Tips for Phone Interviews

These days, many employers use the phone screen as an interview tool, especially in the early stages of the application process. It is a more convenient way to speak to candidates and a way to involve multiple company decision makers. Telephone screening has its pros and cons; the flexibility it provides for the applicant is great, but it does make it hard to read the usual visual indications that often help see the mood of a face-to-face interview. Here are some tips to show your best self with only your voice as your guide:

  • Nix the Pajamas. You will probably perform more professionally if you put yourself together before the call.
  • Respect your current employer. Try to arrange the interview for after work hours or at least during your lunch break.
  • No distractions. Find out in advance how long the call will be and make certain you will be in a private, quiet place for the whole interview.
  • Landlines only. Cell phones, convenient as they are, tend to break up, drop, and lose battery power.
  • Sharpen your pencils. Take best advantage of the phone interview by having your resume, cover letter, and your best projects to refer to and take notes while you talk.
  • Take it slow. Keep in mind that your interviewer will be taking notes too. Also, interruptions may not come off as banter over the phone.