Phone interviews are typically used when a candidate is unable to travel to participate in an in person interview. Here are some guidelines on how to successfully prepare for a phone interview.

Before the Interview:

  • Make sure the contact information on your resume is accurate so that the employer can easily contact you
  • Make sure your voicemail message is professional
  • If you share the phone with others tell them that you are expecting an important call
  • Practice for the phone interview by having someone go through interview questions over the phone with you
  • Treat your phone interview like any other interview and prepare responses to common questions

During the Interview:

  • Choose a location that is quiet so that you can concentrate
  • Have your resume and cover letter in front of you so that you can refer to them if needed. You do not want your responses to sound scripted, but these resources can be used as prompts
  • Ensure that you are speaking clearly; check in with the interviewer to confirm this
  • Dress professionally for the interview, even though you won’t be seen as this will help you sound more professional
  • Do not feel like you need to fill the silence if you have finished your response. The silence can occur when the interviewer is still jotting down notes from your answer. You can also ask the interview if you have fully answered their question to see if they were looking for any other details
  • Have questions prepared for the interviewer and make sure to thank them for interviewing you
  • Reaffirm your interest in the position and their organization
  • Have a glass of water beside you, and avoid chewing gum and eating