sit in front of a mirror, because a cheerful face conveys positive information while a frown does the reverse. Posture must be good. Water and tissues near by if you get dried out or sneeze. It is much more complex than most people think.

  4. Roxanne Pranger says:

    Very informative! I’ve had several phone interviews & the tips about dressing professionally & either standing or sitting up straight were great ones! Thanks for sharing!