Last week I had my first phone interview and I had no idea what to expect! Because all of my previous interviews had been in-person, I always thought that phone interviews were more casual. I learned that you definitely need to treat the phone interview like any other interview.  Here are some things that I learned that will help you in the future:


  • Just because you aren’t face to face with a recruiter doesn’t mean it’s not professional. Remember to dress professionally when you have a phone interview.  I know they can’t see you, but dressing the part boosts your confidence and helps you stay professional. Never wear pajamas!
  • Prepare for your phone interview. Prepare just like you would with any other interview.  Go through your resume to see which qualities you possess that will make you stand out from anyone else.  The nice thing about phone interviews is that you can have your resume right in front of you with notes on it.  Make sure you don’t write down answers to your common interview questions or else the answers will seem rehearsed.  In addition to going over your resume, make sure you do research about the company.  This way you can tell them why you want to work for them.
  • Find a quiet place. Make sure you find a place where there are no distractions.  Find a place where you know someone won’t interrupt you, and make sure it’s also comfortable for you.  The room should also be clean, so that disorganization doesn’t affect your interview.  I locked myself in my office because I knew that I wouldn’t be distracted from any outside noise.  This is important because you might lose focus in your interview otherwise.
  • Smile! I’ve realized that smiling affects the way you sound to people on the other side of the phone.  When you smile, you sound more enthusiastic.  Recruiters don’t want to hire anyone that sound monotone and boring, so smile often when you are speaking through the phone.  Make a good first impression!
  • Cell Phone Service. Be sure that you are in a location that has good service for your cell phone because you don’t want your call to be dropped in the middle of your phone interview.  Also, make sure that your phone is charged, so it doesn’t die on you.
  • Follow-up. During the interview, you should take some notes.  Write down any important information that you think you’ll need to remember.  Remember to also thank the interviewer by sending an email or a letter afterwards.

All in all, I think that phone interviews work to your advantage because you can have notes in front of you about specific qualities that you want to share, so take advantage of it!  As always, do your research and be enthusiastic! Good luck to everyone that has an interview soon!

Check out this great blog post by Penelope Trunk about phone interviews!

Also, this Youtube video will be helpful for all you audio-visual learners.