Tips for Phone Interviews

These days, many employers use the phone screen as an interviewing 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 to 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.
  • Sharpen your pencils. Take best advantage of your 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.
  • Cell phone coverage. As convenient as they are, cell phones tend to break up. There’s nothing more frustrating than a phone conversation that fades in and out or drops. Try to use a landline for phone screens, but if you can’t, be sure you are in a quiet place with good coverage.